Two women magistrates - Teodora Georgieva and Elena Popova - the first one- Bulgarian representative in the European Public Prosecutor's Office in Luxembourg, and the second - a European delegated prosecutor, caused the first major scandal in the new European anti-fraud structure.

The reason - inadmissible political interference in the investigations of EU magistrates and abuse of the name of European Prosecutor General Laura Coveschi, who was in Sofia hours before the arrest of former Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, former Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov and former head of the government's press center Sevdalina Arnaudova.

Teodora Georgieva - in a conflict of interest

It was Teodora Georgieva, elected representative of Bulgaria in the European Public Prosecutor's Office, who implicated the name of her head Laura Koveshi in the information initially disseminated by the Ministry of Interior about the detention of the three persons. 

Kövesi learned of this while traveling to Kyiv, where he met with Ukrainian Prosecutor General Irina Venediktova on Friday. After an immediate reaction from the European Public Prosecutor's Office while the homes of Borisov, Goranov and Arnaudova were being searched, the Interior Ministry was forced to delete his own announcement binding the arrest of the three to 120 cases, supervised by European delegated prosecutors.

Teodora Georgieva accompanied Laura Kövesi on her visit to Sofia last week, although this was not made public by the hosts, the cabinet of Prime Minister Kiril Petkov.

The reason is that there is an inadmissible conflict of interest between the Bulgarian representative in the European Public Prosecutor's Office and a member of the Bulgarian government appointed by order of the Prime Minister.

Teodora Georgieva is the wife of businessman Vasil Georgiev, appointed as Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs with the signature of Kiril Petkov.

Among the basic powers of European prosecutors is to investigate misuse of European funds committed by representatives of the Executive and other national authorities. In other words, Teodora Georgieva has access to information about all the investigations that Laura Koveshi institution is conducting against representatives of the Bulgarian government, part of which is her husband.

Vasil Georgiev has a minimum of experience as a Bulgarian diplomat in neighboring Turkey. He had been a customs officer in the past, but left the Customs Agency after an investigation related to gold import from neighboring Turkey. He entered politics a year ago, when he was twice elected MP from "There are such people". 

The conflict of interest of Teodora Georgieva is just one of the reasons that make it very likely to be revoked from Luxembourg soon. The other reason is related to the illegal disclosure of information by the Bulgarian Ministry of Interior for a pending investigation, conducted by one of the nine European delegated prosecutors nominated by Bulgaria.

Under Georgieva's influence, inadmissible pressure was exerted on representatives of the European Public Prosecutor's Office in Bulgaria. One of them, Elena Popova, a former judge at the Specialized Criminal Court, agreed to launch an investigation against former Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, former Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov and GERB PR Sevdalina Arnaudova. 

This happened, although no evidence had been found so far of misuse of European funds, VAT fraud or other criminal activity, which, by regulation, should be investigated by the European Public Prosecutor's Office.

It turns out that Popova even conducted an unregulated interrogation of Vasil Bozhkov, who was hiding in Dubai, via a Skype connection, in which he said that he had given bribes to former rulers from GERB. 

Popova also agreed to work with two police chiefs personally introduced to her by the Minister of Interior - the Director of the National Police, Ventsislav Kirchev, and his Deputy, Angel Dulev. Boyko Rashkov himself admitted on Friday night that the "special team" would work on the government's political orders.

Violating the Regulation on the Functioning of the European Public Prosecutor's Office, Prosecutor Elena Popova coordinated the investigative actions not only with the police chiefs, but even with Minister of Interior Boyko Rashkov and Prime Minister Kiril Petkov.

At Friday's briefing, which began at 11.30 pm at the Council of Ministers, Rashkov himself said that the investigating police officers who led the case against Borisov, Goranov and Arnaudova in the General Directorate “National Police” were in the prime minister's office.

This completely impairs the investigation, because a day earlier Kiril Petkov testified as a witness at the same place, before the same investigating police officers.

However, judicial reporters covering the midnight briefing of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Interior also recognized in the Council of Ministers the former judge from the Specialized court Elena Popova, who is currently a European delegated prosecutor. Popova's presence in the prime minister's office makes the investigation of the European Public Prosecutor's Office null and void, because it has been obviously put under inadmissible political pressure.

Report by Asen Vassilev - the scheme by which Borisov, Goranov and Arnaudova - "sent" to Koveshi, their arrest - because of fears of Kiril Petkov

According to Kiril Petkov himself, after the government abruptly and without reason had canceled its meeting, the Prime Minister, along with Boyko Rashkov and Asen Vassilev, came together to think of the scheme how to detain Borisov. 

With the involvement of the already listed Bulgarian representatives in the European Public Prosecutor's Office, it was decided that the investigation of Koveshi's people against Borisov, Goranov and Arnaudova could be fabricated on the basis of an analysis by Finance Minister Asen Vassilev.

According to the analysis of the Executive Agency "Audit of EU Funds" and the National Fund Directorate at the Ministry of Finance, there were systematic deficits in the management and control of EU funds during the period when Goranov was a Minister of finance.

In addition, a report of the Financial Control Agency, requested by the Specialized Prosecutor's Office, was commented on, which in 2021 established damages of over a half billion BGN from uncollected gambling revenues. Motives of this kind, however, can hardly prove the existence of a causal link between separate events and be the reason for any kind of criminal prosecution, maintained lawyers who were consulted by Trud. 

However, Asen Vassilev, Boyko Rashkov and Kiril Petkov decided that the Prime Minister testifies before investigating police officers, who, without any logical link, related the media allegations of Vasil Bozhkov that he was blackmailed by Borisov, Goranov and Arnaudova to a report from an executive agency and directorate subordinated to Minister of Finance.

Petkov's fears before the investigating police officers, who took his testimony in the presence of the political leader of the Ministry of Interior, namely Minister Rashkov, that if the allegations made by Vasil Bozhkov in the media turn out to be true, this leads to the assumption that Vladislav Goranov was involved in corruption, the Public Financial Inspection Agency report may be a sign that there is a risk that such actions are related to the control in the Executive Agency Audit of European Union Funds  and National Fond Directorate within  the Ministry of Finance. 

After listing these allegations, the trio - Vasilev, Rashkov and Petkov decided that in order to immediately arrest Borisov, ie. "as a matter of urgency", the Prime Minister should express his fears that if the affected persons obtain information about these new events (report of two state institutions that do not have any classified information - ed.note) there is a risk that they could potentially affect to the objective investigation and to make it difficult to reveal the objective truth, through potential destruction or concealment of property and documents, as well as to influence witnesses.
Because of these fears of the fearless Kiril Petkov, Rashkov sent civilian police to arrest the former prime minister.

In fact, Kiril Petkov can be brought to justice for this accusation by the victims in private law, but it is a fact that as a public official he can be prosecuted for breach of trust. 

With regard to the two ladies - magistrates, who in unseen by the standards of the European institutions way, involved the European Prosecutor General Laura Kövesi and the European Public Prosecutor's Office in a spectacular political scandal involving a person sanctioned by the American Magnitsky Act, the least that may happen to Teodora Georgieva and Elena Popova is to be immediately removed from their posts.

Moreover, for Teodora Georgieva in February 2021the European Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) has raised the issue of how national representatives in the European Public Prosecutor's Office are nominated in three countries - Bulgaria, Belgium and Portugal.