Bulgarian former head of the National Intelligence Service sentenced to 10-years in prison for embezzlement
The Sofia Military Court sentenced the former head of the Bulgarian National Intelligence Service, Gen. Kircho K., to 10 years in prison for the embezzlement of BGN 4.7 mln (ca. EUR 2.4 mln) between 2007 and 2011, the Bulgarian newswire, The Sofia Globe, reported August 7.
â€śApart from the 10-year prison sentence, the court also ordered the seizure of Kircho K.â€™s assets to pay off a separate BGN 4.7 mln civil lawsuit lodged by the National Intelligence Service,â€ť the newswire reported. â€śGen. Kircho K. was also banned from holding any official position involving handling of finances for a period of 15 years.â€ť
Although Kircho K. was tried behind closed door, given the confidential nature of the information discussed during the trial, prosecutors disclosed that embezzlementÂ charges against Kircho K. were based on the falsification of than 1,000 documents to justify expenses for operations that never took place.
Gen. Kircho K. was appointed as the head of the National Intelligence Service by former Bulgarian President Georgi Purvanov in February 2003. When his term ended in January 2012 he briefly served as an adviser on security issue during the first term of Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov.
During an interview with Bulgarian National Radio on August 7, Kircho K. denied the charges and confirmed that he plans to appeal the verdict, adding that the trial was politically motivated.
â€śThe trial was politically motivated and carried out at the behest of current leadership of the intelligence agency and senior politicians in Borissovâ€™s party, GERB,â€ť Kircho K. stated, as cited by the newswire. â€śFor the courtâ€™s ruling I blame todayâ€™s political conjuncture inside and outside the country, especially the demands imposed on our country by outside factors.â€ť
Photo courtesy of Sam Howzit (Wikimedia Commons).Â