THE PLOVDIV MAYOR FOLLOWS IN HIS SOFIA COUNTERPART'S TRACKS
On July 5, the Plovdiv Regional Prosecutors' Office initiated preliminary proceedings against an unknown perpetrator because of the sale of the Antique Forum and the Episcopal Basilica in Plovdiv. Since 1995, the two sites have been declared cultural monuments of national importance which makes them public property, as the BANKER weekly wrote on June 28. The case will be led against the Plovdiv mayor Dr. Ivan Tchomakov and officials in his administration. The prosecutors classified the service crimes as particularly heavy since they had brought profit to the buyers - Alpha Mladost OOD and BTP OOD, and had had significant negative results for the state. The two antique monuments were sold in 2002 and 2003 as empty yards, in return to BGN1.240MN and BGN645,600 respectively. I accept the initial proceedings as a normal procedure in the Bulgarian judicial system. After the appeals before the Supreme Procesutors' Office and the inspections of the economic police, I expected the Regional Prosecutors' Office to act according to the signals received, Dr. Tchomakov told reporters. I believe in the professional attitude and the impartiality of the prosecutors. The preliminary proceedings will reveal the whole truth about our motives and our actions. I am ready to assist the inspecting authorities.Should the accusation be proven, the law provides up to ten-year imprisonment.The Chief Prosecutors' Office was informed about the case on May 25, 2004 by Emil Zhechev, former deputy mayor and chief architect of Plovdiv. A few days later the MPs from the Democrats for Strong Bulgaria party, Ivan Kostov and Dr. Vassil Panitsa, alarmed about the case, too.