Socialist Party Lobbies International Support for MP/Journalist Yoncheva as She Faces Money Laundering Charges
105 - POLITICS - MP - CHARGES - DEFENCE - CAMPAIGN
Socialist Party Lobbies International
Support for MP/Journalist Yoncheva
as She Faces Money Laundering Charges
Sofia, January 25 (BTA) - The Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) has started lobbying international support for journalist-turn-MP Elena Yoncheva after she was charged with money laundering. This transpired from a declaration BSP leader Kornelia Ninova read out in Parliament on Friday.
The Socialist MPs vowed support for their fellow group member Yoncheva right after the specialized prosecution press charges against her on January 23. The prosecutors claim that in 2012 Yoncheva converted 333,000 euro credited to two accounts with the Corporate Commercial Bank (Corpbank) to personal property, knowing that the funds had been embezzled. Two years after the alleged transaction, Corpbank collapsed taking with it billions of leva in depositors' money. Its majority owner and now fugitive, Tsvetan Vassilev, is being tried in absentia.
Ninova said that they are sending out letters to the EU embassies in Sofia, to the International Federation of Journalists, the European Federation of Journalists and Reporters without Borders.
She pointed out that Corpbank went down in 2014 and in 2017 prosecutor Ivan Geshev said that they have uncovered secret connections of politicians who had received unlawfully money in cash on Tsvetan Vassilev's orders. "To this day, no such politician has been publicly named and investigated. What they did is press money laundering charges against Elena Yoncheva," said she.
She also said that for five years Yoncheva has never been questions in the Corpbank case and nobody has ever heard her name mentioned in connection with the Corpbank investigation.
Ninova said that this is a political case - not criminal, and it punishes Yoncheva for her courage to bring to light high-level theft and corruption in Bulgaria. She mentions several cases which Yoncheva has exposed: irregularities in the financing and construction of a border fence on the border with Turkey, a nepotism scandal in the southern town of Haskovo involving GERB MP Delyan Dobrev and shoddy road construction, as well as "her investigation into the Barcelona house of a politician, and then winning a libel court against him".
Ninova was referring here to Prime Minister Boyko Borissov.
She said that the executive branch is using the judiciary for political repressions.
After she was done reading the declaration, Alexander Ivanov of GERB said that Ninova had just violated the division of powers set out in the Bulgarian Constitution. LN/