Tsvetan Vassilev and his 1001 lies
For 5 years now Vassilev has been paying for the smear campaigns against his enemies and manipulations with the money stolen from CorpBankTelegraph , Sofia
“Lies underlie the monopoly of truth.” This maxim was formulated not anywhere else but in the former USSR. It originates in the bowels of the Soviet brainwashing machine, which applies this principle to this day, years after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Every partisan of the idea to return Bulgaria into the orbit of a Russian satellite, so dear to the pro-Kremlin circles, knows it by rote.
It is well known to Tsvetan Vassilev, who only two months ago was exposed as the key link in the plot hatched by Moscow oligarch Konstantin Malofeev and GRU general Leonid Reshetnikov aimed at changing the geopolitical allegiance of Bulgaria from pro-Western to pro-Russian. The attempts to apply this principle in Bulgaria have not stopped for five years now.
Sixty-six months. This is how long the man who syphoned off billions from CorpBank has been hiding from justice and retribution for the heist of the century. He fled the country already in May of 2014, shortly before the scandal over the collapsed bank erupted. It was him who built the financial pyramid of a European dimension. From the summer of the same year Vassilev has been hiding out from justice in Serbia. Relying on his Belgrade business partners (such as former president of Serbia Tomislav Nikolic) and his Moscow handlers (such as Konstantin Malofeev who, in tandem with Reshetnikov, stands behind the Ukrainian separatists, annexation of Crimea and failed coup in Montenegro) rolls in money stolen from the defrauded depositors of CorpBank and from Belgrade finances with the same stolen money the campaigns aimed at monopolising the public space by spreading fake news in a bid to stifle the truth and replace it with an avalanche of lies.
And, after for five years this man has been inundating Bulgaria with disinformation and fabrications now only a week ago he tried to shackle Themis with his lies. Through one of his lawyers he sent in a declaration of a letter read out before the panel of judges hearing the mega case of CorpBank. On five pages this declaration incorporates all the lies which Vassilev uses in his attempt to cover up the tracks of the money he plundered and shift the responsibility for his own crimes on others.
And although the abovementioned letter is not an official document and has absolutely no legal value, moreover that Vassilev himself steadfastly refuses to come before the court and give testimony, the lies in this letter were immediately spread not only by the media funded by the fugitive banker but also by the media outlets of his oligarchic team-mates. However, this hardly comes as a surprise having in mind that the letter itself is just another link in the strategy aimed at spreading manipulations via the propaganda machine financed mainly with the CorpBank money. It is the business of the oligarchic common front, of people who have common roots – Komsomol and State Security. They have one and the same creator – Bulgaria’s ex-prime minister and godfather of the mafia-style privatisation Ivan Kostov. They share common interest – to escape retribution for their crimes. And have one and the same goal – to cast slur on their enemies pooling wool over the eyes of the citizens in the hope that this way they will be able to postpone justice long enough till better times come for them, the oligarchs. In other words, they are waiting for the times when lawlessness will reign again and no one will hold them accountable.
There’s hardly any need in listing the ringleaders of the abovementioned oligarchic common front. Each and all they are the creatures of the Commander who received from him their first million in the form of a piece of the appetising privatisation pie. These are Tsvetan Vassilev, Ivo Prokopiev, Sasho Donchev and Ognyan Donev. It is also apparent who their enemies are – the law and the people who insist that the law should be obeyed.
So, for years the No.1 target of this common front has been lawmaker and publisher of Telegraph Media Delyan Peevski, because not only did he insist on law observance but also proposed amendments to the law when it became clear that the hitherto legislation was not sufficient to forestall the secondary plunder of CorpBank. Following the same principle, the propaganda machine for monopolising the truth and its replacement with lies targeted the public prosecution, especially the new Prosecutor General Ivan Geshev who was recently elected by the Supreme Judicial Council on second attempt. Why so? Because this man took the CorpBank case to the Specialised Court. However, the list of targets in longer. They are not only one or two, but the greatest enemy of the oligarchic common front is actually the society. It is its inherent sense of justice and insistence on harsh reprisal are targeted by the manipulations and lies of Tsvetan Vassilev & Co.
Could it be that the fugitive banker hoped that the society will forget? Forget that he stands behind the biggest affair in the modern history of Bulgaria? Behind building a financial pyramid of a bank, a pyramid in its purest form. This is a fact proven at least three times – by the founding father of the Currency Board Steve Hanke, the report of the international consulting firm AlixPartners and the conclusions of one of the most authoritative arbitration courts in the world – the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes in Washington. He also stands behind transforming CorpBank into a cashbox for donations used for funding political engineering projects of Ivan Kostov and lavishing tens of millions on the implementation of these projects in the form of fees paid under the counter to politicians, journalists and political analysts. These are the paid pawns the larger part of whom currently play the role of spokespersons for the above oligarchic common front. Vassilev stands behind draining of the depositors’ BGN 3,5bn for funding his own projects and whims. Here comes the moment to remind that apart from his realty scattered around Bulgaria and bought with the CorpBank defrauded depositors’ money, BGN 20m from CorpBank Vassilev paid for purchasing and furnishing the apartment of his daughter Radosveta in central Sofia, as big as a golf course. It has bulletproof windows, elevator and other premium extras. With another €22m, again syphoned off by people who were gullible enough to trust Vassilev, the latter purchased an apartment for his wife Antoaneta in the upmarket neighbourhood near the Geneva Lake. This palace was later described by one of the family lawyers as “country house with leaking roof” located very close to Geneva airport. To enable the family to fly to the lake by their private aircraft.
When this pyramid collapsed and the CorpBank scandal erupted again Tsvetan Vassilev, with the help of the abovementioned associates from the common front as well as of some other team-mates from Bulgaria and Russia, founded a grand-scale organisation for the secondary plunder of the scarce real assets pledged in favour of the bankrupt lender.
The crimes which the fugitive banker is trying to cover up are not just one or two. They are not even 10001, i.e. as many as the lies which the propaganda machine of Vassilev and his common front have belched out. Their number is huge and, translated into figures amounts to over BGN 3,5bn, the money that sank in his pockets and stolen from the accounts of CorpBank depositors. BGN 3,5bn are the reason why the Bulgarian society will not only remember but will insist (and fight for) on the retribution for the crimes of the people who stole the money of all of us, the people who are now trying to spread lies via their propaganda machine financed with our stolen money.
The top 5 lies quoted in the letter of the fugitive banker to the court
If I have to sum up the lies to which the propaganda machine of Tsvtan Vassilev and his oligarchic common front gives priority, then the letter the fugitive banker sent to the Specialised Court week is the ideal example. On five pages of this letter there is no sentence which is not manipulative. And, as long as rebuttal would require a stack of paper and dozens of issues of the Telegraph Media publications, below we quote top 5 of the most frequently disinformation examples circulated in recent years which are cited in the so-called “declaration” of Vassilev. We append commentaries based entirely on facts which explicitly prove that these claims are nothing but lie. We leave it to you to make the conclusions.
1. The prosecution and court show “uttermost reluctance” to question Tsvetan Vassilev and hear his testimony on the case against him and so deprive him of his fundamental right for a just legal procedure
Each and every defendant in Bulgaria has the right for just legal procedure which is secured by virtue of the legislation which guarantees this right. However, there is a controversy – for five years now Vassilev has been refusing to stand before the prosecution, and now before the court, which makes him a fugitive from the law. It means that he cannot choose by himself how to give testimony because that would have put him in a privileged position as compared with the other defendants who, unlike him, hadn’t flee Bulgaria and appear in court to give testimony before the competent bodies. In contrast to Vassilev, who apparently thinks that giving testimony is something like giving choreographed interviews to his pocket journalists (Re: interviews with his pet TV anchor Lyuba Kulazich, for instance).
2. The eruption of the CorpBank affair scandal is the result of a corporate raid initiated by lawmaker and publisher of Telegraph Media Delyan Peevski
This is the favourite talking point of the fugitive banker, which is repeatedly retranslated in the media financed by both him and his oligarchic partners. Meanwhile it was refuted in three statements by the world renowned experts who categorically proved that the bank was turned into a pyramid and a private piggybank by its majority owner Tsvetan Vassilev. As early as the summer of 2014, Steve Hanke made this diagnosis. The globally acknowledged financier announced in August of 2014: “The CorpBank case looks like an outright fraud of the sort of investment pyramids.” In October 2016, the same evidence was furnished by the international consulting firm AlixPartners. We would like to call to memory only a small part of the voluminous report by the firm posted on the website of the National Assembly. The key conclusion in it is that Vassilev turned the lender into his private piggybank while CorpBank is a pyramid which had swallowed over BGN 5bn whereas members of the bank’s managing board and employees and private persons connected with it took part in the fraudulent scheme. The Court of Arbitration in Washington arrived at the same conclusion. On 13 August 2019, the three arbitrators of this authoritative institution dismissed the € 80m claim of the Omani State Fund against Bulgaria as ungrounded and ruled that the claimant had to cover the legal costs for Bulgaria. The reason is that the court accepted our country’s claim that the bank could not be rescued because of a huge capital and liquidity gap worth of BGN billions which Vassilev opened in it.
3. Delyan Peevski was not a defendant in the CorpBank case although he had arrears to the bank
This is another talking point of Vassilev and his oligarchic cronies which has been repeatedly posted on the websites and in publications sustained by them, even if the statements by all of the authoritative Bulgarian institutions and the evidence provided by the case witnesses prove that it is not more feasible than compressed air and has nothing to do with the reality. What do the facts show? The firms, in which the lawmaker’s family were partners are among the few which have paid off (not with setoffs but with real money) all of their arrears to the bank and neither him, nor companies, nor his family have any debts to CorpBank. This was confirmed by the Central Credit Register of the BNB with the certificate No.99396 dated 13.08.2014 and No.140385 dated 16.12.2014, as well as by the bankruptcy administration. Another illustrative fact is that out of all of the 400 witnesses on the CorpBank case only one mentioned the name of Peevski in a bid to impute to him the non-existent liabilities to the lender. This man is the leader of the “Russophiles” movement Nikolay Malinov, the partner of Tsvetan Vassilev who is accused of espionage as is the main conductor of the plot hatched by Konstantin Malofeev and Gen. Leonid Reshetnikov for upending the geopolitical orientation of Bulgaria.
4. CorpBank’s assets were plundered after the bank’s collapse to the benefit of Peevski and under his control
In this case the facts speak volumes again. MP Delyan Peevski was the key initiator and mover (along with his colleagues from the Movement for Right and Freedoms) of the amendments to the Banks Insolvency Act which forestalled the secondary looting of CorpBank. Thanks to these amendments the assets worth of tens of millions have been already restored to the lender’s insolvency mass. As regards the initiators of the secondary plunder, the media outlets of the Telegraph Media – Telegraph and Monitor – have published a series of journalistic inquiries which prove that exactly Tsvetan Vassilev and his handlers stand behind it. This transpires from the elementary checkout as to who controls the enterprises listed in the so-called declaration authored by Vassilev: Petrol is under control of Grisha Ganchev, Dunarit is controlled by arms dealer Emiliyan Gebrev and is still used as Vasilev’s piggy bank providing to him enough money for his lavish lifestyle in Belgrade and even for paying royalties to his Russian patron Konstantin Malofeev. Another indicted boss, Nikolay Banev laid hands on Kostenets. The list is long and in its entirety the scheme for the second CorpBank plunder can be seen in the 38-page analysis made by the bankruptcy administrators published already in February of 2017. The scheme for breaking connection between the CorpBank financing and the asset, which was later to be swallowed by Vassilev and his associates, is most evident in the case of BTK, when loans passed through a chain of offshore companies to cover up the initial source of money. The company itself was then auctioned but was still object of desire for Malofeev and Vassilev.
5. The money drawn for purchases, including of the real estates of Vassilev and his family was actually his own “earnings”
You can judge by yourself how true this statement can be from the reference about the real estates purchased by the fugitive banker. We would only like to remind that the house which Vassilev’s spouse Antoaneta bought near the Geneva Lake costs € 22m and that without the costs of equipment worth other millions, again purchased with the CorpBank money.