On March 4, the Supreme Administrative Court put
to the Alexander Manolev saga, at least as far as his personal mother-in-law house is concerned. With a final and unappealable decision, the Supreme Administrative Court revoked the 100% sanction imposed by the SFA on the luxury house near Sandanski, built by the prominent gerber Manolev and used for personal needs. BIVOL described the previous episodes of the saga in its
in September 2021. With the decision of the Supreme Administrative Court of March 4, the house finally remains Manolev’s, and the state will not collect back 200,000 euros of European funds, the amount of the financial correction overturned by the court. Which, however, is a serious problem, as far as these funds, as proven abuse, are subject to return to the European budget. That is, now this money the Bulgarian taxpayer will have to pay it out of pocket.
In May 2021, the ACSC
the SFA sanction with extensive and reasoned motives. Generally speaking, the SFA should have imposed a “financial correction” measure under the European Structural and Investment Funds Management Act (ZUSESIF) instead of issuing an APSA under the TSSPC. This is also an independent and sufficient reason for the correction to fall in court. Thus, the case came to cassation on a complaint of the SFA. Already before the Supreme Administrative Court in February the Prosecutor’s Office, in the face of Proc. Achakanova, disputes the cassation complaint of the SFA. That is, it takes Manolev’s side, figuratively speaking. The prosecutor emphasized on the main omission of the SFA – there is a special order, which is also a stronger reason for issuing a sanitation under the ZUSESIF. In this situation, it is a significant violation of the substantive SFA law to refer to the TSSPC under the general procedure. The Court adopts this logic and rules accordingly. Thus, now the SFA will have to pay Manolev over BGN 16,000 in court costs – 10,000 for the first instance, plus another 6,000 for the second instance. Just wonderful, isn’t it? And this for a person who was sanctioned under the global Magnitsky Act in June 2021 as part of the largest sanction measure in the history of this law!!
Before the publication of this material, we addressed questions to the SFA and even to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food to find out what they plan to do about the Manolev case. From their answers we learned that the SFA intends to issue a new financial correction, taking into account the motives of the Supreme Administrative Court. God forbid that be true. Which means, however, new appeals, new cases, new court costs… In a nutshell, the final decision on the case with Manolev’s European house is obviously postponed by at least another 2-3 years ahead of time.
WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER CASES?
back in January, many other lawsuits filed by the SFA have a similar fate – and there are hundreds of them. We briefly recall the main thing:
- SFA has lost (so far) cases with joint material interest at least BGN 6 million
- in these cases, the SFA was ordered to pay about BGN 200,000 in costs (not counting Manolev’s case above)
It seems that a somewhat contradictory practice has formed in the Supreme Administrative Court regarding whether these corrections should be imposed under the TSSPC or under the ZUSESIF. The SFA has requested the initiation of an interpretative case to solve this problem. It is worth saying, however, that the interpretative cases in the Supreme Administrative Court usually take years (and not one-and-two). That is, it would further stall pending cases. It seems, however, that the head of the Supreme Administrative Court, Georgi Cholakov (more about him
) has refused to initiate such a case because the controversial practice “has already been overcome”. It is not clear what this means, so long as decisions rendered in the “wrong” order are not subject to reversal and review. Either way, if we follow the logic of Cholakov and the SFA, now the Fund will have to impose a new pleaad of adjustments, already under the order of ZUSESIF. That is, for each correction under the procedure of the TSSPC, repealed by the Supreme Administrative Court, the SFA will now have to impose a new one under the special procedure of the ZUSESIF. Then there will be new appeals, new cases in two instances, new thousands of levs expenses for expertise, fees and so on. Until the second coming.
Meanwhile, the European Commission
Bulgaria to recover nearly 30 million euros of illegally absorbed funds under the RDP, i.e. for mother-in-law. Apparently, inspections appointed at OLAF’s request found 88% irregularities – which is a European record under this programme. That is, Bulgaria is again famous, but still not with good. The big problem, however, is that the SFA has not yet collected a small part of this amount, for the reasons mentioned above. That is, all of us will now have to pay these 30 million euros out of pocket , hoping that at some future unclear moment the SFA will be able to win the second wave of cases that are to come, respectively to collect its money. Another issue is that, as is often the case, at that distant time in the future there may be nothing left to collect, as the offending companies will have long been “cleared” of assets and will already be hollow, thatched shells. There is no information about what exactly the SFA is doing to ensure that even in a favorable court development, it will be able to collect its money. That is, there is no evidence of distraints, precautionary measures, etc. There is also the issue of the limitation period, which is five years. It turned out that it had expired while the first portion of cases was going on – and the SFA’s rights to do anything in the meantime were time-barred.
THE BIG MISSING IN THE EQUATION – THE PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE
During the discussion in the European Parliament on March 14, a number of MEPs – including Andrey Novakov from GERB – said they expected the dodgers to bear their own legal responsibility. However, we would reply: “nerde Yambol, nerde Istanbul”. These dodgers (such as Novakov’s colleague A. Manolev) have not even borne their financial responsibility yet, and what about the judiciary?! Not to mention the judicial responsibility of the depessary Eurodeputt (with apologies) Atidzhe Veli, whose signature stands in a central place under documents that made the scheme “houses for mothers-in-law” possible.
Either way, the prosecution’s cases in the case are literally nowhere – or as BIRD
a year ago – two cases and two agreements is the result of Geshev’s special supervision of the mother-in-law. And in the cases that are in court, the prosecution is far from performing well. As a recent example, we will give a case in which the Court of Appeal Plovdiv
an acquittal on February 21st. That is, the prosecution works here again on the principle “we owe actions, not results”. Genius, isn’t it?!? Why do we need such a prosecutor’s office – we might ask? Just to pick up smoke and körfischeks? Just so that her Chief can splash in front of the media for a reason and for no reason? Or if in GERB the situation was “visible results”, then in the making-of-crazy-with-Boyko Ivan Geshev obviously the situation is “no results“. Which is obvious and his belief. In this line of thought, we should add that the criminal case against Manolev, which has been quietly cycling in Blagoevgrad for three years now, is also nowhere. After 15 meetings, heaps of expertise, witnesses and whatever else you can think of. The prosecutor in this case is Vesela Stoilova, who was also elected Deputy District Prosecutor of Blagoevgrad. To what extent Mrs. Stoilova is trying in this case, we hope to find out from the verdict. That is, on the result – which, according to Prosecutor Chief Geshev, is not important at all.
THE CONPIRATE V. MANOLEV
And if the Geshev Prosecutor’s Office cannot boast of “visible results” against Manolev, even more deplorable is the situation with Tsatsar’s conpirate – i.e. with KPKONPI. Tsatsarov finally lost the conflict of interest case against Manolev. At first instance, the ACSC ruled that KPKONPI had not coped with the burden of proof, generally speaking. And that it has failed to prove the prerequisites required by law for there to be a conflict of interest. An appeal to the Supreme Administrative Court followed, where prosecutor Taralanski pleaded in favor of KPKONPI and requested the annulment of the decision of the Sofia City Council. On April 6, however, the court issued a final judgment in favor of Manolev.
You are motivated as follows. KPKONPI claims that Manolev has carried out actions for personal benefit (read, to procure a personal house-mother-in-law) in the period 2011-2016. At the same time, however, Manolev became Deputy Minister and member of the SFA Board in 2017. That is, he did not really have a way to influence the decisions of the SFA in a period when he was not a leading cadre there. However, whether there were any other, unregulated and invisible channels of influence is not clear. And even if there was, obviously KPKONPI has not been able to prove them. In the mass case, we would say, it is enough to be a prominent gerbera. Even on this ground alone, SFA officials know how to “proceed”. Especially with footage like Atidzhe Velli.
Next, the Supreme Court judges point out that all economic relations between Manolev and his nanny Ana Dimitrova have developed and been formalized (in contracts, etc.) before the appointment of Manolev as Deputy Minister in 2017. This is therefore another reason why he could not have acted in the private interest for the purpose of obtaining a benefit for himself. Which is another argument the cassation appeal of the Tsatsarov Commission to be rejected. Pitot — paid. Especially when we add a total of over BGN 7,000 in court costs and lawyers’ fees, which KPKONPI will now have to pay. To treat Menko Menkov – a lawyer on duty for all troubled gerberas like Manolev. And lately – Vladi, Sevi and Boyko. For his other clients, even if we don’t talk.
So this is another black dot on Tsatsarov’s lapel. In fact, it is no longer right to say Tsatsarov, as far as this “national treasure” (according to GERB) nimbly took shelter back in the Supreme Cassation Prosecutor’s Office – in order to precede his upcoming dismissal. And it is rather right to talk about his successor Anton Slavchev, who, in turn, once acquired the nickname Tony Balconi – after he in turn found himself
in a property scandal. Namely, in the notorious Apartmentgate. So we have yet to see more of the same – at least until KPKONPI is closed in its current form – as Slavchev closely and uncritically followed the “party line” set by Tsatsarov. Besides, judging by his hearing in the National Assembly on March 10, he continues to follow it – even after Tsatsarov “softly landed” back in
Supreme Cassation Prosecutor’s Office. But already as a subordinate of his former subordinate Ivan Geshev.
At the same time,
it turned out
that a new, 9th (“Normative”) department in the Supreme Cassation Prosecutor’s Office was created especially for Tsatsarov, which he could head. Obviously, in the future, Tsatsarov will deal with “rulemaking” (whatever that means) – but he will not do real prosecutorial work. In other words, it will not exercise instance control over the acts of the lower prosecutors. Which, in the end, is understandable, as Tsatsarov has always worked as a judge – but never as a prosecutor. Apparently, this “national treasure” deserves a new department made specifically for it. Which is unprecedented in the history and structure of the Supreme Cassation Prosecutor’s Office. But Tsatsarov himself is unprecedented, after all. What is more worrying, however, is that Tsatsarov quickly
one of the architects of the mass wiretaps in 2020 – the fired valuable cadre Stefcho Bankov, former head of the Internal Security (SJC) at the Ministry of Interior. This vividly and unequivocally illustrates the warm connection between the PRB and the Mladen-Marinova-Ministry of Interior – and once again proves that it was the Prosecutor’s Office in the face of Geshev that wanted (and received) the mass applications of SSDs against protesting citizens, acting through the Armed Forces of
Ministry of Interior, DATO and SANS. Like Tsatsarov, deserving heroes such as Stefcho should be employed as a reward for faithful service. How exactly you work as a prosecutor’s assistant in the Supreme Prosecutor’s Office of Cassation with a diploma from the SWU is not clear. No wonder there are no other legal leaders from the SWU in the Supreme Cassation Prosecutor’s Office so that Stefcho will be the only one. When we say faithful service, however, we do not speak to the people. Ooo, no, this is the service of Dogan, Peevski and Borisov. And to all the evil, rotten and pathological in the state that this toxic Holy Trinity represents.
Щом сте стигнали дотук, вероятно вече си задавате въпроса как се финансира този журналистически проект.
От създаването си BIRD се финансираше от подаяния в нашето журналистическо чекмедже.
Но на чекмеджето му мина времето. Даже прокуратурата затвори онова Чекмедже, знаете кое…
Нашето финансиране влиза в крак с епохата. Фондонабиращата ни кампания вече се казва
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Мятай, за да ги накажеш ти. Да дариш за разследващите журналисти е гаранция, че гадостите, с които силните на деня те замерят, ще им се върнат.
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