Intelligence Agencies Testify in Bulgarian Parliament, Accusations of Leaking Information and Political Interference Surface

The head of DANS, Plamen Tonchev, continued on Tuesday President Rumen Radev’s attack on “We continue the change”, explaining that ministers from the “Petkov” cabinet worked against the interests of the country. Tonchev then spread the word that a pre-trial proceeding had been initiated against an advisor to the former prime minister, Kiril Petkov, in connection with leaking information to a citizen of North Macedonia.

The hearing in the parliament of the three heads of the special services – DANS, DAR and Military Information Service – was proposed by “Vazrazhdane”. The purpose was for the three to say whether their appointment as the head of the special services goes through coordination with foreign embassies and organizations after the expiration of the recording of the meeting of the PP. However, the topic was expanded with a controlled leak of kompromats against the “Petkov” cabinet.

The co-chairman of the PP-DB group Atanas Atanasov said that an attempt is being made to discredit the second largest party and thwart efforts to form a government.

From the parliamentary rostrum, the head of counterintelligence appointed by President Radev began to make hints of treason in response to the questions of Radostin Vasilev, who presented the PP’s internal party records. Vassilev said he had no choice because the records on him were evidence of a crime he could not conceal. Then Plamen Tonchev asked if there were foreign agents among the deputies and ministers.

“The behavior of some ministers in the regular cabinet definitely did not protect the national interest,” said Tonchev, but without explaining why he thought so.

Before that, in response to a question from “Vazrazhdane”, the head of DANS announced that he had initiated pre-trial proceedings related to the coordination of positions of the Bulgarian state with a citizen of North Macedonia.

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“A case has been established in which an advisor to the Prime Minister coordinated the positions of the state with a citizen of the Republic of North Macedonia. Pre-trial proceedings have been initiated in the case,” said Plamen Tonchev. He did not specify details, but Toshko Yordanov from ITN directly mentioned the name of Vesela Cherneva, who was Kiril Petkov’s adviser.

“Everyone knows that the actions of this person were not carried out without the consent of his manager,” said Tonchev.

This was followed by calls from “Vazrazhdane” leader Kostadin Kostadinov for the immediate arrest of Kiril Petkov after he returned from his visit to Bratislava. He recalled how he himself was arrested three years ago because he failed to appear on time to give information. Toshko Yordanov came to the conclusion that ITN did Bulgaria the greatest favor by overthrowing the “Petkov” cabinet.

Finally, Mustafa Karadayi demanded with a declaration that “all nationally responsible parties” take measures against the attempts to establish a “dictatorship of smart beauty”.

On behalf of GERB, Toma Bikov stated that his party was against two years ago, when Rumen Radev carried out a “purge in the offices”, he will be against it now, when the leaders of PP want to do the same. He said that GERB has always been against such manifestations of “Bolshevism”.

The agency was alarmed

The hearing of the three heads of the special services finally turned into the hearing of Plamen Tonchev from DANS. Before that, however, the heads of the state’s intelligence apparatus declared that foreign countries and organizations had no role in their appointment.

Apart from the compromising scandals, the parliamentary debate brought out other interesting claims about the functioning of the special services.

Brigadier General Venelin Venev, who is the director of the “Military Intelligence” Service, was categorical for himself that “NATO’s trust with us is there.” He explained that similar scandals like the one with the leaked recording affect the emotional state of employees, demotivating them.

“There are people who measure the radiation four times a day in Ukraine so you know whether to put on gas masks and go to bomb shelters, there are people in the Western Balkans and other places. They are far from Bulgaria and take things more emotionally, motivation is falling and I have to reassure them – them and their families,” said Gen. Venev.

He explained that the Military Information Service had received permission from NATO partners to declassify information about what would happen just before the war in Ukraine and in the first months after it broke out.

The intelligence officer as a clerk

“Two years ago, the intelligence was conducted from 9 to 5, only on working days. On holidays and working days, only the security guard worked in the agency building”. said the head of the State Intelligence Agency, Antoine Gechev.

He explained that before he became head of foreign intelligence, information in the service was scattered across all departments, and employees did not talk to each other.

International cooperation was also dismissed in a completely illogical way,” explained the head of DAR.

“DAR does not belong to President Radev, it does not belong to any political party. There are no requirements anywhere for coordination with foreign embassies and international organizations. No one has expressed an official or unofficial desire to coordinate sovereign national decisions,” Gechev said.

He reminded that trust in the state also depends on the actions of the people’s representatives, the government and the presidency.

“I can safely say that DANS is a reliable and sought-after partner by partner services in the EU and NATO. We are represented in absolutely all partner formats,” DANS chief Plamen Tonchev said earlier.

He recalled the actions of DANS on internal cleansing of employees who are suspected of working in the service of Russian intelligence. Now these people are accused by the prosecutor’s office.

“Unproven allegations lead to reputational damage for the state,” Tonchev said and added that “attempts to divide society are part of hybrid operations, including Moscow’s.”

Atanas Atanasov: There wouldn’t be a war in Ukraine, right?

The co-chairman of the PP-DB group Atanas Atanasov reminded the deputies that the procedure for granting access to classified information is not carried out only in Bulgaria. This means that partner services can intervene in certain cases.

“There are two cases in which access to classified information was denied by the NATO security service. After that, officials were recalled,” Atanasov said, adding: “If the person is unreliable from the point of view of the NATO security service, then the person is not gets access”.

In response to the claims of intelligence chiefs that the Western services trusted them, he said: “Do you remember what our services explained two days before the start of war in Ukraine – that there will be no war. They trust them so much that this information was not submitted to them”.

2023-05-30 13:11:27

#DANS #attacks #Kiril #Petkov #hints #treason

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