Vassilev’s attorneys hide their client with lies about Peevski

Tsvetan Vassilev

Do you know when the indictment against Tsvetan Vassilev and 17 other individuals stemming from the heist of the century known as the CorpBank collapse started to be heard in earnest by the Specialised Criminal Court? About a year later than it should have. And the reason for the wasted over 365 days is the legal tricks performed by the fraudster’s representatives in court.

The first one was to make the prosecutors read the hefty indictment against Vassilev & Co. out loud in the courtroom – all the detailed offences committed by the organised group responsible for opening a nearly BGN 6bn hole in the CorpBank finances. Well, these highly paid (thanks to the money stolen from defrauded depositors) attorneys are continuing with their tricks now.

During the 15 October hearing they once again tried to stall the CorpBank case by making insinuations about imaginary facts. The idea is to simultaneously drive the court in circles by steering the proceedings deep into the minutiae waters and win another day of freedom for their client, who has been hiding from the Bulgarian judicial system in Belgrade for the past five years.

At the hearing, Konstantin Simeonov and Lazar Karadaliev, who represent the fugitive banker in the case, grasped at straws in the form of a piece of evidence that is not even an official bank document. Prosecutors presented a report dated 28 February 2008 to the lead witness Biser Lazov at the beginning of the hearing. Lazov could not say definitively whether he was the one who authored the report, but provided that it was one of the many that used to be prepared at the end of a workday at the insistence of Tsvetan Vassilev.

In essence, the report contains aggregated data about the companies in the so-called Firm controlled by Vassilev and used to syphon off the lender. The aforementioned one-page document features a table with two columns – assets (the value expressed in Bulgarian levs, US dollars and Swiss francs) and liabilities. Some cells, however just say “DP” with a number next to the initials.

In their desperation, the attorneys of the Bulgarian Madoff pounced on the chance to bagger the lead witness about the two precious initials. Their tactics turned out to be pretty transparent because mere minutes later (likely having been instructed by the attorneys or their common mentor in Serbia) Frognews journalists published a lengthy piece verbosely describing imaginary ties between the initials and MRF lawmaker and Telegraph Media publisher Delyan Peevski. The MP has been a thorn in the side of Vassilev and his minions for years because of his efforts to expose the shady deals of oligarchs in Bulgaria and put a stop to them with legislative initiatives. So what better fun for Frognews, the unofficial press office of the fugitive banker, than to spin yet another fable about the lawmaker.

The article, of course, omits the fact that Biser Lazov tried multiple times to explain to the court that the report was not an official document, but information intended strictly for Vassilev’s attention and that the latter was the one who decided whether certain initials should be included or not, making him the only one who can answer what those initials stood for.

Vassilev’s attorneys have an interest not only in chicaneries to stall the case but in drawing attention away from their thieving client after three esteemed sources confirmed that CorpBank was effectively a pyramid scheme, while Vassilev – a financial fraudster. First Steve Hanke, considered the father of the Currency Board in Bulgaria, said that CorpBank operated as a pyramid. That circumstance was also illuminated by the international consultancy AlixPartners and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) based in the US capital Washington. Vassilev’s attorneys know perfectly well that the Bulgarian Madoff, who defrauded depositors of BGN 5-6bn, is looking at 20 years in jail.

This is why insinuations suit their agenda. It is a well-known fact that Delyan Peevski never sat on the managing or supervisory boards of CorpBank and never owned shares in the lender. In the past, his family took out loans, which have since been repaid in full. Presently, Peevski has no connection to assets funded by the lender and subject to ongoing legal proceedings. On the contrary, Peevski, alongside his MRF colleagues Hamid Hamid and Yordan Tsonev, are the ones who drafted the legislation that stopped the secondary plundering of the lender in the aftermath of its bankruptcy. The act gave the bankruptcy administrators the legal recourse to return BGN 400m in assets to the bank’s insolvency estate.

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