Tzvetan Vassilev Asks Specialized Court to Terminate Corpbank Siphoning Case

Tzvetan Vassilev Asks Specialized Court to Terminate Corpbank Siphoning Case

Sofia, February 28 (BTA) - The Specialized Criminal Court on Wednesday proceeded with its dispositive session in the high-profile Corpbank case.

During the hearing, the defence of principal defendant Tzvetan Vassilev read a letter from their client who asked the court to terminate the case and to organize a new investigation into the organized plundering of the bank after its closure.

Vassilev categorically denies the charges brought against him and insists that he has by no means misappropriate money from the bank and has not led a criminal organization.

According to the banker, the people culpable of the "organized plundering" of the private bank after its closure on June 20, 2014 must be brought to trial. Vassilev identifies these people as "a squalling media tycoon and the boss of the indictment submitters," apparently referring to his former business partner Delyan Peevski and Prosecutor General Sotir Tsatsarov.

Vassilev is on trial for forming and leading a criminal group allegedly responsible for embezzling some 2,559 million leva from the bank, plus a total of 146 other criminal offences. He left Bulgaria in 2014, before the Bulgarian authorities issued a warrant for his arrest. On September 16, 2014, he surrendered to the Serbian authorities in Belgrade and was released on a recognizance not to leave. Since then, he has been fighting an extradition request from Bulgaria.

Corpbank, then Bulgaria's fourth biggest lender, suspended all operations on June 21, 2014 after a run by depositors left it illiquid. The Bulgarian National Bank Governing Council withdrew Corpbank's banking licence, effective November 6, 2014. The court declared the bank bankrupt on April 22, 2015. Its insolvency date was set at June 21, 2014.

Source: Sofia