24 March 2019

Government’s press office said Bulgarian Justice Minister Tsetska Tsacheva (in picture) resigned on Saturday following media reports that she and three other ruling centre-right GERB party politicians have bought luxurious apartments at below market prices. Prime Minister Boyko Borissov accepted her resignation after meeting with her early on Saturday. Borissov said that anyone who has breached the laws will have to deal with the consequences.

The Bulgarian Prosecutor’s Office said that the Anti-Corruption Commission would be investigating GERB parliamentary leader Tsvetan Tsvetanov, Justice Minister Tsacheva, Deputy Minister of Sport Vanya Koleva and Vezhdi Rashidov, head of Parliament’s committee on culture and a former culture minister, in connection with their apartment acquisitions.

Tsacheva reiterated she had demanded the anti-corruption probe herself as she had nothing to hide. She said that she had not committed an abuse of office, but did not want to be in the government while the investigations are going on.

The issue came to light earlier this week after the Bulgarian section of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and the non-governmental Anti-Corruption Fund published their investigation into the property deals. Their report was picked up by other Bulgarian media outlets.

While denying any wrongdoing Tsacheva, asked the Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate the terms on which she had acquired a specious apartment in an upmarket Iztok residential area last year and to make their findings public.

Tsvetan Tsvetanov, leader of GERB’s parliamentary group, has also denied any wrongdoing. Deputy Sports Minister Vanya Koleva resigned on Saturday over the deals. Sofia Globe reported.