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Prosecutors press charges following Ahchieva’s investigative articles

Valia Ahchieva [Burgasinfo]

By Georgi Gotev

The investigative reports by Valia Ahchieva published by this website started producing results. On 1 April Ahchieva revealed the smoking gun behind the road accident that killed 20 people near Svoge: a report by honest experts who went beyond their narrow assignment and identified the real reasons that led to the tragedy.

Thursday (18 April) the prosecution accused a number of officials in relation with the bus crash near Svoge. Doncho Atanasov and Svetoslav Glosov from API, the Agency for road insfrastructure, are charged, as well as the executive director of Trace (the road construction company which had rehabilitated the road), the technical manager, the asphalt base chief and the engineer who carried out the construction supervision. 10 inspections and 46 expert assessments have been conducted. The accusation indicates that the repair was done poorly. It was found that the technical cause of the crash was significantly reduced adhesion between tires and asphalt, just as the report, obtained by Valia suggests.

There is progress concerning an even more recent article by Ahchieva, published on 12 April: the story of a bridge, outrageously rehabilitated by a company known for collecting garbage, in order to avoid a public procurement procedure.

The website wrote on 16 April that the prosecutor Nikolay Tzvetkov from the prosecutor’s office in the city of Pernik has started pre-trial procedures for alleged crime in service, with the purpose of obraining illicit profit, to a large number of officials who have participated in the reconstruction of the dangerous bridge near the town of Tran. Among those answerable are officials from API, as well as the Consortium “ZBMG Construction”.

The move takes place after Ahchieva published her investigative report with the Brussels-based website, Defakto writes.

Ahchieva is contributing to pro bono, since 11 February. Her weekly investigative program with the Bulgarian National Television (BNT) was suspended last January without any legal grounds, in what appears to be another attempt to silence journalism that disturbs those on power in Bulgaria.

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