site.btaUPDATED Ex-Energy Minister Nikolov and Two Others Accused of Causing BGN 88 Mln Detriment to Public Gas Supplies
Former Energy Minister Alexandar Nikolov and two others have been accused of causing a detriment to the amount of BGN 88 million to public gas supplier Bulgargaz, the Sofia City Prosecution Office said Wednesday. On her way out of the National Investigation Service together with her client, Nikolov's lawyer Ina Lulcheva said that he has been charged over the suspension of Russian gas supplies to Bulgaria in April 2022.
A statement by the prosecution service later in the day made it clear that Nikolov has been charged with intentional mismanagement and malfeasance in office.
Nikolov was minister in the coalition government of Continue the Change.
The prosecution service also said that two more people have been charged along with Nikolov: D.N. and L.Y. That appear to be former Deputy Energy Minister Daniel Nikolov and former Bulgargaz CEO Lyudmil Yotsov.
Lulcheva said that he is held responsible "for rejecting the Gazprom demand for paying in rouble for gas supplies".
In Nikolov's words, "the charges boil down to Bulgaria's decision not to give in to the extortion by Gazprom and Russia".
The prosecution service said that the three are held accountable for detriment caused to public gas supplier Bulgargaz amounting to BGN 88 million. "The pretrial case was opened on August 8, 2022 based on materials from the State Agency for National Security which contained enough data that an offence has been committed," the statement said.
It says further that the said "intentional mismanagement and malfeasance in office threatened the performance of obligations of Bulgargaz as per its licence for public supply of natural gas in the Republic of Bulgaria for a period of 35 years".