Prokopiev’s libel machine whitewashes Lozan’s image in foreign media

Lozan Panov

Apart from the Bulgarian media, the indicted oligarch Ivo Prokopiev has pulled all of the strings he has abroad to whitewash the image of Lozan Panov, chair of the Supreme Court of Cassation. The reason for that are the disclosures made in the course of the so-called ApartmentGate. It transpired that the spouse of Lozan Panov, Elisaveta Panova is a record-breaker when it comes to buying cheap apartments.

She purchased a four-bedroom apartment at a price four-times lower than its market price. Although the apartment was purchased namely from Arteks, the company which found itself in the eye of the storm and the owners of the company were the best man and the bridesmaid of Lozan and Elisaveta Panov, the article in Austrian Der Standard claims that the chief of the Supreme Court of Cassation was deliberately lugged into the scandal. The entire media manipulation machine created by Prokopiev and sustained by its flagship, Capital, are defending this thesis from the very start of the scandal about the apartment where the Panovs are living now. As this false talking point obviously doesn’t hold true in Bulgaria the oligarch is trying to push it through abroad, using his favourite ploy – to publish his insinuations abroad to make them more plausible. After that, the information, already refurbished, is reprinted by the oligarchic Fake News Factory.

Thus, in the article published by Der Standard under the title “Bulgarian government turns a scandal into political instrument” an attempt is made at pushing through the already known talking point that the scandal with Panova’s apartment was stirred “to divert public attention from the ApartmentGate with which Lozan Panov had nothing in common because by the date when the apartment was purchased Elisaveta and Lozan Panov were not married. The article’s author quotes Panov himself who says that “the aim of the exercise is to get me off their back”, but there is not a single word about the fact that currently Bulgaria’s No.1 Judge is living in this apartment, that he himself owns a villa by the Black Sea purchased again much below market prices and has an audit act drawn for concealed incomes worth of BGN 100,000 issued by the Court of Auditors. However, absolutely without any grounds, the name of the sworn enemy of Ivo Prokopiev and his cronies, oligarchs Tsvetan Vassilev, Ognyan Donev and Sasho Donchev, namely Delyan Peevski, MP and publisher of Telegraph Media, was implicated. Expectedly, the material was copied at once by Capital and reposted a day later by the Bulgarian section of Deutsche Welle which, by tradition, caters to the interests of Prokopiev in Bulgaria. Its contributors very often are the authors of his media as well as of those financed by Vassilev, Donev and Donchev. However, in the variant of Deutsche Welle the “analysis” was expanded to render weight to it with the help of one more article – this time in the German-language site Telepolis also dedicated to the ApartmentGate. It is noteworthy that the author of the material published by Telepolis, freelancer Frank Schtir whose name became known in Bulgaria three years ago when he released an article about Peevski, again without any evidence, quoting claims based entirely on the statements by Prokopiev. Bulgaria remembers Der Standard by several materials dated back to the start of the CorpBank affair in full accord with the policy promoted by Vassilev and his henchmen at that time.

Against this backdrop it is no wonder that these same heroes appear out of thin air in Lozan Panov’s scandal. For Prokopiev, as well as for the rest of the indicted Bulgarian oligarchs, Panov is a key figure, because the Supreme Court of Cassation he chairs is the last instance in their lawsuits. But this is not the only reason – it is exactly via this court and the grants-dependent Bulgarian Judges Association that they push through their interests at the lower instances of the judicial system.

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