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MP Demands Investigation of Emerging Bulgarian Media Magnate's Capital

Date: 07.12.2008

The Member of Parliament from the rightist Ataka party Mitko Dimitrov has sent a formal request to several state institution demanding an investigation of the origin of the capital of Irena Krasteva, Manager of "New Bulgarian Media Group" and her son Delyan Peevski, who is a Deputy Minister of Emergency Situations.

Dimitrov's demand for an investigation has been submitted to the Chief Prosecutor Boris Velchev, the State National Security Agency DANS, the Financial Supervision Commission, the National Revenue Agency, and the Parliamentary Commission for Fighting Corruption.

The pretext for the requested investigation is the recent sale of the cable TV channel "TV7", and of the newspaper Ekspres Daily to an unnamed investor, in which Krasteva's New Bulgarian Media Group served as a consultant.

Krusteva, who is a former head of the Bulgarian State Lottary, is also the owner of the Monitor Daily, the Telegraf Daily, the Politika Weekly, and the local Veliko Turnovo daily "Borba".

The MP states that Krusteva's former position as top ranking civil servant, and the present position of her son as a Deputy Minister necessitate an investigation of the origin of the capital of the firms, in which they participate.

According to Dimitrov, there was reason to believe that funds with suspiciously unclear origin allowed Krusteva and her son Peevski to become media magnates.

Reports in various Bulgarian media cite unofficial information that the unnamed investor buying TV7 and the Ekspres Daily is the Corporate Bank. The head of the Corporate Bank Tzvetan Vasilev as well as Krusteva and Peevski are believed to be in close relations with the ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms DPS, which is a junior partner in the governing three-way coalition.

The Deputy Minister of Emergency Situations Delyan Peevski was appointed from the quota of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms. He is notorious forbeen fired by the Prime Minister Stanishev in May 2007 over allegations of abuse of power.

In November 2007, however, the Prime Minister had to restore Peevski to the position he held formerly as the prosecutors in Sofia found no evidence of his guilt.

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