Because of revelations about hackers: Oligarchs try to pressure Prosecutor’s Office politically

Deputy Prosecutor General Ivan Geshev defends his colleagues with statement released to the media

Deputy Prosecutor General Ivan Geshev

Deputy Prosecutor General Ivan Geshev is standing up to the attempts being made to exert political pressure on the Prosecutor’s Office, as evidenced by a recent statement of his released by the institution’s press office.

“As a magistrate whose career path has taken him through various structures of the Prosecutor’s Office and the investigative authorities, I would like to offer my sincere thanks to all of my colleagues in the Prosecutor’s Office, regardless of whether they have expressed support for my candidacy for prosecutor general,” Geshev notes.

In response to articles (published mainly in media outlets linked to or owned by the indicted oligarchs Ivo Prokopiev and Tsvetan Vassilev as well as Ognyan Donev) ridiculing the overwhelming support by investigators, prosecutors and judicial system officials for his prosecutor-general nomination, Ivan Geshev writes: “The attempted exertion of political pressure to present prosecutors and investigators as inferior magistrates who lack their own opinion and vote as instructed is clearly motivated by party, corporate and/or private interests different from those of Bulgarian citizens. It is easy to see why some parties, business circles, indicted individuals, defendants and/or convicted individuals and their representatives are once again trying to deny our professional community the opportunity to justify our own choices.”

In his official position the deputy prosecutor general specifically highlights the insinuations made by Rosen Bosev from Ivo Prokopiev’s weekly newspaper Capital against Prosecutor Silvia Sokolova of the Specialised Prosecutor’s Office in an article about the institution’s magistrates’ backing for the nomination of Ivan Geshev. Bosev, who is in a serious relationship and lives with Lora Fileva, the daughter of sociologist and failed minister of interior Rumyana Bachvarova, purposefully misinterprets a 2013 comment by Sokolova, in which she said that prosecutors act in line with the verbal orders of their bosses. The daughter of the former head of the political cabinet of Boyko Borissov, Lora Fileva is also a journalist in a publication owned by the indicted oligarch Ivo Prokopiev.

“On behalf of the Prosecutor General Sotir Tsatsarov and the management of the Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Bulgaria, I would like to state that personally attacking magistrates and judicial system officials just because they expressed their personal positons will not be tolerated. The concerted effort to demonise certain magistrates such as Prosecutor Silvia Sokolova of the Specialised Prosecutor’s Office will be met with resistance in every possible way permitted by the law, including clear public stances of support (for the targeted official). Even though this is hardly necessary in this particular case since the best testament to her (qualifications) was provided by Federal Prosecutor of the Kingdom of Belgium Frédéric Van Leeuw, who in a letter to Prosecutor General Sotir Tsatsarov praised her excellent work on the largest operation conducted by police and judicial services in Europe in 2017 called Halifax,” Geshev notes.

“I am certain that prosecutors, investigators and judicial system officials will meet the expectations for justice and security for all Bulgarian citizens irrespective of their social or financial standing,” writes in conclusion the prosecutor-general nominee.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Prosecutors’ College with the Supreme Judicial Council commented on the procedure for the election of a new prosecutor general, saying that the college does not feel pressured and expressing hope that its members would not be influenced by the ongoing public protests.

“Institutions outside of the judicial system also have the right to support a particular candidate or not as well as to raise questions,” was her comment on the University of National and World Economy’s letter in favour of Geshev, adding: “The fact that he has been put forward as candidate for prosecutor general does not mean he has to stop working or serving as deputy prosecutor general.”

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