Former agriculture minister from the ethnically Turkish party Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) Nihat Kabil has been charged with orchestrating illegal land swops while in office, Bulgarian National Television (BNT) reported.
The prosecution accused Kabil of tailoring a deal with 120ha of forests, while manipulating the actual value of the land in the appraisal, which resulted in the state losing about 115 million leva.
Allegedly, the deals were conducted in 2007. Kabil has denied any such allegations, insisting that he is innocent. But the authorities ordered him to pay 50 000 leva bail to avoid jail, which the former minister said was a sum he could not afford. He has subsequently appealed to have the bail reduced.
The investigation around the alleged land swaps was launched during an internal inspection by the Agriculture Ministry.