Bulgarian Ex-Spy Chief Charged with Embezzling Millions


Bulgaria's former spy chief Kircho Kirov has been charged with embezzling millions from the National Intelligence Service's budget between 2007 to 2011, Sofia military prosecutors said Wednesday.

Kirov -- who headed the service from February 2003 to January 2012 -- allegedly issued 1,100 documents for expenses he did not make and pocketed the money, estimated at 4.7 million leva (2.4 million euros, $3.1 million).

Charged with embezzlement and document fraud, he now risks between 10 and 20 years in jail and confiscation of property if found guilty.

The prosecution said the case was "particularly grave given the high office of the perpetrator".

Presa daily newspaper reported Wednesday that Kirov had opened a non-existant investigation under the code name D-05 and paid imaginary agents for working on it. The money -- about 900,000 leva per year -- has not been recovered.

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