COURT POSTPONES MEGACASE AGAINST FORMER BAC'S EXECUTIVES
IVAN ISKROV AND TODOR VULCHEV SUMMONED AS WITNESSESSofia Regional Court (SRC) put off to May 19 one of the most prominent bank lawsuits. Defendants on the case are the former top executives of the bankrupted Bank for Agricultural Credit (BAC). Only the indictment against the ex-executive directors of the credit institution is of 618 pages (without the appendixes). And the written statements on the case are collected in 106 volumes. The six defendants - Yanko Yanev, Pavel Daskalov, Angel Stankov, Mihail Zheliazkov, Atanas Tilev and Doncho Kyuchukov, are charged with embezzlement on Article 282 of the Criminal Code.Prosecutors claim that the former heads of BAC have violated their official duties by launching nearly 100 credits in the period 1992 - 1997 which have not been repaid so far. According to the accusation these loans have been given green light to without any surveys of the financial state of the firms-borrowers, without any economic grounds to be exacted and without checks of the offered guarantees. These violations are most obvious in the crediting of firms from Daru Group - owned by the former chairman of BAC's Board of Directors Atanas Tilev. Many pages of the indictment are dedicated to the companies from the Orion Circle which is related to Veska Medzhidieva and Roumen Spasov. According to the Prosecutor's Office, the defendants have caused damages to BAC amounting to BGL98BN (prior the denomination) or BGN98MN. Only the damages from the unpaid credits, enlisted in the indictment, are evaluated to USD28MN and DEM1MN.On March 10, 2003, at the first court session on the case against BAC's former top executives, a number of problems occurred. The meeting started more than an hour later than scheduled because a signal was given that a bomb had been planted in the building of Sofia Regional Court. When checking the building the police found a suspicious briefcase next to one of the coffee machines. SOTI's experts were summoned, but fortunately instead of a bomb, they found children toys in the brieftcase.Shortly after the start of the court session, lawyer Kiril Stoyanov, defending Atanas Tilev (who is presently abroad), asked for termination of the case and for its bringing back to phase preliminary legal procedure. According to Mr. Stoyanov the investigation must unite all accusations against Mr. Tilev in one case and only then should deposit it at court. For the time being, apart from the current lawsuit (initiated in 1995), there is one more case at SRC, dating back to 1999 and concerning other embezzlements at BAC. Defendants on the second case are four of the six defendants from the first one - Atanas Tilev, Yanko Yanev, Pavel Daskalov and Angel Stankov. On the second case (from 1999) they are also charged with embezzlement on Article 282 of the Criminal Code for launched and unrepaid credits. Even the crime period of both cases coincides - from 1992 to 1995. Ina Lulcheva, lawyer of Yanko Yanev, also asked for unification of the two cases.Judge Miroslava Todorova decided that the accusations from the two cases did overlap and ruled their unification in one. She appointed a seven-day term, within which defendants and their lawyers to get acquainted with the second indictment. The unified case will be heard at a five-day session from May 19 to May 23, 2003.