Bulgaria’s Outgoing PM ‘Frequent Target of Assassins’

As Bulgaria’s parliament approved his resignation, Prime Minister Borisov recalled the numerous death threats made against him over the years.Citing a document from the intelligence service of a foreign country, Bulgaria’s outgoing Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, said on Thursday that Ahmed Dogan, honorary chair of the ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms, DPS, had at one point wanted him dead.

Borisov spoke about various threats to his life just minutes after parliament accepted the resignation of the government of his ruling centre-right GERB party.

He said he had learned about another plotted assassination attempt on his life just two weeks ago.

This attempt, in 2009, just ahead of the last general election, came after he damaged the interests of a powerful, international organized crime group.

The Bulgarian newspaper Trud said three tip-offs regarding threats to Borisov’s life had come from neighbouring Serbia.

The first two dated from 2003 and 2004 and were tied to Serbian drug lord Sreten Jocic, known as Joca Amsterdam.

He was apprehended in Bulgaria in 2002, and extradited to The Netherlands. The threats involved both Borisov and the Dutch prosecutor who requested the extradition.

In 2002, the Bulgarian Interior Ministry launched a covert operation against Jocic, which also entangled a Bulgarian mobster, Milcho Bonev, “Bay Mile”, close to one of the two top organized crime groups in the 1990s, known as SIK.

Bay Mile was killed along with five other people in 2004 after surviving a bomb attack in 2001.

The third Serbian threat against Borisov dates from June 2005, when the Serbian services for combatting organized crime reported that the Serbian mafia was planning an attack on the Bulgarian Chief Secretary of the Interior, which was Borisov’s post at the time.

At least two other serious threats came from Bulgarian organized crime groups. The first dates from 2001, when Bulgarian mobsters Konstantin Dimitrov and Meto Ilienski, both from the VIS group, and Stoil Stoilov, from the rival SIK group, were intercepted by Greek mafia planning Borisov’s murder in the Hyatt hotel in Thessaloniki.

The Greeks then informed the Bulgarian security services. Dimitrov was killed in 2006, while Ilienski vanished in 2003.

In February 2002, the same people and several other mobsters met in a vacation home in the Vitosha mountain near Sofia to plot the murder of Borisov over a busted illegal drugs channel.

The National Security Services, NSO, also list as serious a bomb threat against Borisov and his Deputy, Interior Minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, issued days after GERB won the general election in the summer of 2009.

According to Borisov, he had received scores and even “thousands” of such threats over the years.

Borisov resigned on Wednesday, saying he did not want to see blood shed on the streets. He said he was returning the power to the people who elected him in the summer of 2009.

He quit after large-scale protests against high utility bills led to clashes with riot police with many injuries and incidents of vandalism.

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