Bulgarian prosecutors charge former foreign minister in procurement case

Bulgarian prosecutors charge former foreign minister in procurement case
By bne IntelliNews May 10, 2017

Bulgaria's specialised anti-corruption unit has charged former Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov with violating the laws on public finance and public procurement, a notice on the prosecutor’s office said on May 9.

Mitov is one of several ministers from the right-wing Reformist Bloc - a former coalition partner of the ruling Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) - to be charged in recent months. New Prime Minister Boyko Borissov has pledged to continue the fight against corruption in Bulgaria, one of the most corrupt countries in the EU according to Transparency International. 

Mitov did not call a public procurement for air transport, hotel accommodation and health insurance for official trips by foreign ministry officials. Instead, he used a company the ministry of agriculture and food had selected through a public procurement procedure.

Prosecutors claim the foreign ministry suffered damages of BGN494,458 (€252,812) in additional money paid because the contractor allegedly did not fulfil its pricing offer. Previously, Mitov’s deputy Hristo Angelichin was also charged in the same case.

However, Mitov claims that the contractor returned the overpaid money to both ministries after a check, Dnevnik daily reported.

In the previous regular government, Daniel Mitov served as a cabinet member from the quota of the junior ruling coalition partner Reformist Bloc. This was the second government led by the centre-right GERB under Borissov. GERB’s third government, this time a coalition with the United Patriots, took office on May 4.

Previously, prosecutors have charged two other Reformist Bloc ministers in separate cases. On November 21, then outgoing Health Minister Petar Moskov was indicted over the exchange of vaccines between Bulgaria and Turkey. On January 16, the Sofia city prosecutor’s office filed an indictment with the Sofia city court against then outgoing Defence Minister Nikolay Nenchev over his alleged failure to ensure aviation safety and the airworthiness of Bulgarian fighter aircraft.

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