Panov pardons oligarchs for Brussels’s consumption

He parrots the talking points of the shadowy figures and their media

Lozan Panov

The scandalous head of the Supreme Court of Cassation (SCC) Lozan Panov is trying to hook up indicted oligarchs with pardons for Brussels’s consumption. This was revealed by shorthand records of conversations that took place between representatives of the judicial system and a Brussels coordination team tasked with preparing the reports on Bulgaria’s progress in the area of Justice and Home Affairs. The documents were published on the website of the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) after the heads of the personnel policy of the judicial system voted for such disclosure at a 9 May plenary session.

The shorthand records show the appalling slandering campaign that Panov is conducting against public figures and institutions in Bulgaria combating the behind-the-scenes economic and political circles in the country. In his conversations with the EC representatives Panov personally tried to clean up the image of defendants in the EVN (oligarch Ivo Prokopiev and former minister and failed politician Traycho Traykov) as well as the former mayor of the metropolitan district of Mladost Desislava Ivancheva, who was sentenced for taking bribes.

At the same time, he came at lawmaker of the opposition party Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) and Telegraph Media publisher Delyan Peevski. The MP has been a thorn in the side of the behind-the-scenes puppeteers because of the legislative initiatives, with which he endeavours to prevent their schemes and because of the journalistic investigations conducted by the Telegraph Media publications, which expose the illegal machinations of the shadowy bosses. However, the documents published by the SJC reveal that Panov is using his position as president of the SCC to serve the indicted oligarchs by parroting their talking points against their sworn enemies and simultaneously cleaning up their image in the eyes of the EC. This is why Peevski is defamed by Panov without the latter providing evidence for his allegations; the Prosecutor’s Office and the Anti-Corruption Commission for Illegal Assets Forfeiture (ACCIAF) are labelled by Panov as instrument for exerting pressure; while the members of the SJC are condemned as people who threaten the scandalous magistrate with impeachment. His assertions clearly show that he is openly lying to the EC representatives by presenting them with false information that “Peevski’s mother was investigated in the CorpBank case”. There is no such thing and Panov and his friends from the oligarchic media owned by Prokopiev & Co. know this very well. To the contrary, there was an inspection launched by the Prosecutor’s Office in response to reports by Boets and Protest Network, organisations affiliated with the fugitive banker Tsvetan Vassilev, which was closed due to lack of evidence of any wrongdoing.

However, these facts are not to the liking of Panov and so he prefers to distort them.

Meanwhile, the cases against Ivancheva and Prokopiev are cited as examples of political repression and inefficiency of the Prosecutor’s Office, even though the two cases are still ongoing and the SCC is the court of last instance for both. This is not the first time Panov has exhibited such an unacceptable interference in ongoing legal proceedings. Before the EC representatives he also admits the fact that he is in violation of the Judicial System Act with his politically-tinged speeches but that he does not see that as a problem. He goes even further in his impudence by saying that a magistrate of his rank should speak on political issues. This admission is an indication of either of two things – either Panov is not familiar with the country’s legislative framework and the Judicial System Act, according to which judges are bound by law to be apolitical, or, and this is worse, he violates Bulgarian laws publicly and without shame.

The shorthand records also show that Panov is a real traitor, who is hoping that Brussels keeps the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) for Bulgaria in place so that the indicted oligarchs’ hold of the authorities in the country remains intact.

“According to Panov, the CVM reports are the only way that some outrages can be exposed. The politicians, not the citizens, are the ones who want the mechanism gone and the EC will soon take a side. He is surprised by the conclusions of the last EC report. Panov believes that the judicial system is entangled in untoward ties,” read the records of Panov’s latest meeting with the EC representatives, held at the end of March 2019. The content shows that Panov is the only official of a public institution in Bulgaria who is openly dissatisfied with the country’s progress under the CVM and even insists that “we are slowly but surely moving towards autocracy; what is transpiring is reminiscent of nationalistic Germany”. This scandalous sentiment Panov repeated a month later at a lecture organised by the NGOs serving the indicted oligarchs Tsvetan Vassilev and Ivo Prokopiev – Boets and Justice for All. Access to the event was granted only to media outlets that are affiliated with the shadowy circles in the country and that are not critical of Panov’s unacceptable political comments.

An important detail is the fact that Panov’s actions before Brussels representatives are in lockstep with media outlets and NGOs funded by the behind-the-scenes players in Bulgaria. Just a day before the shorthand records were published, Boets released a statement that it would report to all relevant European institutions and foreign embassies in Bulgaria about the Supreme Administrative Court’s decision that Peevski meets the legal requirements to run for the European Parliament elections.

The campaign against the lawmaker became particularly vicious about 10 days ago, when his latest nomination for the EP was announced. At the EP elections five years ago, Peevski won a seat with overwhelming support and that fact is highly concerning for the shadowy circles in the country, which have been launching political projects for years only to see them collect no more than what amounts to the votes of friends and family. At the same time, as an MEP Peevski could open the eyes of Brussels to the truth about the oligarchy in Bulgaria that Panov and his associates are trying so hard to cover up.

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