News 26 Apr 13

Bulgarian Ex-Interior Minister Faces Eavesdropping Claim

Members of former GERB government have accused Tsvetan Tsvetanov, the former interior minister and GERB's current election campaign chief, of eavesdropping on them.

Miroslav Naidenov, a former agriculture minister being investigated for corruption, said on Thursday that Tsvetan Tsvetanov, the former interior minister, had illegally eavesdropped on all members of the cabinet led by the Citizens for European Development, GERB, party.

He stated that the President Rosen Plevneliev, possibly former Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, and many other senior officials, were also eavesdropped.

Naidenov has accused Tsvetanov of spying in order to blackmail ministers and eliminate those were close to Borisov.

Within hours, another former GERB minister, Traicho Traikov, who was in charge of the economy until 2012, supported Naidenov’s words.

On the same day, the Sofia City Prosecutor took Naidenov's testimony and placed him under watch, stating that his life might be in danger.

Tsvetanov, the former GERB interior minister, is now the election campaign manager of GERB, the party that ruled from 2009 to 2013.

The cabinet of Prime Minister Borisov resigned on February 20, following unprecedented street protests against high utility bills, monopolies, poverty, economic stagnation, corruption, and the political model of ruling the country.

Early elections are scheduled for May 12.

On Wednesday, the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs at the European Parliament postponed until May 6 a decision on whether to include the wiretapping scandal on its agenda.

The eavesdropping case came into a spotlight a month ago when the Bulgarian opposition Socialist leader, Sergei Stanishev, publicised the anonymous claim that triggered the investigation.

On April 24, Bulgaria charged four officials of the police's Specialised Directorate Technical Operations with abuse of power and obstruction of justice in connection to eavesdropping.

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