Tsvetan Vassilev plundered CorpBank, committed 144 financial frauds

Prosecutor Ivan Geshev: His defence behaves like a drowning man reaching at a straw

Tsvetan Vassilev

The fugitive banker Tsvetan Vassilev and his accomplices syphoned off CorpBank, together they are guilty of 144 assets misappropriations. This transpired from the report of the Prosecutor’s Office presented at the sitting of the Specialised Court on 5 February. The statement of the public prosecution was presented after Judge Victoria Petrova put to end the readout of thousand-page thick bill of indictment.

This became possible after the amendment to the Penal Procedure Code (PPC) enforced several days ago which cancels the reading of the conclusive part of the indictment bill. Instead, the public prosecution presents a brief report summarizing information on who is charged with what crime, how the crime was committed and when.

Before that, the defence lawyers of Vassilev (who is hiding from justice abroad) and of his accomplices for two hours running have been trying to persuade the jury that the lawsuit has to proceed in compliance with the old regulations, i.e. including the endless reading of the indictment bill.      

“Reading out the bill of indictment, mandatory under the old edition of the PPC, is not practiced in any of EU Member States. What has been happening in Bulgaria so far, something that started as comedy and went on as farce, namely reading out four thousand pages, can happen in no other country. This is why the Bulgarian citizens have a feeling that something unjust is happening, or, to be more accurate, that nothing is happening,” said deputy prosecutor general Ivan Geshev, who is also one of the supervising prosecutors in this particular case. He gave as an example Austria where the bill of indictment is never longer than two pages. According to Geshev, from the very start of the lawsuit the defence lawyers of the fugitive banker have been doing their best to delay the process.

“In all probability, they count on resolving the case with some extralegal ploys, such as the change of political status quo, replacement of magistrates or something else. As you know, a drowning man reaches at a straw. They are waiting for some change, because otherwise they don’t stand a chance to win this case having in mind the body of evidence against the defendants. They are just waiting for some random event,” Geshev added.

Further on the deputy Prosecutor General said, “The Bulgarian Prosecutor’s Office is not afraid of the CorpBank lawsuit in substance, the body of evidence we amassed at the pre-trial stage does not embarrass us, we are not afraid of expert evaluations or of our work in general. If it were so, if there were any problems, both the defence and the defendants would have insisted that the trial be started.” Geshev added he hoped that before the case is closed in the first instance in Bulgaria, Vassilev’s extradition procedure will be concluded in Serbia. In his opinion, this procedure is being delayed for some reasons other than juridical.

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