Bulgaria: Former Defense Minister Acquitted in Bribery Case

The Supreme Court of Bulgaria Tuesday acquitted former Defense Minister Nikolay Tsonev and two others of bribery.

 Defense Ministry of BulgariaIn September 2010, the Sofia City Prosecutor’s Office charged Tsonev, Judge Petar Santirov and former Finance Ministry official Tencho Popov with offering investigator Petyo Petrov € 20,000 (US$ 22,700) to drop inquiries into a case involving Tsonev.

Tsonev served as defense minister from 2008-2009. In a separate case, he was acquitted in October 2012 of failing in his public duties between February and June of 2009 by purchasing an expensive and allegedly unnecessary military optic cable system, known as Strandja-2.

Petrov, 46, was a key witness in the more recent trial, testifying against the three. Petrov is currently head of investigations at the Sofia.City Prosecutor’s Office.