The State-Mafia simbyosis in Bulgaria
of the hearing of gen. Vanyo Tanov, ex director of the „Fight against organized Crime” State Directorate before the Parliamentary Commission for Interior Security and Public Peace on March 26 2008
General Vanyo Tanov,
ex director of the „Fight against organized Crime” State Directorate
The following text is from the bulgarian weekly newspaper "Kapital" April 12 2008
On the next pages you’ll find a very attractive reading – the conversation held in the Parliamentary Commission for Interior Security and Public Peace on March 26, the current year. This was the beginning of the scandal in the Ministry of the Interior when the ex-director of „Fight against organized Crime” State Directorate, General Vanyo Tanov, was invited on a hearing. After his story the Members of Parliament decided that the information they had heard should be sent to the Prosecutor’s Office. According to the Chairman Mincho Spasov there are facts about crime commited by the high leadership of the Ministry of the Interior.
Shorthand report of the meeting was received in the “Kapital” newspaper office by an anonymous sender. A source of the newspaper confirmed that the text was authentic and parts of it were identical to the quotes that were published in the official reports. Thеse facts give us a reason to think that the document is authentic. We know that the complete shorthand report contains a lot of names, impressive statements and poignant information. Despite the fact we decided to publish it. We believe that the situation needs this for a few reasons. Disclosures ruined the belief in some main institutions. There are enough facts to think that instead of defending the public interest, they work against it. Facts and statements that tell about a deep crisis were shown. At such a moment the role that the media play for the democratic attitude and relations is very difficult. It is also difficult to estimate where the ethical borders are crossed in publishing some information.
We decided to publish the whole shorthand report because we think it is in public interest. By publishing it we don’t claim anything and we don’t blame anyone. We give the opportunity to everyone to get familiar with what was said in the parliamentary commission. Well-nformed people will have the arguments to insist on knowing the truth and having radical changes and reforms in the Ministry of the Interior. At the end we have chosen extracts from the official report of the commission. The opinion of the Members of Parliament is reflected in it and the reply Minister Petkov gave a day after General Tanev. Unfortunately, we don’t have the whole conversation.
The Chairman Mincho Spasov: Dear colleagues, we continue with the next item of today’s schedule.
2. Hearing of Mr. Iliyan Iliev and Mr. Vanyo Tanov
The Chairman Mincho Spasov: Firstly, let me read you the reply to the questions we posed last time.
You know we posed five questions to the Ministry of Interior, and here is the letter with the answers personally addressed to me.
Dear Mr. Spasov, as a response to your questions regarding the legal proceedings initiated against high leaders of the Ministry of Interior, hereby I provide you with the following information. Firstly, the Information and Archive Directorate at the Ministry of Interior do not have any registered form, case or copy of an operative report concerning Ivan Atanasov Ivanov, because this person has never been made a subject of report,neither have been undertaken any operative actions involving special spying devices against him. For that reason, neither a correspondence, nor any information bearers are known t be have been destroyed.
Secondly, the political and executive/administrative leaders of Ministry of Interior haven’t received any information about non regulated contacts this person has been involved into and which at any point have been subject to operative control.
Thirdly, between October 1, 2006 and December 31, 2007 645 signals on some Ministry of Interior officials’ corrupted behavior have been investigated by the Internal Security section. The investigation of 306 of those signals ha has been completed. In agreement with the approved methodology, 116 of the signals were considered well-grounded. Against the high officials in questions necessary measures have been adopted in compliance with both the Ministry of Interior Law and the Classified Information Defense Law.
The respective prosecutor’s offices have been informed about the crimes committed, 63 pre-legal cases have been initiated , 67 officers have been fired, for other 63 signals legal measures have been taken, that is in compliance with the Ministry of Interior Law. 190 signals have been considered ungrounded. 229 signals are still a matter of investigation.
We have received a letter from the State Agency for National Security.
Mr. Chairman, after hearing the Commission’s leaders, an extended session was hold at SANS on March, 19 with all the structures’ leaders attending. There were discussed some questions, posed by MP’s during the hearing procedure, as well as their opinions and recommendations regarding the work of SANS. The question submitted by the Member of Parliament Atanasov concerning the meeting between the Minister of Interior, Mr. Plamen Galev, and Mr. Angel Hristov was also a subject of discussions.
Mr. Chairman, I was informed that in SANS they do have at their disposal a document about the meeting in question, that took place on December 9, 2006. Before the hearing procedure, the SANS representatives were not aware of this information. I am taking the opportunity to apologize to the members of the Commission for Internal security for the incorrect answer we delivered.
This letter was a little unclear about the purpose of the meeting, so I asked Mr. Sertov to make it clear with another letter, which we received subsequently.
Mr. Chairman, with reference to your question, we hereby provide you additional information on the meeting that took place on 9 December, 2006.
At the beginning of December 2006, information was received from some independent operative resources about serious tension between structures connected with the force groups. This information was reported, initially orally but later through the established written channels, to the General Secretary of the Ministry of the Interior, General Iliya Iliev. Based on it, operational discussions involving different representatives of the structures of the Ministry of the Interior were conducted in the General’s presence. The main goal was to prevent discrediting Bulgaria at the very eve of her accession to the EU on 1 January, 2007. The senior management of the Ministry of the Interior decided to make an urgent meeting with representatives of the force groups in order to sanitize them and to prevent public confrontations. This meeting took place on 9 December, 2006 and involved the Minister of the Interior Mr. Rumen Petkov as well as a representative of the National Security Service who mentioned it in a report. The report has been sent to the Minister of the Interior. Mr. Rumen Petkov put the resolution “to the General Secretary of the Ministry of the Interior and to the Director of the National Security Service” on the document and added the text: "First, all measures for neutralizing the groups. Second, measures for purposefully enlarging the information. To be put together with the information available to General V. Petrov”.
A third letter has been received, from the State Agency, addressed directly to me.
Mr. Chairman, from the “Coordination of information-analytic activity” directorate in the Ministry of the Interior and with the agreement of a person who is subject to investigation by the National Security Service, in the Ministry of the Interior is opened an investigation procedure about reliability concerning Mr.Ivaylo Prodanov as an operative assistant to the Ministry of the Interior.
In order to Carry out his official duties, it was necessary to grant him access to classified information that is a state secret with TOP Secret level of security and to classified information of NATO and EU. During the investigation it is discovered that Mr. Ivaylo Prodanov has relations with persons, who are of operative interest and that these relations raise doubts about his intensions to keep the state secret.
These facts are reported orally by the former Director of the National Security Service, Gen. Ivan Tchobanov to the Secretary General of the Ministry of the Interior, Gen. Iliya Iliev, in order to take the necessary administrative actions.
Colleagues, attention please. I am just receiving a letter from the General Prosecutor.
Dear Mr. Spasov, I am sending you a statement from General-lieutenant Iliya Todorov Iliev to the members of the National Assembly.
I want to inform you that before the commission deliberation, I talked again, for the second time, to the Main Prosecutor in order to arrange Gen. Iliev’s presence.
He informed me that in this very moment his wife is with him and that with her help this statement is communicated.
Members of the Assembly, on 25 March I’ve been accused because of my work as a General Secretary of the Ministry of the Interior. This accusation restricts my freedom to answer all the questions that will possibly be directed to me because my answers may be used against me. My statements could have helped create more transparency in the work of the Ministry of the Interior. I am subject to illegal repression whose main goal is to limit my freedom to participate in the public debate about the problems in the Ministry of the Interior. For this reason I am forced to decline the opportunity that the Supreme Counsel of Military Prosecutors gives me to appear before you.
Mr. Atanas Atanasov: Let the chairman read this letter before the journalists.
Chairman Mincho Spasov: This letter from Mr. Iliya Iliev is not classified information. I suppose that we will make it public. But the other documents are secret and all of you should keep the rules.
So, is Mr. Tanov here? I suggest that we begin the hearing of Gen. Vanio Tanov.
Talks between the members of the Parliament in the room.
Chairman Mincho Spasov: Hello, Mr. Tanov, thank you for coming here to answer questions related to the work of the Ministry of the Interior about drugs traffic. I think there is a big interest and members of the Assembly will have a lot of questions, so let us be disciplined during the debate. I give the word to Mr. Tanov to answer the question that has been asked, and after that we well hear other questions as well. Please, M. Tanov.
Mr. Vanyo Tanov: To talk so generally in a synthetic was is difficult for me but I know that before I quitted service, a note of general character has been made, and this note is there. In this general note, it is made clear, based on the available operative information, which are the main groups that operate on the territory of the country, and I believe, from memory, that they are two. One of the serious groups is that of Mr. Dragomir Raykovich’s, who is as a matter of fact the second man of Kuyovich. The other one is that of the now publicly known Galevi brothers. I mean, these are the groups in a synthetic way. I repeat again that this note could be found in the directorate “Drugs”.
For the two years during which I was director there, we’ve achieved good results at catching some quantities. But we couldn’t reach the real laboratories and or catch the real perpetrators. We had achievements in the case of two laboratories, after all the necessary technical devices to control have been installed. But after all we only caught the drugs and the laboratories, and could never reach the perpetrators themselves.
Information was leaking from the service. For these two years I’ve tried to find out who there people were, some of them have been caught and suspended from the service because they worked for these groups. When I was a director of the service access to classified information was denied to some of them but after that they appealed before the commission and got their access back. In one way or another, they were led to resign later by themselves.
The last case in the service was related to the already publicly well-known case Kuyovich. Things that Kuyovich said during his interrogation helped us to make an investigation concerning Mr. Vasko Velinov, who was suspicious before that also. I’ve used all needed technical devices and at last we revealed that there is a direct phone between Mr. Velinov and Mr. Dragomir Raykovich. We revealed that every day on this phone Mr. Velinov has reported information from the service. We put spy devices at a service car and revealed other things also. We sent him to this kind of operations, in which he can exchange information with Mr. Raykovich. It was clear that they’ve recruited the officer that put the secret information in the electronic system. They’ve tried to recruit the Head of the Secretariat also who has all the secret correspondence even before me.
This person was successfully investigated. We’ve found Mr. Dragomir Raykovich’s direct phone, but the military prosecutors had to search the home of Mr. Vesko Velinov for his phone, they were late and the direct phone disappeared. This is all I can tell you.
Chairman Mincho Spasov: What does it mean that the phone disappeared?
Mr. Vanyo Tanov: It wasn’t found. I think it was taken out of the house during the search, but my services didn’t take part in this search. Mr. Velinov was investigated by “Inner Security” section and we didn’t have the rights to take part in the investigation.
Chairman Minch Spasov: When did that happen?
Mr. Vanyo Tanov: I think February 2007. Thanks to the information that Kuyovich gave us we’ve discovered a new laboratory that was being created at this moment. Before that three Turkish men were arrested. We’ve made a controlled delivery with the Turkish services and they were arrested.
I remember one of them very well – Ivan-The Policeman and I remember thаt just 2 months later he was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment.
I think that they were uneasy that the Turkish men had told the place of the laboratory and because of that they began making the new one. The place was fixed, the technical appliances were put in place and at the same time we were working on Vesko Velinov. Only some people knew about the laboratory because we hadn’t discovered all the betrayers at the service yet. I know that at that time Mr. Raykovich had enrolled a professor from the university faculty in chemistry to make for him a recipe for drug producing.
At the time of the investigation there was a car that came from Plovdiv and brought materials for synthetic drugs production. The driver was a policeman. For bad luck, later it became clear that there was an officer who had worked for “External Observation” and then was working on Mr. Raykovich’s case, identified his colleague – the policeman. Materials about that person were sent to the General Secretary. I don’t know what happened after that, but I know that at the time I was there, Mr. Raykovich wasn’t arrested.
Chairman Mincho Spasov: Was the person you’re talking about removed from his position?
Mr. Vanyo Tanov: I can’t tell you because I didn’t have any rights at “External Observation” service. Our job was to discover these things during the operative investigation and to give it to the leadership; they are the ones to make the decisions.
Chairman Mincho Spasov: Is there any case that you didn’t signalize and the person stays at work?
Mr. Vanyo Tanev: Yes, at the beginning when I was director of”Fight against Organized Crime” State Directorate.. I think that it happened around December 30. The director of the Police National Service, at that time General Valentin Petrov, asked his ex officer, Mr. Krasi Mladenov, to find out if two persons, customs officers, from Haskovo were investigated and if they had been, whether the two of them had been caught on special spy devices.
On 31th the Director of the regional department was asked to go to work…
Chairman Mincho Spasov: 31th of which month and year?
Mr. Vanyo Tanov: On December 31 2005, just before the New Year’s Day. On that day Mr. Mladenov looked at the investigation report, at the one for the special spy devices as well, and reported it to Mr. Valentin Petrov. On January 3, I had a signal about this case, I reported it to General Secretary and asked the case to be checked. It was checked, people were examined, and phones were checked. Everything proved that such information was really demanded, and so the investigation was sent to General Secretary (then we, the directors of services, were subordinate to him).
On the same day, December 31, there was a call to Mr. Valentin Petrov from Mr. Georgi Samuilov, who was developed for gas contraband. From the messages I received then it was something like that – Samuilov called him, Petrov answered that he was in Asenovgrad, but coming. They had met and after the meeting Mr. Samuilov called to a person from the alcohol business in Peshtera and told him that they had a problem and it would be solved with the help of …I can’t recall the exact name of the person, but I think it has to be checked. I reported that information to Minister of the Interior. A few days later he told me that he had ordered to Mr. Petrov to make the meeting in question. In February 2006, on a national meeting where the new structure of the Ministry of the Interior had been discussed, I said that I didn’t want to be director of the service anymore. I continued that I would do my duties until the Law came into force but professionally I didn’t believe in General Petrov, I couldn’t be his subordinate.
During that meeting I was asked to stay at my position on a couple of times. I refused at first but some days later in a private conversation with the Minister, he convinced me to stay because the results of the Service then were really good. There was a check at the Ministry of the Interior and it was necessary to do a report. At that time 80 % of the whole work of the Ministry was connected with our Service. The Service showed good results and then the minister told me that he was really glad with my work and there was no way to tell in public why I had retired.
I decided to stay and it was my greatest mistake.
Chairman Mincho Spasov: When did that happen?
Mr. Vanyo Tanov: I can’t tell you exactly but maybe in March. All the generals were there and they knew I would tell that in public. There were also the Deputy Ministers and I said that I resigned.
When the Minister asked me to take the lead of that Service, I didn’t want to and I told him a lot of personal arguments and such gained in the professional experience, but all against my nomination for the post. I understood the work of the Service in another way. I think that the Service has to work really seriously against the organized criminality, but has to get clear the whole structure and to make some actions after that. Not to be done such unimportant and PR actions because catching 20 or 50 kilograms is a temporary condition. But if we talk about drugs, there are drugs everywhere – in contraband, in economic crimes, and we had to understand who the persons who helped those activities were. In every investigation for those two years there stood a name of an official from the Ministry of the Interior connected with information leak-out. In every investigation in the grey sector there had always been a name of a state officer who helped those people – Customs, Taxation Authorities etc. In every investigation there is a name of politician from the Assembly or from the Government. So we can’t make success with any action if we don’t remove all these people. However, it leads to serious conflicts.
That was the situation and that’s the reason why I declared that I would find a lot of irregularities because I had already created some kind of concept about it, as a director of a regional department, which was a only one image representing the work of the State Agency. I had a picture that most of the operations were connected to information which was obtained from the regional sections. But the Service made cooperative fulfillments and more PR actions without any considerable contribution to developing those persons. And that those actions inevitably would lead to conflict with my chief Mr. Valentin Petrov. Honestly speaking, for that simple reason I agreed to take the job until the Law came into force. While we were going to the appointment with the President, the Minister said it was wrong to let them know that would be only for 6 or 8 months at these job. I agreed with his arguments because it couldn’t be announced to the Service indeed that I would be there for 6 or 8 months. It was not serious, indeed, to be announced. Therefore at that meeting firstly I said that it was such a stipulation but the Minister said that it was cancelled. Because of that I wanted to be dismissed.
Chairman Mincho Spasov: I have a specific question to you. You said that in many cases you have stated moles through which information leaks out. In which service can we find more detailed information concerning this fact and the kinds of precautions taken against these people?
Mr. Vanyo Tanov: So, first, the Service which worked on clarifying the information, connected to the iinternal corruption, was at “Fight against Organized Crime” State Directorate. It consisted of two components – “Internal Corruption” sector, which investigated the Ministry of the Interior officers, Capital Investigation Service and Prosecutor’s Office, and “External Corruption” sector, related to citizens. This is the place where the information can be found. Later, I don’t know why this Service was taken out of the Directorate’s structure. There was a period of about 1 or 2 months when it was moved to General Secretary, despite my objection, because the General Secretary had no operative authority. When someone wanted permissions for special spy devices, it was necessary to come to me to sign them. However, I refused to do that because after all those government officials weren’t under my authority. Later the mistake was corrected and that service was transferred to the General Secretary, Mr. Valentin Petrov. So signals for corruption, related to the Ministry of the Interior government officials, were transferred to that service. Later it came to be referred to as “Internal Security” Service.
Chairman Mincho Spasov: Not to the Inspectorate, but to the “Internal Security”?
Mr. Vanyo Tanov: “Internal Security” is an operative service and the Inspectorate is not. The Inspectorate doesn’t have any operative authorities and cannot provide investigations for the Ministry of the Interior government officials. In my opinion the Inspectorate can accomplish only open warning checkings on signals received, because according to the law it doesn’t possess other authorities. Although I have to clarify something and I don’t know the reasons for it, but all the information about the investigations for the Ministry of the Interior government officials are kept in the Inspectorate. From my point of view this is a serious offense against the law because it’s not possible a non-operative service to keep the information of an operative one.
Chairman Mincho Spasov: Mr. Dall for specifying question, please.
Mr. Kasim Dall: You said that the Minister has told you that you’ve been chosen by him. How were you invited to take that position?
Mr. Vanyo Tanov: I was invited, when on his instruction General Iliev was sent to Rousse to talk to me. I refused and sent him back to Sofia and after an hour the Minister called me and said that at 12 p.m. I had to be in the Ministry of the Interior.
Chairman Mincho Spasov: Colleagues, now you may ask questions.
Mr. Vanyo Tanov: I want to say that yesterday I was inquired in Military Prosecutor’s Office. Besides the cases I told you about earlier, I gave information on many others, related to operative investigations. The case, which is widely discussed in the media, is about the Galevi brothers. Another investigation case is with pseudonym “The Hotel”. There is one more case about the Customs at Gorublyane, about the Chief of the Customs in particular. There were about five investigations which were enough to convince me that Military Prosecutor’s Office and the State Agency for National Security would try to do their job if they worked in synchrony.
Chairman Mincho Spasov: Those are five investigations, which are supposed in leaking out of information, right?
Mr. Vanyo Tanov: Yes, definitely. And if they do some checkings, I can show and mention other investigations. Honestly speaking, I don’t mention them now because I’m worried that the information for the mentioned ones will leak out and all the documents about these investigations will be crossed out, erased and missrepresented. There is a serious case.
On a day off again the deputy chief (a lady) of “Fight against Organized Crime” General Directorate was ordered to make a list of all investigations in the State Service, comprising all the pseudonyms, the persons in those investigations and the operative government officials who work on them. The list was made in three copies and when I came back …
Chairman Mincho Spasov: Do you know who ordered this?
Mr. Vanyo Tanov: It was an extreme situation, I asked that lady who gave orders to her and she said “Leadership”. She didn’t make it clear which is that “Leadership”. Then I asked her why she didn’t call me and what made it necessary on a Saturday to call all the officers who had all the information and the same to be taken out. There was Minister Petkanov and maybe other people who knew too that the information was kept in the Archive. If someone, no matter what kind of director he/she was, had the right to get familiar with the investigation and report about that, that person could read it, and there was an inventory that he/she had to sign there but the whole procedure in the Ministry of the Interior was very mixed-up. Each document that came out of the services instead of being reported firstly, was given to the Head of the Cabinet for a final opinion and from that point on it was decided which of them to be reported and which not. It was impossible for any person to find his/her document.
Mrs. Tatyana Doncheva: Who do you refer to by saying the Head of the Cabinet?
Mr. Vanyo Tanov: The Head of the Cabinet of the Minister of the Interior. His name is Sasho Petrov. There was a case when I reported to a person at a high position in the government administration about the Galevi brothers mentioned and three days later it occurred that two very important verifications had been sent to the service but they were not at the Ministry. At that moment they occurred on Mr. Valentin Petrov`s desk. The General Prosecutor knows this very well. I received information that those verifications will be taken out to compromise me and I went to the Minister to ask for them. He said that he doesn’t know where they are and that he is not going to look for my verifications. I knew they were on the desk of Mr. Valentin Petrov, I had to go to General Prosecutor and tell him that if they don’t give me back the verifications, I will give warning in Military Prosecutor’s Office. Immediately, from the State Directorate was sent an officer to check the Secretariate where those verifications were because they were signed to my name.
Chairman Mincho Spasov: You sent these verification forms from the service to the Ministry, right?
Mr. Vanyo Tanov: The case with those verifications is exactly like this. These are two secret verifications which were asked from me urgently, late in the night again, about 20:00 o’clock. We have made them but the Secretariate was…
Chairman Mincho Spasov: Who asked for them?
Mr. Vanyo Tanov: General Valentin Petrov insisted on having them. I visited him but the verifications weren’t filed in the outgoing register. He told me he wanted to get acquainted with them.
Chairman Mincho Spasov: That is to say that they weren’t entered in the register?
Mr. Vanyo Tanov: Yes, because they were made at 20:00 o’clock. He wanted them urgently; he said he want to see them at that very moment.
Chairman Mincho Spasov: You gave them without being entered in the outgoing register?
Mr. Vanyo Tanov: I gave them to him in order to get acquainted with them but I wanted them back and I received them. He said he was in a hurry because he had to go to Gergov’s birthday party. He brought them back to me and I went back to the service. In the morning I put these verifications at the mail-box to be entered in the outgoing registry. At that moment the Minister called and asked me about those verifications. I grabbed one copy and left the other one in …
Mincho Spasov: Without being filed into the register or entered there as outgoing, again, right?
Mr. Vanyo Tanov: I can’t force the Minister to sign them.
Mr. Georgi Georgiev: OK, but isn’t there any standard procedure, this is a secret information?
Mr. Vanyo Tanov: There was such a procedure 2 years ago but now – not at all. So, before that situation I described, I had had no other similar occasion to report like that. Every single day there are phone calls and someone asks for verification urgently and they are brought there and given by hand. Messages from special spy devices are also brought and given by hand, and no one registers that they were read. Then they bring them back to the post service at work and report on them. After some time they ask what you have done with these massages and it’s very interesting how they know about them. The way of no secret document could be followed. I have check-ups, in which I wanted some kind of sanction on this, but first they have to go to General Valentin Petrov, then to the General Secretary who has to confirm some precautions and after two months they are given to me. They have held them for two months in the pay office and they didn’t enter them, I did it. Having outgoing number, they left the service, but they were given to me with another outgoing number (after 2 months) and it was from the previous day. They were received in the Directorate and given to me with a date of the resolution two months after receiving. I no longer need this resolution because what I wanted has already finished and it could not be done. This can be seen if the Archive of the Secret Secretariate is opened. On principle, the Minister, if you find a check-up, which he put a date on…?
The Chairman Mincho Spasov: Do you know, that you also break the rules when you give these check–ups and …
Remarks between the deputies in the hall.
The Chairman Mincho Spasov: Colleagues, please, as you see we are trying to be objective at the most. I want this question to be clarified, too.
Mr. Vanyo Tanov: After that case, which happened, I didn’t bring by hand even a single check-up. After the case when check-ups were lost and because of two of them in particular I could have gone to prison, I stopped giving. It doesn’t matter if it urgent or not, I don’t care.
Chairman Mincho Spasov: Any questions, please?
Mr. Yane Yanev: One question to make it more precise, Mr. Chairman. Do these two check-ups concern directly the problems about synthetic drugs or were they intended for something else?
Mr. Vanyo Tanov: One of them concerned something very serious. May be one or two days before that, I can’t remember exactly, one night a check-up was required again in a line of terror and it concerned a company, Aleksey Petrov’s one.
I had given orders to the government officials, they worked all night long, in the morning I went to Service and at 7:30 the check–up was ready and filed. The General Secretary told me “I don’t want this check-up, it’s for the Minister”. He called the Minister, I don’t remember if he was alone or not, I had other obligations in the Ministry also, and having entered into the service, government officials came and they said “Boss, what was this check-up for? Before you came back, all the phones were stopped”.
And one of these check-ups is the one in which I described that two hours after the information was in the Ministry, all the telephones have stopped. Information came up in the message about which telephones exactly to be stopped.15 minutes later there was another phone call about all four suggestions to come to an end because someone was reading the check-ups and the same person reported which phones to be stopped.
I wrote a second check-up to inform the leadership that after a report the investigation has been stopped. The same was the case with the direct investigation of the contraband concerning the Chief of the Gorublyne Customs. From this investigation we understood that there was an investigation on Sasho Petrov, the Chief of the Cabinet of the Minister.
The case, on which was the correspondence against Sasho Petrov, was that Valentin Petrov wanted check-up for a company that was to take a gambling license for a casino. Government officials made a summary that showed that he couldn’t get a license because there was a condition for the origin of the capital, clean legal past, and money abuse. I sent this to General Valentin Petrov but I wasn’t sure if it would go to the commission. And then I allowed myself to send a second copy in the State Commission on Gambling.
Of course a license was given to this company and I sent a new check-up, written again, to the Minister and there I described all circumstances. I was punished for this because I neglected Valentin Petrov and I reported directly to the Minister. I didn’t know how to do it because it didn’t matter – the final point to end up was one and the same. On that check-up the Minister wrote again without a date the materials to be given to the Prosecutor’s Office. But it was turned back. I don’t know how it was returned but it ended in the cash-box of the Deputy Director of the ”Fight against Organized Crime” State Directorate. When she resigned, she gave my secretary a folder in which was it. When it came to the service, she took it for her and put it in the cash-box. It was given by hand to her. I didn’t know what to do with this check-up. It was written to be given to the Prosecutor’s Office but it would be a problem for me with the Minister. If I don’t give it, the Minister will tell me that I am corrupted and that I have hidden the materials. There is no right way. I decided to give it to Prosecutor’s Office, so whatever happened, it would be just between the two of us.
I remember it was the Policeman Day, a great holiday, journalists asked me and I said that Sasho Petrov was guilty; he couldn’t hide behind the collective responsibility. If he signed although there were such facts, it was only his responsibility. At the same time, on January 3, when I came back to work after the New Year’s holidays, the chief of “Contraband” service Vasko Gochev and Mitev, who worked on the investigation on the customs officer (the woman), came to me trembling nervously. The scheme of all the persons connected to that customs officer was clear. The only missing name was the one of a man with the nickname “The Lighter”. On January 8, it became clear that “The Lighter” was the Minister. The same customs officer called to Mr. Viktor Valkov and asked him what would happen then, when there was a case filed against the Head of the Cabinet of “The Lighter”. One of the government officials, Iliya, said he had the opportunity to retire and he would do it. The other one, Mr. Vasko Gochev, was retired after I left.
Mrs. Tatyana Doncheva: I have some questions, Mr. Tanov. You were Chief of “Fight against Organized Crime” State Directorate from September 29th, 2005 until when?
Mr. Vanyo Tanov: Until July, 15th 2007.
Mr. Tatyana Doncheva: That means that in 2006 you were the Chief of this service. We heard about Mr. Valentin Petrov and also about the Minister and the Head of the Cabinet. A person, who had been working in the Cabinet of General Iliev for 6 months, was connected to the Galevi brothers, and the same person was appointed due to a command of the Minister. Do you know this person and what will you say about those relationships of the General Secretary, at that time Ilia Iliev?
Mr. Vanyo Tanov: I will answer to you. The Galevi brothers were investigated. For the reason that we had been receiving information about the persons in question constantly, we made a correspondence, named PPO.
This is a correspondence for preliminary operative report, which is legal. The goal was check–ups on the report to be avoided because information on our operative interests towards the Galevi brothers would have leaked out that way. Special spy devices were conducted on the persons in question, the Galevi brothers. During the implementation of the special spy devices, as I want to mention here, they were repeated in the meaning of direct control in the service. A very serious conversation was carried out between the Galevi brothers and the Chief of Capital Investigation Service at that time, and that conversation was in the sense of …
Mrs. Tatyana Doncheva: Who is he?
Mr. Vanyo Tanov: Aleksandrov. A check-up was received earlier, maybe on 23rd it must have been, on Christmas 2006, from the National Security Service. The Deputy Minister Vesko Markov, the General Secretary, Valentin Petrov and me were called, and I also called the Head of Drugs Department. I knew that we would talk about the drugs traffic and I decided that he could give the most detailed information. The information they received from the report of the National Security Service was that a serious conflict will flare up between Galevi brothers and Zlatko -The Baret. We had different information. The person, Toni-Mamata, was an object of investigation in “Terror” division. He was controlled via other investigational means. There was another piece of information related to the elaboration of that person, that he was the mediator for arranging a meeting between the Galevi brothers and Zlatko -The Baret.
At that moment according to information we had, we considered that the two of the Galevi and Zlatko – The Baret would get in touch and solve things out. The Galevi’ s synthetic drugs would go in one direction and the heroin will come in another. Meanwhile the two groups wouldn’t be able to hamper each other’s doings because when they worked individually, the stock was delivered in Turkey and the heroin was taken as exchange. There was no money transfer, so it couldn’t be monitored. From my point of view that was one clever move.
Viewed form that angle, we shared our information and agreed on that – their check–up to be submitted to us after the days off. We would prepare the information that we had in order to make the comparison which information was more reliable because it came from different sources. In the service they knew for sure where their information came from, the source could be evaluated. Our information, which was obtained via special investigation means, I consider as more reliable because it wasn’t gathered from under-cover-agents.
So, in regard to those check-ups the conversation between the Galevi brothers and the Director of the National Investigational Service was carried out. That almost explains all the conversations carried out in the his office. I was impressed by the fact that they were so detailed and specific that I had the feeling as if someone was there with us, having a cell phone turned on and transferring all the information about our discussion to Galevi. That check-up has to be kept and if you can see it, you will be convinced that it is very hard for one to transfer in direct speech with such exactness.
Later, also in relation to that elaboration, information was received that Alexey Petrov and the Galevi brothers would meet at “Spartak” swimming pool. I don’t know where it is because my origin is not from Sofia and at least Aleksey Petrov will be at this meeting.
He explained that it was, but I can’t remember, it is possible that the Galevi brothers explained it, that on that meeting would be mediator if you watched television the previous night, in the reporting I can’t remember, somehow or other we hadn’t determined who that mediator was. During the technical actions were lead, officers form “Fight against Organized Crime” State Directorate and a team from External Observation took part because the objects were conducted to place of the meeting. The purpose was eventually to comment these conversations and in one moment the mediator, two jeeps came, the Minister of the Interior got out of the jeep and all the services ran away, my subordinates came to the department and said “We burnt out again, what we are going to do?”
Remarks between the deputies in the room.
Mr. Vanyo Tanov: Mr. Atanasov said to him that Head of the Ministry of the Exterior was tired of my investigations and that the retirement wouldn’t be late. And it wasn’t, really.
Mrs. Tatyana Doncheva: OK, but what about this meeting at the “Spartak” pool? – I was asking about Ivaylo.
Mr. Vanyo Tanov: I asked the General Secretary about Ivaylo and he said that Ivaylo was appointed with an order from the Minister.
I am sure that about Ivaylo there is an information in National Security Service because there was a serious conflict between general Chubanov and that Ivaylo we talk about, and he was removed. I suppose that there was some serious information on it. I personally know, by operative ways, that the person in question, Ivaylo, was meeting with the Galevi brothers in investigation In National Police Service, because they were…
Mrs. Tatyana Doncheva: Wasn’t Ivaylo an officer in “Fight against Organized Crime” State Directorate in Dupnica?
Mr. Vanyo Tanov: I think that he was a Chief of Regional department.
Mrs. Tatyana Doncheva: So, he should have been in your service before becoming an operative assistant to the General Secretary?
Mr. Vanyo Tanov: So, when I was moved from Rousse to Sofia, I don’t remember exactly, but I found that person Ivaylo as a counselor of the General Secretary. I don’t know if he was really but in the time I was there, he wasn’t moved, I mean.
Mrs. Tatyana Doncheva: Don’t you remember him as Chief of Rousse?
Mr. Vanyo Tanov: He is from Dupnica and if he had been moved, he should have been in “Fight against Organized Crime” State Directorate, and the documents should have passed through me and I should have known it. Obviously he had been moved from Dupnica as a counselor, but not from … I just don’t know if he was in National Service before my coming to Sofia.
Mrs. Tatyana Doncheva: Around December 2006, before the Negotiations with the EU were finished, did you have a meeting with the Interior Ministry leadership in order to discuss the necessity to meet some particular persons from the organised crime, and to negotiate with them, well, I mean, peacefully, particular steps or behavior that could, as it were, help us to solve the problems with the numerous contract-murders, with the appalling atrocities in the country, you know that in the last 2-3 reports these were the main accusations. You are one of the three professional leaders. Do you have any recollection about such a meeting?
Mr. Vanyo Tanev: I respond immediately. I haven’t been to this kind of meetings and I haven’t been invited to such kind of meetings. Categorically.
Mrs. Tatyana Doncheva: So, you don’t suggest that this meeting, you’ve just told us about, at the swimming pool Spartak, between Alexey Petrov, the Minister and Galevi brothers, had been organized with such intensions, do you?
Mr. Vanyo Tanev: This meeting can’t be held with such intensions because the Minister of Interior, I apologize that Mr. Petkanov is here, but the Minister of Interior, I don’t mean you because I mean the Minister of Interior, but the Minister is not the person who schedules such kind of under-cover-agent contacts.
Instructions for field investigation postulate who can schedule and attend such meetings and how they shall be organised. And if a person is being investigated, this should be done according to a scheduled plan and well-defined goals. Yet, it is completely impossible that the Minister of Interior acts as a field agent in such a plan, let alone attend such kind of meetings.
Mrs. Tatyana Doncheva: Well but the Bulgarian accession to the EU is a top purpose and I accept that in the name of this purpose a Minister of Interior can be a field agent, but I mean in this case, we admit that some rules are broken, some technical rules. So in the name of a successful accession, it’s a noble cause.
Mr. Vanyo Tanov: I don’t know, but if the Minister of Interior is in such a close relationship with Galevi brothers that this could be decisive for the Bulgarian accession to the EU, then …
Laughter in the room.
The Chairman Mincho Spasov: Please, try to refrain from commenting the issue, just give us the facts, like, for example, was there such a report or not?
Mr. Vanyo Tanov: I have already told you this and now you want me to speculate or guess what kind of relationship that was.
The Chairman Mincho Spasov: Any other questions, Mr. Kostov, you have the word.
Mr. Ivan Kostov: I don’t know if I have understood everything correctly, let’s make the point and see if I got it right. You told that information is leaking out of the Ministry, respectively, your service, your field work is being hindered, and you mentioned some politicians, the word “politicians”, it was in plural, wasn’t it? Is that right – politicians?
Mr. Vanyo Tanov: Yes.
Mr. Ivan Kostov: And how exactly did the politicians interfere? What did they do? Did they enact laws? My next question is going to be not who, but how did they interefere? It’s important for us to understand the mechanism of sabotaging your work.
Mr. Vanyo Tanov: Well, I’m telling you in details, for example, for the operation “The Hotel” which was about the “Select” vodka affair, we had already bought certain illegal amount under cover, we were about to launch the operation. To accomplish it, we had to work in collaboration with the Customs and this had to to be done in the moment we knew the spirits will be in place with false excise duty labels. We had a warrant issued by the Customs, yet information leaked to the suspect, he called some politicians for support and ten minutes later the search warrant for the warehouses was cancelled and the operation was aborted.
Mr. Ivan Kostov: And now my next question is who, can you be so brave to say who, you see all of us here, around the table, were these politicians ?
Mr. Vanyo Tanov: Read again the investigation report because some of them may be sitting at this table right now, and I don’t want…
Mr. Ivan Kostov: Great! So, the search warrant was cancelled in 10 minutes?
Mr. Vanyo Tanov: I categorically claim that it was, yes, unless the recorded messages were destroyed. You must still be able to see them unless somebody sets fire to the Minsitry …
Mr. Ivan Kostov: Who issued the warrant?
Mr. Vanyo Tanov: The Customs Director. Now I will tell you about the conversation but I will not mention the person’s name. After that he visited him at his home and called half of his friends and said “did you see how fast I solved the problem. Somebody called somebody and he, in turn, called someone else and the issue was settled and my warrant became void in a minute.
The Chairman Mincho Spasov: But now, say, do you realise that if we say that we heard everything about the Minister, but we spared the politician, it will be a little bit unjust.
Mr. Vanyo Tanov: OK, I will tell you. The conversation of this Pavlin is between him and … he called Dubov, asked to meet with him,10 minutes later he called his friends and said, he was having thousands of conversations boasting how great he was, namely, it was as simple as that, I went to Dubkata and he solved the problem, he called Velchev, Velchev called someone else and my warrant was cancelled. But I don’t know who Velchev is.
Mr. Ivan Kostov: We know one (called Velchev).Mr. Vanyo Tanov: Maybe you know him. I suppose they must be in good relations with the Customs Director since he could manage to "convince" the Director to cancel his own search warrant, because before that I made thousands of attempts to cancel such warrants but it didnít worked.
Mr. Dimitar Dubov: I have a question because my name was mentioned. Are there any other people with the same last names – Dubov and Velchev, Iím asking you? Were the family names Dubov and Velchev mentioned? Those are very serious things. I want a very clear answer. Was the family name Dubov mentioned and the family name Velchev as well?
Moreover, I think that my conversation was not even taped, he just says that two people talked to each other about something but I think that in that conversation the family names Dubov and Velchev were not even mentioned. So, this is a complete nonsense, and I know this personally from him.
Mr. Ivan Kostov: What else can you do but deny?
Mr. Dimitar Dubov: You can not listen in my phone calls and you can not say whom I am talking to. So, first, there is nothing like this.
Second, there are no family names mentioned.
Up to now I felt inclined to believe in that sort of things you are talking about, but now, when I am listening to what you say, because I have been aware of this case for 6 months already, and I drew some conclusions, personally for me, just to know if these facts had something to do with reality or not. And also if somebody is doing that to me and who is doing it to me people in common or not, I am interested enough in it and I dare claiming that everything Mr. Tanov says is absolutely not true and there are no family names. I know for sure that there is no such thing. You know that in order to prove that Dubov called Donchev, we need some real evidence, don’t we?
Mr. Ivan Kostov: This is very weak defense which you are building up right now.
The Chairman Mincho Spasov: Colleagues, you can carry on this dispute when Mr. Tanov is not here. Mr. Kostov, here we are asking questions to Mr. Tanov and it is not appropriate to argue between each other.
Mr. Vanyo Tanov: A message was delivered to me and I claim that it was not Mr. Dubov whose calls was listened in, but Pavlins’, and what he has done before, for example, called a number and look for all these numbers which he has called (against every number there is a corresponding name). I am not saying your name was there.
The Chairman Mincho Spasov: Like I said before, we are not going to argue right now. Do you have any other questions to Mr. Tanov ?
Mr. Dimitar Dubov: I have two questions to Mr. Tanov and please answer me only with "Yes." or "No.".
Does he know a person, an agent, with a secret name ìArthurî and did he have any contacts with him ñ either face-to-face or on the phone?
And the second one: In his work as Director of a Regional Department of the Ministry of Interior and as Director of the Anti-Organized Crime Unit have you ever put any suspects in the luggage compartment of a car?
Mr. Vanyo Tanov: Oh, no, I can’t answer with “yes” or “no”. There is a person “Arthur”, who has been investigated for 4 years during the period when I was Director. That person is related to many other persons and many actions have been taken towards him in relation to Andrey Lukanov’s assassination. I can say this. So, “Arthur” has never been an agent, at least not in the services I was responsible of. I’d rather arrested him and sent him here, in Sofia arrest.
Concerning the second question – about my luggage compartment– I am not informed about a case when people are put in the luggage compartment. There is no such case.
The Chairman Mincho Spasov: Any other questions? Mr. Atanasov, please?
Mr. Atanas Atanasov: Thank you, Mr.Chairman. One of the spectacular cases in the social environments in the last week or two is the case with an assistant director of “Fight against Organized Crime” State Directorate – Mr. Ivanov. As far as I understand from interviews and some other sources, he was appointed for an assistant director of “Fight against Organized Crime” State Directorate after your leaving, right?
Mr. Vanyo Tanov: That’s right.
Mr. Atanas Atanasov: All right, in different interviews you said that your present General Secretary, then he was Director of the Police, proposed him to you for a deputy. Now, please explain in deep details to the committee how this happened and was he the only one suggested, i.e. did Mr. Valentin Petrov propose other appointments of director positions in your subordinate service? This is my first question, after that I have another one.
Mr. Vanyo Tanov: When I was Chief of the service, I can’t remember whether it happened during a regular meeting, or it was with the General Secretary or with Mr. Valentin Petrov, but a third deputy director after Donka Dimitrova’ s retirement was discussed. Then Mr. Valentin Petrov suggested the person in question, Mr. Ivan Ivanov. I told him that I didn’t know Mr. Ivan Ivanov. Also I told him that I would make inquiries on what kind of a person he was and then I would take a decision whether to offer a proposal to him.
I came back to work, I called in the two deputies, Mr. Nikolov and Mr. Strandzev, and asked them what they knew about that person. My vice, Mr. Nikolov, was in charge of “Corruption” Department. He recalled that may be one of the heads of the department eventually knew something; his name was Mr. Evgeni Todorov. We called him and he said that this was the second person who was investigated there.I cannot claim this for sure, though. The investigation wasn’t reported, because of information leaking out, he was left with the impression that Ivan Ivanov dictates that person’s actions and at the end of the day Ivan Ivanov was the one, whose orders were fulfilled. I also called in the Chief of “Economic” Department, later there were a lot of conversations inside and outside the service, I wanted to collect information what exactly he was. As a whole, the publication in the media, that it was information so to say it and still that information wasn’t specified by the Chief of the “Economic” Department – those contentions belong to him but one way or another the information in the media was that this person was not reliable and for that reason I declined to prepare a suggestion. I explained to Mr. Valentin Petrov that after all I had to choose my deputy because the responsibility for that service was mine. I had to have the right to choose my deputies. He said that there was no one else to be my deputy.
I prepared a suggestion for Mr. Dobri Dochev (was his name) and he was Head of “People Traffic” department, I thought and I am still thinking now that he is a very loyal person, and I wanted him to be my deputy. He returned my suggestion and said that would not approve it. I called and asked him that if he had something in mind against the appointment, he could send it to the Minister because after all, I said, “You decide the way of a suggestion”. In my opinion it was correct to send it to the Minister, because I did it like this, when it was demanded from me an officer to be shifted, I made a report with “first, second, third”, what mine considerations were, arguments pro and con, and I left everything in a written form. He said that only one suggestion was possible to pass.
About that case he had always asserted “you didn’t tell me, that you would resign, you didn’t show any personnel policy” and so on. After all there was no appointment and I am saying it again – the collection of information wasn’t with the purpose that person to be investigated. The person is working in the Police. I made a check-up because I wanted to know if I could be in professional relationship with the person in question, if I could trust and work in a team with him. And for that reason I don’t accept the fact you claim now that I am bringing any charges against him, because I didn’t write what that person was. Moreover, that information is popular. And second, I repeat it again that it was in concern about him becoming my deputy.
As far as it goes to his appointment later on, I think that everybody else could do the same, I even thought that having served in Rila, the present Chief of “Fight against Organized Crime” State Directorate should know him very well.
The Chairman Mincho Spasov: Colleagues, I would like to ask you for shorter questions and answers, please, because “Kuyovich” Commission, which consists of almost the same people who attend here, is scheduled for 16:40. Mr. Atanasov, please!
Mr. Atanas Atanasov: I asked about Kalin Mihov, who was subsequently appointed.
Mr. Vanyo Tanov: After I gave my resignation, my two deputies were dismissed, the investigation was done against Kalin Mihov and Vesko Velinov, the second one mentioned in the discussion of Dragomir Raykovich case. Both Tony Strandzev and me for at a certain moment it was very hard -I went to make a report to Valentin Petrov, and later he said that there was no such conversation, so I had started to take one person with me, otherwise I couldn’t prove that we had a conversation.
Then, in the service information was received from the judge, who was a lawyer before, and that judge had told (her husband, by the way, is working in “Fight against Organized Crime” State Directorate, that an ex-client of hers came and asked her if there was any jeopardy Kalin Mihov to be dismissed from the service because obviously he walked and talked, and because they made a serious investment and in that situation, if he was to be dismissed, they had to invest again.
This one was reported to Mr. Valentin Petrov and of course, we required submitting the case (to take special spy devices actions). But on the following day, after submitting the investigation, it was filed in “Inside Corruption” which had already been out of “Fight against Organized Crime” State Directorate. which had already been out of “Fight against Organized Crime” State Directorate.
There was a case with a lady named Galya who was known to Minister Petkanov and that lady was also well-known to an information clerk and we received information about her and about another person, named George Pekin. That information was recorded by an agent on his cell phone. That agent came to us at the service and we also entered an investigation on them, which included installing technical devices in Galia and Pekin’s office but two days later at the bus station, a person was arrested, who tried to transfer eight kilograms of kanabis, planned to be transported to by bus Rousse. The person arrested, came out to be the son of the man who installed the technical devices at the office. That is why it should be quite clear to all of you what has happened with this investigation.
Mr. Atanas Atanassov: So, this means that Mr. Ivanov and Mr. Kalin Mihov were appointed for deputy ministers. Though, it didn’t become clear. Did you report back to the Minister of the Interior on those cadre issues? I mean, did you report back to him up to the moment when that conversation was held between you and the Head of the Police at that time? For it was so, you were in contradiction with the Head of the Police – he offered you something but you didn’t agree with him.
Mr. Vanyo Tanov: Do you mean the information for the appointment of Ivan Ivanov?
Mr. Atanas Atanassov: The information for both of them.
Mr. Vanyo Tanov: Kalin Mihov was appointed after my nomination. By the way, during the first month when I was in good terms with General Valentin Petrov, he offered me to appointed Mr. Kalin Mihov for Head of the Drugs Unit. After that I took back my offer because I had already had the information about Mihov.
I cannot understand your question about Mr. Ivan Ivanov and Mr. Kalin Mihov. What about after that? I have nothing to do with this after that.
Mr. Atanas Atanassov: I am asking you if the Minister was informed for those persons. Because after all, he nominated them for deputy ministers later on.
Mr. Vanyo Tanov: In my opinion this could not happened. In the end the Minister of the Interior had signed the documents for nomination. I do not know If Valyo Petrov has informed the Minister. If he has informed him, the procedure is the following – the deputy minister was offered by the Head of the Service and if Valentin Petrov agreed with him, the Minister of the Interior approved that nomination according to new law. That means that three persons were included in the case.
Chairman Mincho Spasov: Did you inform the Minister of the Interior on the case about Ivanov and Mihov?
Mr. Vanyo Tanov: I don’t remember if I informed the Minister of the Interior but there was a conversation, in which I told him that I would not make a suggestion for the nomination of Ivan Ivanov. But those were spoken conversations.
Chairman Mincho Spasov: Is there another question?
Mr. Dimitar Abadzhiev: In this connection I have one question with your permission. One or two hours ago from the Ministry of the Interior was announced, I suppose by the Minister, that Iliya Iliev was arrested in connection with the case of Mr. Ivan Ivanov. In concern to this, what was the relationship between Mr. Iliya Iliev and Mr. Ivan Ivanov? Did Iliya Iliev also insist on you nominating Ivan Ivanov? What is the relation between them?
Mr. Vanyo Tanov: Since my retirement I have had one conversation with General Iliya Iliev. I called him when I found out from the mass media that my deputy ministers were removed from office and asked him about the reasons for the dismission of Toni Strandzhev from the position of deputy-minister and the nomination of Ivan Ivanov? Then he told me that he strongly opposed to that dismission. And he also told me that according to new law he had no rights. He told me that he had not signed any offered.
I think that the reason for the dismission of the person in the question, Toni Strandzhev, was that long list with all the investigations. Another official from “Fight against Organized Crime” State Directorate had come to the person who lead the case in Peshtera and forewarned him that the man of the guard came to him, i. e. the official and told him that they knew where Toni lived, where his wife worked, where his children were, etc. and that the things against him would be very cruel.
This boy came to me with Mr. Toni Strandzhev and they were made to write a report on that case. I asked Toni the report not to come out of his name because that official from Peshtera told Toni that Valentin Petrov knew for the report in question; however, he wasn’t sure whether it was true or not. And where did he thought he would go by rising against Valentin Petrov?
I asked Toni Strandzhev to make a summarized verification on all investigations where Valentin Petrov was involved and after that to be signed by me. I sent that verification to the General Secretary because Valentin Petrov was not subordinated to him, and because if I sent it to the Minister of the Interior, the verification could not be entered in the incoming register. That is why I sent it to the General Secretary.
Later Mr. Toni Strandzhev was framed to take back the report. However, he didn’t agree. I know that after that the report was returned to the service. The officials were called in on all the cases at the service in Veso Petrov’s presence. The investigations were given to them. I don’t know what has happened but I know that the guy, who made the verification, was urged to change the second page of verification. And the guy admitted it. He said: “Then the director made me a favour – he saved me not to be on the top and in the current situation everything is a big burden to me and that is why I want to admit my guilt. I change the verification.”.
Chairman Mincho Spasov: Go ahead.
Mr. Atanas Atanassov: Now, you in your presentation you said that a complete description to all investigations was made in the service in three copies. Which officials have received this investigation reports? This is my first questions. And my second question is connected to this last investigation. Could you remember on how many investigations conversations between objects and Mr. Valentin Petrov were caught out? Thank you.
Mr. Vanyo Tanov: So, there were caught out actions that cannot be proved but we can make conclusions from them. For instance, in the case of Peshtera but I am not sure in which investigation exactly, conversations were realized between objects in Turkey. Those were people who owned printing houses there and there were offered five millions alcohol excise labels and 2, 5 millions cigarette excise labels. The production was completed and the information proceeded in a logical succession that it had already happened.
When all those things were cleared, we came to an agreement with our Turkish colleagues which had come to Bulgaria on a previous occasion, that we would send on a mission our officers to make a controlled delivery from Turkey to Bulgaria in order to keep under observation who would receive those labels.
Unfortunately, I cannot send our officers on missions because I have no such rights. They could be offered by me then Mr. Valentin Petrov had to agree and finally the General Secretary confirmed the mission. When inquiries were made about what would those people do in Turkey and what was everything about , that particular investigation and information were finished without logical consequences. Even though my colleagues had been sent on the mission to Turkey, it failed because the people who had to transport those labels to Bulgaria, didn’t show up. This proves indirectly once again that after the verification like in many other cases, the results are negative.
Mr. Atanas Atanassov: How many copies were made of the list with all these persons in it?
Mr. Vanyo Tanov: We made four copies of that list with investigations. The first copy is at the Service. The other 3 copies were sent to the Minister, the General Secretary – at that time gen. Iliev and one copy was given to Mr. Valentin Petrov.
The paradox was that when I came back from Rousse on Sunday afternoon, I went to the Service as always about 3 o’clock. I received the report bulletin on which I would report back at the operative meeting on Monday. The report was in an envelope, sealed, stamped with wax but the verification was left on the duty officer’s desk. For the reason that the duty officer receives the last number from open and secret cases register before the end of the work day on Fridays. And if it happened urgently to make an important document, we could use the next number. That is why that verification was left freely on the duty officer.
Chairman Mincho Spassov: Mr. Donchev.
Mr. Vladimir Donchev: Mr. Tanov , do you remember any cases when you have listened in on operative interesting people for the Service to come across to Minister Rumen Petkov? Are there such cases?
Mr. Vanyo Tanov: I have not received any messages containing direct conversations between Minister Petkov and other objects. All the messages from the operative operation were received by the field investigator. If he decides to report this information to the field investigator but I am sure that if there are such information he will never receive it.
Chairman Mincho Spasov: Are there any other questions? Mrs. Masseva, please.
Mrs Maseva: Could you make it clear to us because it is very intriguing – what was the investigation where you came across the nickname “The Lighter” ? And one shorter question.
Mister Vanyo Tanov: So, I didn’t remember how actually the nickname was but the investigation was connected to the Head of the Customs at Gorublyane. I’ m sorry but don’t remember their names.
We first arrested the Head of the Gorublyane Customs because she made 1500 levs of a pick up, then following 3000 levs.
Mrs. Eliana Masseva: And one more questions to you, Mr. Tanov? Are you afraid of the fact that you deliver public information? Do you have some reasonable doubts that you can be pursued and repressed because of that condition?
Mr. Vanyo Tanov: I have chosen my way and I will lie to you if I say that I’ m not afraid. But my family is familiar with this, they know my character and I will not step back till the end.
Chairman Mincho Spasov: Do you have any other questions?
Mrs Tatyana Doncheva: Did you understand after all for whom was made the inquiry with the names, the treatments and the nicknames?
Mr. Vanyo Tanov: I told you that it was made in 4 copies. The first copy was given to the minister, the second one was given to the general Secretary and the third copy was given to Mr. Valentin Petrov.
I will tell you that a businessman from Rousse called me when I travelled back to Sofia from Rousse on Sunday. He asked me if I came to Sofia to make investigation them. That means that only for the weekend, from Saturday to Sunday, information had already leaked out. However, I didn’t have any idea about it while traveling back to Sofia. So I asked Valentin Petrov if there was such inquiry because till that moment I didn’t know about it. And that was the reason for the serious scandal between us. I asked him what was so necessary in the day off to prompt Mrs. Dimitrova, she was a loyal official indeed, Mrs. Georgieva, I apologize, to tell something to the leadership no matter if it was true or not?
Mr. Vladimir Donchev: Which management do you suspect Mrs. Georgieva’s level of competence to contact with – the professional or the political one?
Mr Vanyo Tanov: I suppose that it was an order of the Minister of the Interior or of Valentin Petrov.
I have always thought it was made by the order of Valentin Petrov because of the serious scandal, that arose between us. For instance, it an inquiry could be done only with a nickname, a short annotation, and an investigation.
Chairman Mincho Spassov: Yes, you told this at the beginning. We are grateful to general Tanov.
Colleagues, I’m asking you to stay for a short summary. Only the members of the committee will discuss our further actions. The other colleagues can stay too if they want to listen to the final discussion.
The colleague Bulgarinov is speaking.
Mr. Borislav Bulgarinov: Dear colleagues, I am applying to the colleagues from the governing coalition, too. We have received enough materials and enough questions without answer, and it probably it happened mostly because of Mr. Iliev’s absence. However, in order to find the answers to those questions, for as we know Ivaylo Prodanov received a more specific kind of information and National Security State Agency didn’t answer to them, I think it is necessary to hear to the Minister of the Interior, having already heard some of the facts.
And in this connection I make one proposal to have a hearing to Minister of the Interior tomorrow in afternoon or on Friday in the break. So we will have the answers to all questions, exactly what we need, from the persons who can give us these answers, not from the mass media first.
Thank you. I want to vote this now.
Chairman Mincho Spassov: Please, formulate your exact questions to the Minister because we will ask him about the things that Mr. Tanov said. Shall we give him a shorthand record? That is why I am asking you Mr. Bulgarinov to formulate your proposal in this direction. I propose the date of the hearing to be as soon as possible, for example tomorrow at 14.30. That is why I am asking you to cancel all your appointments for tomorrow.
I am giving the word of Mr. Bulgarinov to formulate his questions.
Mr. Borislav Bulgarinov: I have formulated several groups of questions. The first one is that we have no answer to the following question – has Ivaylo Prodanov received classified information? The second group concerns the letters from National Security State Agency. These questions have to be answered by the Minister. And the last one is today’s hearing to Mr. Tanov.
Chairman Mincho Spassov: Colleagues, the issue is very serious and we have to react quickly. In my opinion this written statement has to be sent to the Prosecutor’s Office in order to check the facts stated here.. I am asking you not to publicize the text of the letters and the concrete names and in this way to check the work of the investigators. My opinion is to send this written statement to the Prosecutor’s Office and I am proposing to vote it. I propose to vote Mr. Bulgarinov’s proposal.
I am giving the word to Mr. Atanassov for another proposal.
Mr. Atanas Atanassov: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. At the end of the ends I think that every circumstance can be checked. Because everybody can express subjective opinion and everybody is responsible for doing it, of course. However, I would like to say a few things because I think that I know a little bit more but I don’t want some speculations to start with this. Because I do not do my work for myself. I am trying to do something for our country because the people outside say that we don’t have a country. In this connection first let we estimate the position of every person, whom we are talking about, and the institution represented by him/her.
So, I consider that is not necessary to listen to the Minister of the Interior. This is my opinion but it will be voted because the Minister of the Interior is a party concerned here. Apart from this, he has to organize his defence for another institution, not to hear to his version here and waste our time with this.
I join to the statement that the shorthand record has to be sent to the General Prosecutor and then he has to undertake the corresponding actions needed in relation to what was said and discussed that day. And it has to be done at this very moment, Mr. Chairman. I would say that it is very harmful when the parties concerned, as is the Minister of the Interior, receives the information for the cases which concerns him/her. We can have as an example the affair with Ivan Ivanov. Thereby public manipulations and other similar stories start.
And the same is the affair with the Galevi brothers. He came out and talked on the radio on Monday that he had met them because someone informed him about receiving the letter here, I am not saying whom he/she was. Therefore, in my opinion the right thing to do is this shorthand record to be transcribed on paper by the technical staff and after that it has to be sent to the General Prosecutor. I propose this to be voted. The hearing to the Minister of the Interior makes no sense because most of us are lawyers and we know what the things are. This is my proposal, thank you.
Chairman Mincho Spassov: Mr Georgiev
Mr. Georgi Georgiev: I will start backwards. I mean when everything is transcribed on paper it has to be sent to National Security State Agency too. Because National Security State Agency will find the right way in the situation. That was the reason why we made National Security State Agency. And the next thing is that I think that it is really not necessary the Minister of the Interior to be heard to. Because he will tell us the same things that he said in all TV programmes he was invited to take part in.
Chairman Mincho Spassov: Colleagues, let me take a stand on this issue. I think that when our Committee starts working on such an investigation, it is necessary the Minister of the Interior to be heard to as well…
It is admissible according to the Statute for the work of National Assembly to make such hearings. We have been in this process for 2-3 weeks. That is why it would be just and complied to the law to give the Minister this chance. Here you are.
Mr. Kamen Kostadinov: Mister Chairman, there are two formal proposals – the first one is the Minister to be heard to and the second one is not to have this hearing. My proposal is to vote them and after the decision of the Committee, we will discuss our further actions.
Chairman Mincho Spassov: Do you have any other proposals?
Mrs. Eliana Masseva: I have only one retort about the Minister of the Interior. We have asked the Minister for the Galevi brothers at the first hearing to the report on the synthetic drugs and then he denied. So, it is not necessary to come back to this issue.
Chairman Mincho Spassov: I put under vote Mr. Bulgarinov’s proposal for hearing to the Minister of the Interior tomorrow at 15.00 o’clock on a special meeting to give us the answers in the light of today’s report and the letter received from the State Agency. The ones who agree with this may vote. Who is content with this, please let’s vote. “16” For. Against? Nobody. Abstain from voting? Eight members.
I put under vote my proposal for sending the report to the Prosecutor’s Office. All members are For. Against? Nobody. Abstain from voting? Nobody.
I put under vote Mr. Georgiev’s proposal for sending the report to National Security State Agency. Mr. Georgiev has just retracted his proposal.
Colleagues, is there consensus to call the meeting tomorrow at 15.00 o’clock?
All members gave their consent to the proposal. I declare the meeting at 17.10 o’clock
The meeting was declared at 17.10 o’clock.
Chairman of the
Internal Security and Public Order Committee