A month after Veselin Denkov reported that a key witness in the case of the murder of Stanka Marangozova was blackmailing him, the Military District Prosecutor’s Office in Sofia accused him of being the guarantor of the murder. Marangozova was shot with three bullets in front of her home on October 11, 2019. Denkov has already been accused as a member of an OCG by the Specialized Prosecutor’s Office and, together with his life partner Ivayla Bakalova, made a series of revelations about pressure on businessmen by the prosecutor’s office and the executive branch, backed by hidden camera recordings. His lawyers believe that the new accusation is a retaliatory strike of the “behind the scenes” after the publications of the Anti-Corruption Fund, which received serious publicity.
From May last year until now, the prosecution pointed to Ivo Maslarov, stepson of former Social Minister Emilia Maslarova, as the engine of the crime. He is missing and wanted on an Interpol red notice. The case is being heard by military prosecutors because the NDF officer, Boris Ivanov, was detained for the crime. He is considered by the prosecution to be the organizer of the crime and Petar Kostov – the Glassblower – the perpetrator. According to sources close to the investigation, Glass made a full confession.
Our team investigated Marangozova’s murder long before authorities apprehended and charged the potential perpetrators. In 2019, we talked to Dinko Gerov, the man with whom the deceased lived on family terms. Then he hinted that he suspected a link between the assassination and Ivo Maslarov, who until now was considered by the prosecution to be the mastermind of this crime. We also contacted Ivo Maslarov, but he categorically refused to meet for an interview. Prior to the assassination, the man began losing civil lawsuits over Marangozova’s claims. He was convicted of unjust enrichment and must pay. Back then, we told you that the case on charges of racketeering against Denkov and Maslarov over Marangozova was returned several times by the court for further investigation and removal of defects in the indictment.
After several unsuccessful attempts, on August 11, 2021 the Military District Prosecutor’s Office in Sofia indicted Veselin Denkov as a principal and an accomplice in the murder of Stanka Marangozova. The third detainee, who was the only one subsequently left under the lighter measure of house arrest, is Ventsislav Pirov. He is believed to have first implicated his accomplices and to have been a police informer recruited while he was in prison. Veselin Denkov says that this person tried to blackmail him for money before testifying against him.
“On July 14, my acquaintances came to tell me that Ventsislav, for whom they used some adjectives – Black and Fat, I can’t think of the last name, had to make an agreement with the prosecution and part of his agreement was to perjure himself against me, and he had sent messengers to extort me and to give an amount that we didn’t reach, to give X amount so that he wouldn’t perjure himself against me. This happened on the 14th of last month, on the 15th I filed a formal report, a month before these things happen now.”
According to the prosecution materials, Ventsislav Pirov is the only witness against Denkov, the others are secret. He testified at the prosecutor’s office on July 16, a day after the report was filed with the Ministry of Interior. Without specifying what, Denkov claims there is evidence of the racketeering. Stoimen Chakalov, who is one of Denkov’s lawyers, says that the information about the signal was leaked to media close to Borisov and Peevski.
“Information has come out on certain yellow and brown websites about this alert, apparently leaked by operatives. The so-called middlemen of the blackmailers and perjurers simply covered up and communication broke down. Obviously information is filtered and released selectively to these so helpful media.
It is noteworthy that in the decree for the arrest of Veselin Denkov, the name of Ventsislav Pirov as his accomplice is missing. Apparently he is no longer among the accused. Apparently Pirov either entered into an agreement with the prosecution that was approved by the court, or it was a clerical error. But the second hypothesis is much less likely.
Denkov’s lawyers believe that this new accusation against their client is a retaliatory strike of the “behind the scenes in the prosecution”. According to them, the case against Denkov in the Specialized Criminal Court, where he is accused as a participant in the OCG, has hit a stone. There the accusation against him was based on the testimony of a witness who had heard that Denkov had given money to Ivaylo and Alexander Georgiev – the Piffs, who were accused of giving money for interest without being a licensed credit institution. The accusation of ordering the murder of Marangozova is defined by Chakalov as “Another trumped-up accusation, which comes almost two years after the details of the murder were made public. Even after the investigation itself is over, he’s suddenly thrust 91 minutes into this case. Apparently for his edification and apparently to shut him up for what he’s doing as revelations.”
After Veselin Denkov’s arrest, his life partner Ivayla Bakalova helped the Anti-Corruption Fund make a series of disclosures. With the help of a hidden camera, hidden and obvious witnesses, she revealed various schemes to pressure businessmen by the prosecution and the executive. The revelations received wide publicity.
On August tenth, although he is under house arrest, Veselin Denkov was brought in handcuffs to the building of the Military District Prosecutor’s Office. In fact, the Specialised Court of Appeal changed his measure to a cash bail of half a million, but Denkov refused to pay the large sum because his assets are seized by the KPMCI. This turned out to be the third unsuccessful attempt to charge him with Marangozova’s murder. Already on 11 September 2020 he was summoned by prosecutor Adalbert Krastev, but when his lawyers appeared before the military prosecution it turned out that a mistake had been made. According to Stoimen, the chronology is quite disturbing because it raises concerns that the prosecution tried to insure that Denkov would remain in custody. “Days after his detention on charges of participation in the OCG and only a day after the SCAF confirmed his detention measure “detention in custody” Denkov was summoned to the Military Prosecutor’s Office “apparently, as an insurance, if his detention is not confirmed by the Specialized Court of Appeal, to trigger plan B.”
The name of Adalbert Krastev has become notorious around the failure of the state prosecution in the investigation of the awarding of public contracts by the MMA with the signature of the former head of the hospital and former minister Nikolai Petrov to companies of his relatives. Then it turned out that Krastev as supervising prosecutor had to be removed because his wife was an expert in the Ministry of Health when Nikolai Petrov was the head of the department. In practice, the prosecutor’s wife was subordinate to the potential defendant Petrov. Subsequently, when Adalbert Zhivkov Krastev headed the Military District Prosecutor’s Office in Sofia, well-informed sources said he was Ivan Geshev’s personal choice.
Denkov, for his part, said that at the time they asked him for a 70 000 euro bribe not to detain him, but he did not pay it. “But even if I had paid them, they were prepared to detain me on September 11 because there was a summons from the military prosecutor’s office.”
Regarding the allegations of conflict between him and the late Marangozova Denkov commented that she had asked for a sum of money from him and he had transferred it by bank transfer, so it was returned to him. “I have nothing against her, I’m the person who has no motive because our financial relationship was settled way back in 2011 and on the profit I had from our deal I paid tax back in 2011”
Denkov was first questioned as a witness, then charged. Even after Marangozova’s death, the case failed to go to the merits. The latest hearings are postponed due to the absence of Ivo Maslarov, who is wanted on an Interpol red notice. Ivo Gerov, the man with whom Marangozova lives with, says that the accusation against Maslarov and Denkov was not easily handled by the special prosecutor’s office.
“The case was assigned to prosecutor Rosen Radev, who submitted an indictment in maybe a month or two. The indictment itself was full of inaccuracies, and the judge expectedly sent it back for correction. December 2018 again had open meetings. Prosecutor Radev corrected the act, but did not correct it completely. The judge brought it back.”
The indictment was filed once again, in “urgent order”, immediately after the murder, the next day. According to attorney Chakalov, the 30-page indictment in this case mentions Denkov in a single place in its circumstantial part, with an incorrectly conveyed quote that he changed fates in a negative sense. The prosecution’s case was based on this phrase. Denkov claims that after he was called as a witness in this investigation, he was pressured by the prosecution and the first blackmail attempts began.
“Since 2016 he has been blackmailing me through various intermediaries. That’s why I don’t trust the prosecution.”
At the end of August 2020 Denkov met with Sotir Tsatsarov to inform him that he was the subject of unregulated pressure and was threatened with the KPKONPI. He also filed a written report, but instead of starting work on his report, he himself was detained.
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