Sofia Prosecutor's Office to Investigate Tape Scandal

Sofia Prosecutor's Office to Investigate Tape Scandal

The Sofia City Prosecutor's Office has started pre-trial proceedings regarding the tapes of discrediting conversations between key Bulgarian political personalities.

Three tapes of conversations between the Director of the Customs Agency, Gen. Vanyo Tanov and his superiors - Finance Minister, Simeon Djankov, and Deputy Finance Minister, Vladislav Goranov - were released at a news conference Wednesday by the Galeria weekly. The full transcripts of the tapes reveal a wide-ranging conflict between Djankov and Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov, as well as pressure on part of Tsvetanov on Customs Agency Director Vanyo Tanov, who complains that Tsvetanov and the Interior were forcing him and his staff not to check on potential abuses by certain large companies, and to focus instead on others.

The Chief Prosecutor, Steliana Kozhuharova, announced Thursday that the investigation will focus on where the tapes have come from instead of the information they contain.

The investigation has been assigned to the National Investigative Service. It will be established whether the tapes were a result of special surveillance devices or of private records," Kozhuharova said.

She pointed out that the tapes did not leak from the Prosecutor's Office because there have not been such tapes there until now.

The Chief Prosecutor also noted that the pre-trial proceedings were not started against the Galeria weekly, but against an unknown perpetrator.

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