Skip to content

Ex-PM Boyko Borissov Detained by Police

GERB party leader and former prime minister Boyko Borissov has been detained by the police, the Interior Ministry reported on Thursday. 
A large-scale law enforcement operation is underway in connection with 120 cases of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) in Bulgaria, the press release said. 
Searches and seizures are being conducted at many locations. In addition to Borissov, the authorities also said they have detained his former finance minister Vladislav Goranov, former National Assembly Budget and Finance Committee chair Menda Stoyanova and GERB’s current Media Adviser Sevdalina Arnaudova. Stoyanova later told BTA that she is at home and is watching TV. 
Reactions – PM Petkov “Nobody is above the law,” Prime Minister Kiril Petkov wrote in a Facebook post later on Thursday, without giving any further details. 
National TV showed a crowd of GERB members and supporters gathered in front of Borissov’s home, chanting “Resignation!”. 
BNT reported around 22:30 that Borissov has been taken by police to the General Directorate National Police Directorate’s building in Sofia. GERB supporters and GERB-UDF MPs gathered around the building later in the evening. UDF leader Rumen Hristov was also there. 
Borissov’s lawyer Menko Menkov entered the building to see his client. Earlier he said that he was not aware why Borissov was detained. 
GERB’s national coordinator Nikola Nikolov told journalists that GERB have informed the leader of the European People’s Party (EPP), Manfred Weber, and EPP Secretary General Antonio López-Istúriz, about what is happening with Boyko Borissov and members of the party in Bulgaria.  
GERB MP and former health minister Kostadin Angelov called on all GERB supporters and Bulgarians who value democracy to come and protest Friday morning in front of the Council of Ministers’ building in Sofia. “We are talking about a peaceful protest and not a riot, we are a democratic party that upholds democratic values,” he told journalists in front of the National Police building, where Borissov was taken.  “Our only way out is to topple this Government as soon as possible and I am convinced that our members and supporters will respond to our call. We’re starting protests tomorrow,” said GERB-UDF Co-floor leader Toma Bikov, who was in front of Borissov’s home earlier in the evening.  
GERB MP Desislava Atanasova demanded Interior Minister Boyko Rashkov’s resignation. GERB MP Tsveta Karayancheva told BNT that her party has been the subject of repressions since the last parliamentary elections took place. GERB deputy leader Daniel Mitov said that Borissov has been searched late at nigh using Gestapo methods.
Prosecuting Magistracy
The Prosecutor General’s Spokesperson, Siyka Mileva, told bTV that as of Thursday evening, the Bulgarian  prosecuting magistracy has not been notified about the investigation of political figures. She said that the law provides for a 24-hour deadline for the prosecuting magistracy to be informed about urgent actions taken by the police, if these actions fall within the Bulgarian prosecuting magistracy’s competence. This is not the Bulgarian prosecuting magistracy being isolated, she explained. 
The police operation came after the second day of European Chief Prosecutor Laura Kövesi’s visit to Bulgaria, who said Wednesday that the Bulgarian Council of Ministers will be a contact point for EPPO. “This is a clear sign of a strong commitment at the highest level,” she said, noting that it is important that there is no monopoly in Bulgaria over the types of authorities that can alert the EPPO. Kövesi also said that EPPO has received a record-high number of complaints, based on which they have started over 120 investigations, which concern alerts about violations related to EU funds, public procurements, agricultural subsidies fraud in the construction sector and COVID-19 recovery funds.