Bulgarian Ex-Prime Minister Boyko Borissov Detained for EU Fund Misuse

Bulgaria’s former prime minister and leader of the opposition GERB party, Boyko Borissov, was detained by police late Thursday as part of an operation linked to probes by the EU Public Prosecutor’s Office.

European Chief Prosecutor Laura Koevesi, who ended a two-day visit to Bulgaria earlier on Thursday, said her office has received a record-high number of complaints from Bulgaria and has opened 120 investigations.

“A large-scale law enforcement operation is underway in connection with 120 cases of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office in Bulgaria,” according to a ministry press release.

The ministry said the allegations were related to public tenders, agricultural subsidies, construction, and coronavirus recovery funds.

“Nobody is above the law,” Prime Minister Kiril Petkov said in a Facebook post.

Among those taken into custody were former Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov, the parliamentary budgetary commission chair, Menda Stoyanova, and Sevdalina Arnaudova, Borissov’s media adviser.

The arrests immediately followed a two-day visit to Sofia by European Chief Prosecutor Laura Koevesi.

“Now is the time for the relevant Bulgarian authorities to team up with us, including on particularly-sensitive cases,” Koevesi said as her visit came to an end on Thursday.

Bulgaria was ranked as the EU’s most corrupt member state by Transparency International and is yet to jail a senior official on graft charges.

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