Protesting Bulgarians wiretapped under ‘coup’ accusation

By Krassen Nikolov
Jul 29, 2021
photo: Vassil Donev/EPA/EFE

More than 100 Bulgarian citizens and opposition politicians who took part in 2020 mass protests against the government of Boyko Borissov and the Chief Prosecutor Ivan Geshev were wiretapped after being accused of planning a “coup,” acting Interior Minister Boyko Rashkov told parliament.

On Wednesday, Rashkov answered questions by MPs and promised to provide the data to a parliamentary committee which is set to investigate the case. According to the information made public in parliament, at least 123 citizens were wiretapped at the request of the specialised prosecutor’s office and with the permission of the specialised criminal court.

The authorities obtained permission for the wiretapping, by staging an investigation into a criminal coup by a group of individuals alleged to be seeking to forcibly oust Borissov. The case was conducted by the specialised prosecutor’s office, which is normally in charge of cases of utmost importance, and the court accepted these arguments.

Thus, legally protesting Bulgarians fell victim to surveillance by the secret services. The previous “coup” case that the Bulgarian prosecutor’s office worked on was after the death of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin in the 1950s.

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