Government takes action on US sanctions
Bulgaria's prosecution service has instituted six case filesEuropost , Sofia
The government has set up a working group to take action in response to the sanctions imposed by the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), said the Council of Ministers' press office. The working group includes representatives of the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Finance, the State Agency for National Security (SANS) and the National Revenue Agency (NRA). As a matter of urgency, it must establish and maintain a list of individuals who fall and could potentially fall within the scope of the OFAC sanctions.
Subject to the working group are all natural and legal persons, identified by SANS and NRA in the course of their applied permanent measures for the identification of persons connected with individuals from the aforementioned list. The list will be published and maintained on the websites of the Ministry of Finance and the NRA.
The minister of finance will monitor the activities of the working group and will be responsible for the results of its work to the government. Ministers and other executive bodies will take immediate measures to make sure that administrations and departments, state-owned enterprises, companies with state and municipal participation and the companies they control, as well as other persons, terminate their relations with the persons on the list and not enter into new ones.
Acting on its own initiative, Bulgaria's prosecution service has instituted six case files after the US Treasury Department and State Department announced on Wednesday that they are sanctioning a total of six Bulgarians over their involvement in significant corruption.
The Prosecutor General's Spokesperson Siyka Mileva said on Friday that one of the designees: gambling mogul and fugitive from justice Vassil Bozhkov, who is under investigation by the Specialised Prosecution Office in connection with offences other than the 18 charges already brought against him, will nevertheless be checked, too.
Mileva recalled that another three of the blacklisted persons: former Deputy Minister of Economy Alexander Manolev, former State Agency for Bulgarians Abroad (SABA) Chair Petar Haralampiev and former SABA Chief Secretary Krasimir Tomov, have already been indicted for corruption offences, and the court has proceeded with their cases.
Regarding the findings about controversial businessman and ex-MP Delyan Peevski, Mileva said that he has been subject to a number of checks over the years and they will be analysed now.
The facts cited in the US statements about all six designees (Bozhkov, Peevski, Manolev, Haralampiev, Tomov and National Bureau for Control on Special Intelligence-Gathering Devices Deputy Chair Ilko Zhelyazkov) will be fully checked. To this end, the prosecution service will approach the US authorities for further information.
The spokesperson said that effective counter-corruption is only possible through a dialogue between the prosecution service and the law-enforcement authorities, but this can hardly be achieved while the judiciary comes under political attacks.
She assumed that a large part of the findings in the US statements are based on materials gathered by the prosecution service, but specified that only the court is competent to find somebody guilty.