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Bomb Attack on Bulgarian Prosecutor May Have Been Staged, Opposition Claims

Prominent public figures cast doubt on official claims that Ivan Geshev was targeted by a roadside bomb.

This week’s alleged assassination attempt on Bulgaria’s public prosecutor may have been staged, prominent Bulgarian public figures claimed, as doubts grow about the evidence supporting the official version of events.

Officials said on Monday the country’s chief prosecutor, Ivan Geshev, escaped unscathed after a roadside bomb went off as he drove past. Borislav Sarafov, head of the National Investigation Service, spoke of an “extremely strong” explosion that generated a towering pillar of fire and left a 3 meter-wide crater in the road. “Obviously the bomb was intended to kill,” he told national media.

Reporters who made it to the location of the blast within hours found only a small patch of lightly disturbed grass, provoking immediate mockery on social media. Some of the country’s most prominent opposition figures have joined the chorus of doubt.

The aftermath of the alleged explosion looks more like someone was trying to “scare rabbits” than carry out an assassination, Asen Vasilev, co-founder of anti-corruption party Continuing the Change, quipped to local journalists.

Geshev is a controversial figure in Bulgaria. As chief prosecutor, he wields the power to bring criminal cases against alleged gangsters who, opposition leaders say, have infiltrated the state at the highest levels. He fails to do so, they say, and corrupt officials may have staged this week’s attack to ward off calls to hold him to account.

“This supposed assassination attempt has the main goal of thwarting the radical reform of the Prosecutor’s Office through glorification of the victim,” said Atanas Atanasov, co-chairman of the Democratic Bulgaria party, adding that there was “clear evidence of staging”.

Ilian Vassilev, a former ambassador to Moscow, compared the incident to a Russian misinformation campaign and said it might presage a crackdown. “Geshev used the Kremlin’s handbook in creating crisis PR to justify aggression,” he said.

On Thursday Europol said it had offered to join the investigation.

The Ministry of Interior declined to comment.

Source : Politico