Bulgarian PM ‚exposed‘ by tapped phone conversations

 Fri, Jan 14 2011


The tapping scandal in Bulgaria is growing, generating serious criticism of Prime Minister Boiko Borissov, after the weekly Galeria newspaper published a new batch of recordings, on January 14 2011, ‚incriminating‘ Borissov.

During the phone conversation reported by Galeria, Borissov allegedly ordered Customs Agency head Vanyo Tanov to abstain from further investigation into a beer factory in the country, and its owner Misho Birata (Misho the Beer).

The tapping scandal was triggered by the release of three tapes, revealing conversations between Tanov, Finance Minister Simeon Dyankov and Deputy Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov, the report said.

During the dialogue, Borissov allegedly said „I have made commitments (to Misho) and I have promised him that I will not bother him. I will not bother him,“ the private television channel bTV reported.

The revelations prompted Order, Law and Justice party leader Yane Yanev to launch a scathing criticism of the Prime Minister, calling for his immediate resignation, the report said.

„Today (January 14) is the most shameful day for Bulgarian democracy since November 10,“ Yanev said.

„The only way for Bulgaria to be cured of this police paranoia is for Borissov’s Government to resign,“ he said.

„If the Prime Minister can order Vanyo Tanov about over the phone regarding some smuggling schemes, then what stops him from ordering Tsvetlin Yovchev to barge into people’s homes, and terrorising honest Bulgarian citizens?“ Yanev added, cited by bTV.

Blue Coalition leader Ivan Kostov has asked the Prosecutor General’s Office to investigate whether the alleged phone conversations between Borissov and Tanov are genuine.

According to Bulgarian media reports, Galeria weekly is a newspaper under the influence of Alexei Petrov, a former special agent of the State National Security Agency SANS, (currently under house arrest), who is also under investigation over organised crime, part of Operation Octopus.