Why was the case for Belene NPP filed without noise, and a former minister is now without charge?

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On February 8, the Prosecutor’s Office issued a press release stating that they had filed with the Specialized Criminal Court criminal proceedings of 546 volumes for unregulated management of hazardous waste against 6 persons identified by their respective initials. The media immediately spread the information that it was an investigation against the Bobokovi brothers, and the next day the case was publicly distributed to the Specialized Court, reminded by the Anti-Corruption Fund.

It is an interesting fact that according to the online record keeping system of the Specialized Criminal Court, on the same date another case was filed and it received the number 246/2021, from 349 volumes for mismanagement in especially large amounts, which is a particularly serious case. However, the state prosecution did not send any press release about him. The indictment is based on a file of the „Specialized“ department of the Sofia City Prosecutor’s Office and regarding the initials of the four accused persons R.S.О., P.V.D., M.V.P and L.М.V. it can be concluded that this is the investigation into the Belene NPP case. This is one of the 40 most significant investigations into alleged high-level corruption that the Anti-Corruption Fund described in its 2020 Annual Monitoring Report.

The representatives of the fund also reminded that in 2016 Sofia City Prosecutor’s Office announced that it had brought in three former ministers – Delyan Dobrev, Rumen Ovcharov and Petar Dimitrov, and two former executive directors of NEK – Mardik, as accused of mismanagement around the Belene NPP project. Papazyan and Lubomir Velkov. The alleged damage to the state amounts to an impressive sum of over BGN 500,000,000. No information on the progress of the investigation has been published since 2016. No data were provided to the Fund after two inquiries by them for the purposes of preparing their annual monitoring report.

It remains unclear why, despite the great public interest in this case, he was treated differently, for example, by the Bobokovi case, which was filed with the Specialized Court on the same day, February 8 – and the institutions did not fail to inform the public. The other important question is what happened to the accusation against the former minister Delyan Dobrev, also accused in the case with Belene NPP? The reference in the court system shows that a person with his initials has not been brought to court in this case.

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