Prosecution Service Has Opened Pre-trial Procedure for Possible Offences in Construction of Border Fence

Prosecution Service Has Opened Pre-trial Procedure for Possible Offences in Construction of Border Fence

Sofia, February 21 (BTA) - The specialized prosecution office has opened a pre-trial procedure for an offence connected with the construction of the fence on the Bulgarian border with Turkey. In a statement for the press the prosecution service says that the probe was opened on December 19, 2017. A technical expert assessment is now expected to be made.

The statement comes a day after the Bulgarian Socialist Party slammed Prosecutor General Sotir Tsatsarov for refusing to show them a report by the State Agency for National Security (SANS) which they claim to contain conclusions about outrageous waste of money in the fence construction. Socialist leader Kornelia Ninova called the border fence "one of the biggest corruption deals of the GERB government".

The prosecution service says in its statement that it cannot give BSP the SANS report about the fence as disclosing the information in the report would seriously impede the ongoing pre-trial procedure.

It further says that on March 10, 2017, the specialized prosecution office opened a probe following an alert for violations of the rules in the construction of the border fence. The alert was submitted by MP Velizar Enchev who claimed that the border fence was being built by "companies of the Patriotic Front" coalition, the junior partner in the government of GERB, and that the fence was being built at inflated prices. As it probed the alert, prosecutors requested documents from the regional governors of Haskovo, Yambol and Bourgas, who were responsible for the fence design, construction and warrantee maintenance.

On March 28, the prosecution service also asked the State Financial Control Agency to audit the award of contracts for design, construction and maintenance of the fence. A month later, it also asked the State Agency for National Security to look into the allegations about corruption involving senior state officials. On June 9, an alert came by the Socialist party about irregularities in the fence construction, and that, too, was added to the probe.

SANS and the State Financial Control Agency completed their checks on August 10. After that the specialized prosecution carried out additional checks and questioned many people - and this was followed by the initiation of the said pre-trial proceedings.

The border fence project started under the Plamen Oresharski government and its construction has already absorbed nearly 200 million leva.

Source: Sofia