Thursday, Apr 24th

Last update:24-04-2014 14:03

Italy: Citing Mafia Financial Troubles, Jailed Boss Says “Get A Real Job”
Italy’s economic crisis is hitting the Sicilian Mafia as well, say law enforcement officials in Palmero, Sicily.
Russia: CEO of ‘Russian Facebook’ Says He Was Ousted
Pavel Durov, the CEO of Russia’s most popular social media site Vkontake (VK), said on Monday that he was ousted by...
Mexico: Councilmen Describe Life of Fear Under Knights Templar
Councilmen from Michoacan have recounted life under a mayor who was in cahoots with Mexico's Knights Templar criminal...
Caribbean: Cocaine Trafficking Continues Rise Say US Officials
The proportion of drugs trafficked through the Caribbean has more than tripled in the space of five years, according to US...
India: Election Officials Seize Cash and Drugs Used To Buy Votes
Since March 5, Indian election officials have seized US$ 36 million, 2.7 million liters of alcohol, and 100 kilograms of heroin...
Former President Had Big Plans
By Kateryna Kapliuk, Slidstvo.info Would you like to stay in the Kyiv hotel of...
Ukraine: The "Family" Business of a Mezhygirya Contractor
By Maksym Opanasenko (Bureau of journalistic investigations “Svidomo”)...
Arkan, Bojović Associate Murdered
Rade Rakonjac, Arkan's murdered former bodyguard  By Stevan Dojčinović ,...
How Kurchenko's offshores worked
By Anna Babinets People who used to know young billionaire-in-exile Serhiy...
The Silent Looting of Russia
Dmitry Klyuev (left) and Andrei Pavlov (right) at an OSCE meeting in Monaco, in...
Hungarian Media Law Doomed
19 January 2011 By Tamás Bodoky The widely criticised new Hungarian...
Google is Not Your Friend
  The internet is a powerful tool in the service of investigative...

Bulgaria: Former Heating Company CEO Acquitted of Embezzlement

Monday, 18 June 2012 18:36
Print PDF

An indictment in a high profile corruption case has been reversed on judicial technicalities raising further questions about whether the Bulgarian justice system is working.

The former CEO of Sofia’s central heating company Toplofikazia, Valentin Dimitrov, was acquitted of charges of large-scale embezzlement on Friday by the Sofia Appellate Court. The new ruling revoked Dimitrov’s 2009 sentence for embezzling BGN6 million (US$3.87) from Toplofikazia.

Dimitrov was was originally sentenced to 14 years in prison, and all of his assets were to be confiscated. His sentence was revoked on technicalities because a panel of judges found irregularities in his first trial. This is the second time Dimitrov has had an indictment thrown out.

Dimitrov’s case is among several white collar crime cases which have shaken the confidence of the Bulgarian people in the country’s judiciary. Concerns over corruption in the Bulgarian law enforcement and judiciary are one of the main obstacles in the country’s efforts to fully integrate into the European Union.

Dimitrov was arrested in 2006 on charges of money laundering, embezzlement, tax evasion and currency fraud. He was released on bail after spending 10 months in prison. In 2008 Dimitrov was found guilty of failing to declare deals worth millions to the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB), and was sentenced by the Sofia Regional Court to five years in prison for violations of the currency law. But the Sofia City Court revoked the five year sentence in 2011. Further, in 2010, Dimitrov was sentenced to three years for abuse of office. Dimitrov’s current verdict is not final, and the prosecution can file an appeal with the Bulgarian Supreme Appellate Court.

Bulgaria is currently bracing for the European Union report on progress in Bulgaria, expected in August. In a June 13 interview for the Presa newspaper, the Bulgarian Prime Minister Boris Boykov rejected the predictions that the EU’s new report on Bulgaria will be damaging. He praised Bulgaria’s progress in the fight against corruption and organized crime – results that the European Union sees with less optimism.

 

 

 

Related Stories

Re:Baltica Completes Series on Latvian Health Care System
The Baltic Center for Investigative Journalism Re:Baltica, an OCCRP partner, has published the last installment in its series about the health care...
Trafficking and Terrorism: How Organized Crime Thrives on Passport Fraud
By Ana Baric Passport Stamps. Photo Credit: Flickr. Jon Rawlinson The March 7 disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines plane one hour into its flight...
Colombia: A Country Torn Between Peace and Corruption
By: Maria Virginia Olano In Colombia, it is no secret that laws and rules there can be bent and moved around, especially with a couple of bills in...
Press Persecution in Azerbaijan: Where Investigative Journalism Is “Espionage”
By Ana Baric Azerbaijan is maintaining its usual approach to press “freedom”: sponsoring pro-regime media and unapologetically repressing...
Venezuela: The Battle Against a Corrupt, Authoritarian State
By Maria Virginia Olano It was supposed to be the day Venezuela celebrates its young people. Instead, three students were killed, more than 70...