Hristina Vasileva Atanasova in 2016 represented MRF before the CEC with a power of attorney from Mustafa Karadayi. At that time, she was a parliamentary assistant to a DPS MP. Two years later, and without any other experience in a responsible public position, the 36-year-old lawyer headed the key Conflict of Interest Directorate at KPKONPI.
Identifying Atanasova and her relationship with DPS proved to be a laborious task. She introduces herself by her second name Vassileva. She took as a surname the patronymic of her father Vasil Atanasov Mermekliev from Sliven.
Christina Vassileva has rarely appeared in public. Her name and position are known from a 2020 interview with the Conflict of Interest Directorate in the Monitor newspaper, which was then owned by lawmaker Delyan Peevski, sanctioned under the Magnitsky Act. She also appeared with a photo in an article in the 24 Hours newspaper about the interns in KPKONPI, to whom she read a lecture.
Born in 1982, Hristina Vasileva Atanasova registered with Bulstat as a junior lawyer in February 2010 and two years later was deleted with an application dated December 7, 2011. It is still public and contains many nines.
On the phone, she confirmed that she was a director of KPKONPI. “I left of my own free will,” she explained her current situation.
Atanassova did not want to answer specifically the question whether she had represented the MRF before the CEC with a power of attorney from Karadayi, but agreed that there was nothing wrong with that.
From junior lawyer, through DPS, to head of KPKONPI
It is not clear why Vassileva stopped her career as a lawyer. Three years after deregistering, she appeared as a part-time assistant in law in the 43rd National Assembly (2014 – 2017) of the former mayor of Sliven, MP and former deputy chairman of the MRF Yanko Yankov. He was a part-time employee of the DS.
No other legal professionals with such names are found, which is why it can be unequivocally claimed that the same person was an adviser to a DPS MP, a representative of the MRF before the CEC, and subsequently Director of Conflict of Interest at KPKONPI.
The scarce data on Hristina Vassileva’s professional development do not provide clarity on what competencies she has acquired to suddenly become director of a key directorate in the newly established in 2018 mega-agency KPKONPI. Unlike the commissioners, the directors of KPKONPI are not public persons and their biographies and property declarations are intradepartmental information.
The position in the Commission, occupied by the DPS affiliated Vassileva, is equivalent to the position of the famous former director of KPUKI Philip Zlatanov, in whose notebook there were instructions “to hit” and the initials DP, CC and BB. The notebook disappeared under mysterious circumstances, and the prosecution remade the DP into the surviving facsimiles of 10.
Soon after the establishment of KPKONPI, headed by Plamen Georgiev, the scandals “Apartmentgate” and “Mothers-in-law Houses” broke out. In both scandals there are elements of conflict of interest in empowered persons who have benefited from cheap apartments and houses with European funding.
Particularly telling is the fact that five guest houses in the village of Borino turned out to be relatives of MRF Chairman Mustafa Karadayi, but KPKONPI is not known to have launched a probe into the case.
Research and successful family business
While holding the directorship at KPKONPI, Atanasova defended her doctoral dissertation at ULSIT /on 23.03.2021. The topic of her work is “Conflict of interest in the context of national security” in the doctoral program “National Security”.
It is strange that in the library catalog of theses for the year of birth of Vassileva is indicated 1942, which may be either a technical error or a concealment of the true year of birth 1982 in order to make it difficult to identify the person.
After the defense in 2020, she appeared in public at an event at the “Sarai University” UNIBIT alongside her supervisor Stoyan Denchev, where she read a greeting from her boss Sotir Tsatsarov. Since then, she has been one of her rare photos in the public domain, fixed by a photographer of the Ministry of Interior.
Christina Vassileva’s family is wealthy. Hristina’s brother Atanas Vasilev Mermekliev and her father Vasil Atanasov Mermekliev run a successful business with the import of olives and olive oil, which developed in parallel with Hristina’s career. Their main company, Kalina Ltd., has increased its net sales revenue from BGN 1.2 million in 2014 to BGN 4.5 million in 2018, according to a report in Daxi.
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