The Sofia City Court (SCC) returned to the Sofia City Prosecution Office (SCPO) a case against former deputy prime minister and finance minister Simeon Djankov, former economy and energy minister Traicho Traikov, Bulbrokers owner Ivo Prokopiev, and Peter Vassilev, Lyubomir Evstatiev and Radoslav Rachev of Bulbrokers, the SCC press office reported on Monday. The case was returned in order for the prosecution to remedy "substantial irregularities" in it.
The six defendants are charged in connection with the 2011 sale of a 33 per cent residual state-owned shareholding in EVN Electricity Distribution and EVN Electricity Supply. According to the prosecution case, the sale inflicted a 20 million leva loss on the public purse.
Traikov is charged with wilful mismanagement. Djankov is charged with malfeasance in office for ordering the executive director of the Privatization and Post-privatization Control Agency to award the appraisal of the EVN stake to Bulbrokers EAD in order to give the investment intermediary an undue benefit of about 1.3 million leva. Bulbrokers owner Prokopiev is charged with acting as Djankov's accomplice and aider in committing the malfeasance in connection with the privatization sale. Bulbrokers acted as an agent for both the seller and the buyer and appraised the EVN stake at 1,600 leva per share, far below the price that it could fetch, the indictment argues.
In his reasoning for returning the case to the prosecution, the reporting judge at the SCC pointed to a lack of concreteness in the charges against Traikov and in the accusation that Rachev, Evstatiev and Vassilev acted in complicity. With regard to Ivo Prokopiev and Simeon Djankov, the prosecution failed to provide facts leading to the conclusion that their aim was to give Bulbrokers an undue benefit of 1,276,619 leva under a brokerage contract, the judge said. No facts were cited to show that Prokopiev and Djankov, too, acted in complicity, he added.
Moreover, the indictment is vague about how the alleged damages to the state were calculated, who inflicted them (and how), and what facts warrant such a conclusion, the judge argued.