Bulgaria’s interim Prime Minister Galab Donev called for an immediate national security meeting to address security fears after an explosion near the car of chief prosecutor Ivan Geshev the day prior.
Authorities described the blast as intended to kill the prosecutor. It took place on Monday, as Geshev’s vehicle was slowing down on a highway near the town of Samokov.
At the time of the incident, Geshev was traveling with his wife and children. No one in the car was injured.
The head of the National Investigation Service, Borislav Sarafov, described the explosives as containing 3 kilograms of TNT, and leaving a three-meter-wide crater. He described the bomb as being hand-made, but controlled digitally.
In the weeks before the attack, Geshev cited security concerns that there were plans to oust him.
Some media outlets, however, have published reports that the attack was effectively a PR stunt for the prosecutor.
“There are inconsistencies in the official version of events that don’t add up,” Emanuil Yordanov, Bulgaria’s interior minister from 1999-2001, told Bulgarian National Radio.
“The level of crime in Bulgaria in recent years does not suggest an assassination attempt on the Prosecutor General. It has been a long time since a crime of an ambitious and serious scale has been committed,” he added.
Other critics have expressed concern that the explosion and corresponding security fears may have been intended to undermine a legislative push for judicial reform that could better facilitate the removal of Geshev.
The draft legislation in question is being advanced by the We Continue the Change party and the Democratic Party. It has received some support from the former ruling party GERB, despite the party’s loyalty to Geshev.
“In such cases, the key question is always who has an interest to do such a thing. The answer is: no one. That is, except Geshev himself, who actually has an interest in staging an attempt, after realizing that it is only a matter of time before he is eliminated by legal means,” said lawyer Mikhail Ekimdzhiev.
A prosecutor’s office spokesperson said Geshev would not make any official statement. He said rumors that the attack was staged were “inadmissible.”
Geshev was appointed as chief prosecutor in December 2019. His seven-year mandate has been marred by controversy. He was the sole candidate for the chief prosecutor post, and has largely been viewed as a protector of then-acting Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, leader of GERB.
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