news 29 Apr 13

New Bugging Scandal Hits Bulgaria Ex-PM

The release of a covert recording of former Prime Minister Boiko Borisov has intensified the continuing scandal over the bugging of top Bulgarian politicians.

Victor Kotsev
BIRN
Sofia

The latest in a series of covert tapes, which surfaced on Friday, was a recording of a conversation between Borisov, former agriculture minister Miroslav Naidenov and the capital’s chief prosecutor Nikolai Kokinov.

In the recording, the three men are heard discussing the latest findings in the eavesdropping scandal that has rocked the country over the past month, as well as the progress of a corruption investigation against Naidenov.

The meeting is believed to have taken place at Borisov’s home on April 15, shortly before the country’s prosecution service made public its initial findings on the eavesdropping allegations publicised by opposition Socialist leader Sergei Stanishev in late March.

“Something is happening in politics,” says Kokinov at one point, suggesting that GERB, the ruling party in Bulgaria until its resignation in February following widespread electricity protests, was fragmenting.

“I cannot understand who is who and who plays with whom,” he says.

The three men are also heard making insulting comments about prosecutors, subordinates and journalists.

Borisov claimed on Friday that “there is a parallel structure at work in the interior ministry and in the state, which is doing the wiretapping, and behind which are Stanishev and his people [from the Bulgarian Socialist Party]”.

The interior ministry said in a statement that it had no information about the recording.

Naidenov has alleged that police, probably on orders from former interior minister and current GERB election campaign chief Tsvetan Tsvetanov, had eavesdropped on the entire GERB cabinet while it was in office.

Although his comments were backed by other ministers, he was immediately expelled from GERB.

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