Tsvetan Vassilev’s attorney exerted pressure over the leadoff witness in CorpBank case

Karadaliev became ex-banker “viceroy” after Vassilev fled from justice

Tsvetan Vassilev

The ill-famed attorney Lazar Karadaliev installed himself in the office of Tsvetan Vassilev and gave really hard time to the latter’s chief accountant Biser Lazov who is now the leadoff witness in the case concerning the plunder of BGN 5 to 6bn from CorpBank. Lazov himself said so answering the question asked by Karadaliev who is now a member of the team of the attorneys for the defence of the Bulgarian Madoff.

Lazov in details related in the courtroom how two days prior to the CorpBank collapse in June 2014 and mere hours after Tsvetan Vassilev fled to Vienna via Thessaloniki Vassilev’s office in the bank’s headquarters was occupied by lawyer Lazar Karadaliev.

“Karadaliev virtually invaded the office and installed himself in Vassilev’s chair. From that moment on the Firm had a new boss – Karadaliev. After my visit to Vienna Vassilev told me that he doesn’t take any interest in CorpBank’s directors and employees who now stand trial in Bulgaria because he threw them to the wolves already upon leaving Bulgaria. And while those people are in the courtroom Vassilev is sipping good wine in his hideout,” Lazov said. The witness went on with his revelations concerning the affair and further activities of the mustachioed fraudster days after the latter escaped from justice: “In Vienna, Vassilev took off his mask before me and exposed himself. Then I realised that Vassilev send down his orders through his new “viceroy” who had to clean up the mess. I refused to fall into line with his orders and decided to cooperate with the investigation. I also warned my colleagues which enraged Karadaliev. From that moment on he launched a vicious attack on me and started to harass me. They even filed a suit against me claiming that I had injured and pressured Vassilev. The other employees were also subjected to harassment and summoned,” Lazov said further. Some of these people are also witnesses on the case. Karadaliev is still under investigation as already a year ago the deputy prosecutor general Ivan Geshev announced that from the witnesses’ testimony during the pretrial procedures it transpired that the Bulgarian Madoff offered BGN 200,000 via his “viceroy” Karadaliev, as a graft for the lead witness for the prosecution to make him change the evidence.

While hiding out in Vienna before he found a safe haven in Belgrade the Bulgarian Madoff (again through Lazar Karadaliev) started to pressurise the businessmen from the provinces. “For years on end Vassilev has been using these people for providing loans to shell companies which later were redirected to Vassilev’s firms,” Lazov said. “Not all of them could make it. Among them there was a businessman from Pernik, the owner of a central repair station and a businessman from Petrich who is known as the owner of the greenhouses in town.” Lazov also testified before the court that the owner of Eurobuild’2003 company Tikhomir Ivanov was also under pressure. Once he complained that he was very scared because “… they are chasing me, I’m afraid that they may ambush me somewhere and I don’t want to be stuffed into some car trunk.” This evidence by Lazov enraged both the attorneys and the defendants. Kradaliev jumped up and was visibly nervous while his colleagues insisted on suspending the hearing because their questions to the witness were exhausted by that moment.

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