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Petition to the European Commission, OLAF, Europol: Stop the theft of EU funds in Bulgaria

2018.09.25 Няма коментари

Please withdraw your confidence from the Bulgarian law enforcement authorities and stop the theft of European Union (EU) funds in Bulgaria*

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Open Letter

To the attention of

Mr Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission

Mr Ville Itälä, Director-General of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF)

Ms Catherine De Bolle, Executive Director of Europol

Mr Ladislav Hamran, President of Eurojust

Dear ladies and gentlemen,

The occasion to address you with this open letter is the grotesque failure of the Bulgarian law enforcement authorities that detained investigative journalists while they were working to uncover corrupt practices – bribery, manipulation of public procurement and abuse of European funds.

The Bulgarian site for investigative journalism, Bivol, and its partner from the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), Rise Romania, recently published an investigation revealing the schemes for abuse of EU funds in projects for BGN hundreds of millions – the so-called scandal #GPGate.

After the publication, the journalists were tipped off that destruction of documents related to these projects was underway. The competent authorities were informed promptly, nevertheless, they did nothing to stop the destruction of evidence which lasted more than 24 hours.

Eventually, two journalists – Dimitar Stoyanov from Bivol and Attila Biro from Rise Romania, were illegally detained by the authorities while trying to salvage said documents from being burned and destroyed.

This unacceptable violation of the rights of European citizens and journalists investigating corruption and abuses in behalf of public interest is a strong demonstration of the side taken by the Bulgarian law enforcement authorities as they assist and provide cover-up for the destruction of evidence of serious corruption.

Despite the international scandal, to date the Bulgarian Prosecutor’s Office has not shown any interest in the published documents and evidence and any intent to probe them.

With this petition, we urge the European Commission and its law enforcement services:

– to withdraw confidence from the Bulgarian partner services – the Prosecutor’s Office, the State Agency for National Security (DANS) and the Interior Ministry over their systematic refusal to investigate large-scale corruption with EU funds.

– to launch a European probe into the evidence of serious corruption – bribery, manipulated public procurement, fraud with project costs that have been published in the GPGate investigation.

– to freeze all European funds and payments for Bulgaria until the final results of this probe are known.

We believe that the measures listed above are absolutely necessary in order to end once and for all the drain of billions from the European budget, which generates massive corruption, leads to human casualties due to poor construction and sustains the mafia structure of the captured state with a dependent judiciary.

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* The Petition, which has already been signed by more than 6200 people, can be supported HERE.

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