Anti-Corruption Activist Placed under Police Protection after Receiving Threats
ESD 17:14:32 04-07-2020
106 HOME AFFAIRS - JOURNALIST - INVESTIGATION - SECURITY
Anti-Corruption Activist Placed
under Police Protection
after Receiving Threats
Sofia, July 4 (BTA) - Anti-corruption activist Nikolay Staykov has been placed under police protection by a prosecutorial order following threats against him and his family amid an investigation of corruption and theft involving high-ranking magistrates. This transpires from a statement by the Sofia prosecution office which they said was prompted by numerous media reports.
Staykov is a founding member of the Anti-Corruption Fund (ACF), an NGO exposing corruption in the high corridors of power.
The prosecution service says that "it has taken action with regards to public statements made by Staykov that because of his commitments as civil activist his home has been vandalized and he has received threatening phone calls."
"The prosecution service of the Republic of Bulgaria sees as its priority to ensure the freedom of speech as part of the rule of law,' the statement goes.
In late June, Stoyanov complained to the law-enforcing authorities that he received threatening phone calls (inquiring about various funeral services) and that eggs were thrown at his and his parents' homes after he tried to contact a lawyer and former investigation service chief exposed in ACF's business theft and corruption investigation. It appears that the authorities did not take any immediate action to probe the threats and protect Staykov.
On June 3, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) called on the Bulgarian authorities to conduct a thorough and independent probe into the threats and grant Staykov immediate police protection.
The prosecution service has already opened a probe into the facts revealed by the ACF as a result of their investigation. The investigation is based on the testimony of Ilia Zlatanov, founder and co-owner of elevator maker Izamet, who alleges that the prosecution service is involved in an attempt to take away his business worth millions of leva. The ACF tell of their investigation in a video entitled "The Eight Dwarfs" which they followed from the name of a Sofia restaurant where one of the protagonists in the investigation uses a backroom as an office. The first and second part of the video were released in late June and early July, and a third part is coming up. LN/