Geshev: Indicted oligarchs and criminals want nonfunctional prosecution

It is quite logical that they flock together and form their own affinity groups. This is the mainstay of their survival

Tsvetan Vassilev, Ivo Prokopiev, Sasho Donchev and Ognyan Donev

The indicted oligarchs and criminals are interested in having nonfunctional prosecution. So there will be no justice and they will be able to spend their booty and evade punishment, Deputy Prosecutor General Ivan Geshev said in an interview for the Bulgarian National TV.

Geshev has been nominated for No.1 Prosecutor by all 11 members of the collegium of public prosecutors with the Supreme Judicial Council who voted “for” unanimously. Geshev quoted this argument to explain why in the coming months, during the race for a new prosecutor general, he expects more smear campaigns as compared with the previous elections for this post.

To a question where from he expects the attacks to come and who considers him “inconvenient” he commented, “First of all this is the political circle with its satellite media and oligarchs gravitating to indicted Prokopiev. This is the most powerful force whose primary interest is not to elect a person who doesn’t belong to his favourites or those who service him. According to him, the second possible “attack launchers” are the oligarchs and the iconic figures of the transition period who are currently either kept in custody or are expecting to be arrested. The third place take the state employees and criminals of all sorts, convicted or charged.

“Maybe they do not like each other but they will certainly form their own special interest club,” Geshev said further and summed it up, “Their common interest is having nonfunctional prosecution. It is only logical that they flock together and form affinity groups… This is the mainstay of survival of oligarchs of all hues and who not. All those who still stand trial.”  

Asked about his statement made several months ago that “the magistrates will be bribed” the Deputy Prosecutor General answered that it was quoted out of context and was based on the testimony of the key witness in the CorpBank case Biser Lazarov during the trial. “He related how in Paris Tsvetan Vassilev paid €50,000 to those who lobbied for the then prospective candidate for prosecutor general. He also told how Tsvetan Vassilev pays to journalists and magistrates and how they help him. It is highly probable that this time he will hardly miss a chance to do the same and some other people will try to assist in gathering information and what not,” Geshev commented.

At the same time he noted that he has nothing to be ashamed of, real estates including. “I don’t own anything more than an average Sofia dweller,” he said. Geshev also added that he has no scruples about bringing charges against anyone, irrespective of his or her affiliation, provided there is evidence.

Asked to comment on the statements by Hristo Ivanov, leader of the oligarchic party Yes, Bulgaria who said that Geshev would be an “even more faithful servant of the oligarchy,” the answer was, “If one cannot provide reasonable and weighty arguments he starts sticking labels and using clichés. I don’t have the honour of knowing him but I was told that during his tenure as justice minister his only commentary during the meetings with the PM was “Yes, Mr Borissov.”  After he was expelled from that cabinet he apparently matured and, following Balkan tradition, has made a U-turn in his behaviour. Otherwise, the circle around him wouldn’t be defined as “Bolsheviks” judging by their approaches, because they are experts in blackmailing and the so-called “active measures”.

Commenting on the other statement spread by the media and people of the same circle, namely that he was “the nominee of Tsatsarov, Borissov and Peevski” Geshev said, “These are just another examples of Bolshevik propaganda clichés.” I met Peevski once in my life, some four-five years ago and it was on a strictly professional basis. We all know that he is a Bulgarian lawmaker, i.e. he is part of the judicial power. I cannot see any obstacles before the judicial power to communicate with any representative of other powers within the frame of the law and constitutional authorities. As regards Tsatsarov, he said that he is not ashamed to be nominated by a member of the collegium of public prosecutors who was the most successful No.1 Prosecutor up to now. As far as Borissov is concerned, Geshev again stressed that distribution of powers is only one side of the coin. The other one is their cooperation within the framework of the law and Constitution.

Geshev also said that even if he is elected Prosecutor General he will still enter the courtroom when CorpBank case is heard. He also noted that the case against alcohol lord Minju Staikov initiated by the State Fund Agriculture will be soon brought to court.

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