Behind-the-scene clique won: court acquitted Prokopiev for EVN affair

Simeon Djankov, Ivo Prokopiev and Traycho Traykov (L-R)

The behind-the-scene clique won a victory over the state. The Specialised Criminal Court fully acquitted the oligarch Ivo Prokopiev, the former minister of finance Simeon Djankov and the former minister of energy Traycho Traykov, as well as the managers of Prokopiev’s company Bulbrokers on the accusations that they caused damage to the treasury for over BGN 20m with the manipulated sale of the minority state share in EVN Bulgaria Electricity.

The conviction shows that the black swan of justice - Judge №1 Lozan Panov managed to push the tentacles of the oligarchic octopus everywhere, so that behind-the-scene bosses could feel intangible for their crimes. This happens against the backdrop of an unprecedented campaign for denigration of our state, organised and conducted by Ivo Prokopiev through the oligarchy's mainstream media machine and through his tools for exerting pressure abroad. Amidst this smearing campaign Prokopiev, who is defendant in another case for money laundering, pretends to be a victim of "repression", stating that this case exerts pressure on the freedom of speech and on his media, though his publishing group is not affected in any way by the current process.

By its conviction in the case, the panel of the specialised court, which is chaired by Vilislava Angelova, declared Prokopiev innocent for deliberately facilitating Simeon Djankov to exceed his powers as a minister from March to December 2011, in order to obtain a benefit for Bulbrokers amounting to over BGN 1.2m  consulting fee as an investment intermediary for the sale of 33% of the state share of EVN Bulgaria, which according to the Prosecutor’s Office caused damages of nearly BGN 7.5m. All other defendants were also found innocent. Simeon Djankov was found innocent for the fact that in complicity with Prokopiev, he has exceeded his powers as a minister, helping Bulbrokers to become a consultant on the deal. The former energy minister Traycho Traykov was also found innocent of failing to take care of the property entrusted to him and to manage the state-participation of the capital, which resulted in damages of BGN 31m. Although evidence and expertise were presented in the courtroom that Prokopiev’s company Bulbrokers deliberately manipulated the auction for the shares of EVN Bulgaria in favor of the buyer EVN by reducing their prices, all the three defendants from the brokerage company were declared innocent as well.

The decision of the specialised court clearly shows the strength by which the behind-the-scenes network, led by the main mouthpiece of the oligarchs in the judiciary - the chairman of the Supreme Court of Cassation Lozan Panov, has tangled all levels of the justice system. It clearly shows something else - that despite the desire of the public and the will demonstrated by the prosecution, bosses like Ivo Prokopiev&Co, who plundered our country, to pay for their crimes, there will hardly be retribution for their tricky deals until the entire network is not smashed to pieces.

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