State Lost on Purpose Telecom Arbitration in Paris

#Yaneva Gate Season 3, Episode 12: The first company that privatized BTC also belonged to "Delyan"
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Lawyer Ivan Todorov had direct access to the “HIGH UP THERE”. Who is the “HIGH UP THERE”? “HIGH UP THERE” is “Delyan” (controversial lawmaker and media mogul Delyan Peevski – editor’s note).  Sounds like a last instance in the State! Lawyer Todorov got this privilege by winning the case of Bulgarian telecom BTC, which belonged to a company owned by “Delyan”, against the Agency for Privatization and Post Privatization Control (APPC) in the arbitration court in Paris. Lawyer Yavor Kamburov, who defended APPC, lost the case for 30million (euro) deliberately, which, at the end, seriously harmed the State budget. Ultimately lawyer Todorov became a favorite of “Delyan” and “pays visits to the high up there non-stop”. This is what lawyer Mondeshki tells the other participants in the conversation. Vladimira Yaneva confirms: “I’ve spoken with Delyan; I know that they know each other”.

These shocking allegations emerge from a new piece of a conversation between former judges Vladimira Yaneva, Rumyana Chenalova and Momchil Mondeshki. In the same conversation, they discuss how bankruptcy trustees have been dismissed for which then-Justice Minister, Hristo Ivanov, should “be beaten with a stick”.

The conversation was “recorded in the studio of Bivol”, after we labored seriously and were able to gather again in front of our microphones Vladi, Rumi, Momchil and Benny the dog. The magistrates, the lawyer and the dog were pretty spooked by the “discovery” of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov in the TV political talk show Hello Bulgaria that #Yaneva Gate:

“This is a movie series that they are shooting. They gather in a studio and make up one or another event. They film it. They release it. A week later, they release a new episode,” said Borisov.

In the same televised statement, Borisov spent lots of time on what is happening with BTC and stated that he was clean as a tear and had no bearing on either “Delian” nor the privatization of BTC. But is that so? When the lawyer of the State, according to Mondeshki, deliberately lost the case for 30 million euro in favor of “Delyan”, Borisov was first term Prime Minister and as such had direct responsibility for the deeds of the Agency for Privatization and Post Privatization Control (APPC)

Lawyer Todorov: I have nothing to do with Peevski, examine the facts

Bivol approached the individuals mentioned in the scandalous recording for their opinion and comments. We sent questions to lawyers Ivan Todorov and Yavor Kambourov. Only lawyer Todorov called us on the phone. He also sent a written statement.

Lawyer Todorov firmly rejected allegations that he was close to and worked with Peevski and urged for an analysis of the facts. “All Peevski media launched a total and massive smear campaign against me. In this situation, how do you imagine that I can have a relationship with him? In addition, I have had legal cases against Peevski. Any allegations of such connections with him are absurd,” he said. Prof. Ivan Todorov explained that his law office has acted as defense counsel for BTC since 2003, before the privatization and the telecom remained their client under six different owners. He said he had no information of any BTC owner being linked with Delyan Peevski. Lawyer Ivan Todorov also asked for an examination of the Paris arbitration case and explained that any agreements with Kambourov were impossible. “Kamburov is a prominent lawyer and he put lots of effort in defending the interests of the State, but the claim was addressed simply in the wrong way,” said Todorov.

It is a fact that media owned or controlled by Peevski brutally attacked the President of the Supreme Court of Cassations (SCC), Lozan Panov, a year ago, and tangled in it the name of Ivan Todorov as well. They alleged that Todorov had sent a text message to Lozan Panov SMS for Christmas.

“4estito Rojdestvo, Lozane! Otdavna ne si idval v ofisa… Ivan Todorov.” (Merry Christmas, Lozan; it has been a long time since you last visited our office… Ivan Todorov.)

At that time, Todorov officially denied having sent such message; said it was simply made up and showed printouts from his cell phone to prove it. Our investigation established that all text messages sent by lawyer Todorov are only written in Cyrillic and in the Bulgarian language. Why the attack against the Head of the SCC involved the prominent lawyer remains a mystery. It cannot be precluded that the prestigious law firm of Ivan Todorov likely became an obstacle to some sleazy privatization interests, which is why he became the target of intrigues and slander, along with the inconvenient for the establishment in theSupreme Judicial Council (SJC) Head of the SCC, Lozan Panov.

BTC was actually owned by Peevski?

The participants in the recorded conversation allege that the company that privatized BTC was owned by MP Delyan Peevski. The arbitration case involved two companies: Viva Ventures Holding and NEF Telecom Bulgaria. It is not clear which of the two was owned by “Delyan”, as Mondeshki alleges. According to lawyer Todorov, he represented NEF Telecom Bulgaria.

It is a fact is that in 2009, the APPC initiated arbitration proceedings against Viva Ventures and NEF Telecom Bulgaria because the “investor” had not complied with its commitment under the privatization contract not to reduce the staff in the telecom and laid off “114,000” people according to Mondeshki. The figure is highly inflated, as actually there were about 5,000 layoffs.

At the end of August this year, BTC was sold by the Russian KGB bank – VTB – to a Luxembourg company, controlled by Spas Rusev and brothers Velchev for a symbolic amount, when compared to its real value and against a 150 million-euro bridge loan. The connection between former Finance Minister Milen Velchev and businessman Spas Rusev was exposed some years ago through the infamous “yacht picture” showing ministers playing cards with criminal bosses in Monaco, on Rusev’s yacht. Interestingly enough, precisely this connection and this picture were revealed by the then-Chief Secretary of the Interior Ministry – Boyko Borisov, who threatened to resign and promised more revelations, but subsequently stopped talking and remained at his post.

Therefore, in reality, brothers Velchev stand on both sides of the deal as a seller and a buyer. The State, represented by the Bulgarian government, did not intervene to prevent the misappropriation of the Telecom by the Russian bank in distress, by obscure interests and resources without a clear origin. According to international dealers, the loss for the State budget from this dubious transaction is estimated at over 700 million euro. Unlike Bulgarian media, in Russia a media wave of publications erupted that directly revealed that Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov received a commission in the amount of 50 million euro for turning a “blind eye” to the actions of VTB and letting the deal materialize without any State reaction. Bivol was the only one to publish a story on the reports in Russian media. The scandal grew beyond the country’s borders and became subject of interest among the international community, despite the full censorship on the Russian publications in Bulgaria.

Financial experts told Bivol that Borisov was personally informed in advance that the sale of BTC by VTB will inflict severe damage to our national interests, but he failed to react. Perhaps this explains his great nervousness in the studio of Nova TV while commenting on the recordings and the BTC deal.

The only public knowledge is that the main factual owner of BTC was the company of the banker in exile Tsvetan Vasilev – “TC IME” JSC. Apparently, however, “Delyan” considered the assets of the majority shareholder in the collapsed Corporate Commercial Bank (CCB) ro be his own, without having any financial contribution. In any case, the recorded revelations in the conversation require serious analysis and relevant conclusions.



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