Bulgarian prosecutors: Assenovgrad chief architect, businessman arrested in corruption probe

The Plovdiv Regional Prosecutor’s Office has ordered that Assenovgrad chief architect Kostadin Atanassov and businessman Mitkov Zahariev be held in 72-hour custody while a pre-trial investigation into corruption is underway, prosecutors said on May 20.

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The State Agency for National Security and economic crimes squad have begun an investigation into corruption at the municipality, which is home to a population of about 60 000, about 19km from Plovdiv.

It is alleged that Atanassov, whose post is the equivalent to that of a town planner, demanded a bribe of 8000 leva (about 4080 euro) from a manager of a branch of a joint-stock company and received the sum from Zahariev in order to give consent to a conceptual investment project.

If found guilty, on charges of extortion and abuse of office, Atanassov could face imprisonment of three to 10 years, a fine of up to 20 000 leva and deprivation of the right to occupy a state or public office.

Prosecutors said that Zahariev would face a charge of bribery. The penalty, if found guilty, is imprisonment for up to six years and a fine of up to 5000 leva.

The Sofia Globe
22 May 2017

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