Fake News Factory takes scandalous judge out of mothballs

Rumen Nenkov, former constitutional judge, rushes to defend the oligarchy, attacks his hitherto colleagues and the very institution

Rumen Nenkov

The Fake News Factory made a surprising tactical move and literally took out of mothballs former constitutional judge Rumen Nenkov to show him in a primetime talk show of one of the most popular national TV channels.

The aim of his seemingly illogical appearance became obvious already in the first minutes of the interview when Nenkov leapt to defend the oligarchy. Instead of commenting on the current lawsuits against oligarchs Ivo Prokopiev and Ognyan Donev, Nenkov chose to dust off the so-called “Peevski case” and loudly announced that the rulings of the Constitutional Court on the case, as well as on the Istanbul convention, are politically motivated.

His statement was made in the mainstream media, i.e. the most popular TV channels, about which Prokopiev said at the backstage clique's Argo gathering that he was pulling strings there using certain 'media faces'. In this case the bTV channel became the platform. We wonder why the case of 2013, when the Constitutional Court ruled that the MP's return to the Parliament does not contradict the Constitution, was again overblown five years later. And why Nenkov, three days after his mandate in the Constitutional Court expired, attacked his hitherto colleagues and the very institution, explaining in haste that he was not politically bound.

When daily newspaper Monitor turned for comment to former constitutional judges, all of them said flat that Nenkov loves to appear before the public and to seek its attention. This is the reason why he makes such over-the-top statements on national air, trying to remain in the public eye, as after his mandate expired the public seems to have cast him off.

“Everyone has his own style, but it hurts when he is insulting the institution. This is ugly. These things are hideous, but it does not happen for the first time. Mind it, he will make such statements again and again. He loves to be in the public eye. So, just watch and you will see him again not once,” pointed out a former colleague of Nenkov who was sure that the Constitutional Court does not take politically motivated decisions. Another ex-constitutional judge, Emilia Drumeva, shared this stance several years ago, when in her interviews she assured that the Constitutional Court's rulings are based on juridical arguments.

Nenkov's behaviour, however, does not come as a surprise to people who know him. If he were sincere, he would have recalled that before assuming office in the Constitutional Court, he was deputy chair of the Supreme Court of Cassation during the mandate of its late chair Ivan Grigorov, who, unlike his right-hand man, had never thought twice to admit being a faithful ally of Kostov. Nenkov owes his rise to fame exactly to Ivan Kostov. By 10 November 1989, Kostov was an assistant professor of political economy. At that time all assistants working at political departments were party functionaries. Kostov was linked with the so-called 'red nomenclature' and worked for one of the two secret laboratories of the Bulgarian Communist Party (BCP). Rumen Nenkov, in his turn, was a BCP party secretary in Sofia's regional court. He was also a delegate to the 14th and last congress of the BCP, elected among all other judges. Similar to his patron Kostov, Nenkov also changed colour overnight and became 'dark-blue' instead of 'dark-red'.

This metamorphosis makes us question his moral character. After the changes that occurred in 1990, Nenkov enrolled in the party of Prof. Nikolay Genchev. He became a first-rate democrat, ardent supporter of the Union of Democratic Forces and favourite of Kostov's ally, Grigorov. During Grigorov's term of office, Nenkov, apart from being his deputy, was also chair of the criminal panel in the Constitutional Court. Two times he was a member of the Central Electoral Commission in the Constitutional Court, as once he was nominated by president Petar Stoyanov and then in 2001 by the United Democratic Forces. Actually Nenkov is a man who brought Lozan Panov to power in the judicial system. He is Panov's spiritual guru and patron. Panov put on judicial robe in 1999 and was for five years a criminal judge in the Sofia court, the biggest in the country. Later, by favour of Nenkov, he was appointed chair of the Administrative Court - Sofia City, and eventually reached the highest position in the hierarchy - chair of the Supreme Court of Cassation. During all these years his career growth was guaranteed by Nenkov. Rumours run in the Sofia Court House that Nenkov toured all court panels and gave 'directions' as to how to resolve certain cases. It is not by chance that in its latest report on the progress of Bulgaria under the Mechanism for Cooperation and Verification, the European Commission notes that there are no verdicts pronounced for top-level corruption.

Actually, the judicial system in Bulgaria has been the home territory of Ivan Kostov's puppets for the last 21 years, they were placed there under his rule and are jealously guarding the interests of the oligarchy. There is not a single person convicted for the mafia-style privatisation; the double slaying of two girls on Alabin Street in Sofia 12 years ago was swept under the carpet, etc. Or, as one character says in the film of the great Damiano Damiani, director of TV series The Octopus: “The case is closed, forget it!”

During Kostov's term of office as prime minister, a mafia-style privatisation was carried out when certain 'ordinary' people 'accidentally' woke up one morning as millionaires. For example, the 27-year-old son of State Security officers, Ivo Prokopiev, managed to privatise Kaolin mining company and Damianitza winery, buying them at prices tenfold lower than their market value. Ognyan Donev, son of an eminent spy in the intelligence service and henchman of legendary Ognyan Doynov, laid hands on the biggest pharmaceutical company in Bulgaria. Shady dealer Tsvetan Vassilev appropriated CorpBank via 10 offshore firms. Soviet fosterling Sasho Donchev managed to snatch a state-guaranteed business - natural gas supplies. All these heroes of the transition period, along with the Banevs, Arabadjievs, Staikovs, etc., are the products of Kostov's privatisation during which state assets worth BGN 20bn passed into the 'right' private hands, while only BGN 2bn flowed into the state treasury. Bulgaria could have invested the missing money into its development during the transition period, and at least the pensions in the country would have been on a par with those in Europe. In this parallel state, the businessmen appointed by Kostov rule the economy, puppet politicians rise to power, hand-picked judges defend this clique from justice, while mass media - captured by the Fake News Factory - manipulate the public opinion in the country.

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