What do the oligarchs put at stake in their battle against Delyan Peevski, the sworn enemy of the backstage machinations in Bulgaria? You can judge by yourselves if you only take the trouble to finger through the pages of the flagship newspaper of the oligarchs’ disinformation fleet – the Capital.

The media outlet of the indicted boss Ivo Prokopiev (who is held accountable for the scandalous privatisation deals of EVN and Kaolin – Ed.’s note) have long specialised in denouncing the MP of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms and publisher of Telegraph Media.

To this end, the name of Peevski is used as a label which they stick on everything bad or obscure in Bulgaria and impute to him the ties with who not, starting from the Russians (because anyone who is inconvenient to the oligarchy has by all means be a Russophile, despite the fact that Peevski is the last man in Bulgaria who can be really blamed for being a Russophile) and down to all kinds of international conspiratorial figures. The main thing is to paint Peevski black, make him look a bad guy who communicates with bad guys while the good oligarchs appear like deus ex machina to salvage the people from this evil.

To implement this plan Capital embarked on a crusade writing non-stop heroic scenarios for its business deities. One-third of the last issue of this otherwise negligible newspaper was devoted to painting Peevski blacker than the devil. Thus, the name of the lawmaker was lugged in three ample texts aimed only at misinforming the community. The approach is trivial – just concoct all facts, sub-truths and open lies which have emerged over the span of the last week concerning the purported poisoning of the arms dealer Emiliyan Gebrev, his son and the director of one of Gebrev’s ammunitions plants. All these ingredients are mixed into an incredible media hotchpotch.

To make it easier to sort out lies and truths and the facts existing only in the sordid fantasies of some oligarchs we made a summary of facts which Capital has manipulated or presented as biased or openly false information:

1.  The media outlet of Ivo Prokopiev is the only source (both Bulgarian and international – Ed.’s note) which adamantly claims that Gebrev was poisoned with Novichok nerve agent. More than that – Capital sticks to an old scheme airing its claims in Bulgaria, then these claims are used as a source by a number of foreign editions and finally Capital quotes its own articles, but by that moment it has already “laundered” the information abroad just to reproduce it again in Bulgaria. The truth is that to this day there is not a single official institution, neither in Bulgaria nor abroad, which would claim that they can provide evidence that Gebrev fell victim to this nerve agent. These leads are being probed into but so far they are deemed hypothetical. In case they are evidenced, this horrendous crime has to be punished to the fullest extent of the law. And we, the media outlets of Telegraph Media, insist on that from the first day when the information about the possibility of Novichok being used in Bulgaria was first aired in our country.    

2.  From the very start of the Gebrev saga the oligarchic fake news media have been trying to wrap up several storylines together without having any evidence of their being interconnected. On the contrary – so far the results of the probes show that most likely these are two separate stories where the protagonists have nothing to do with each other.  The word is about Gebrev’s hospitalisation after a dinner with his foreign business partners and the fact that at that time a GRU agent was in Bulgaria. This agent worked under cover personality of Fedotov who is among the suspects as an accomplice in the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter, according to British investigators. In their opinion, Fedotov really was in Bulgaria at that moment. At some other moments, too. And, as soon as it is not deemed normal that some shady Russian agents scurry about an EU member country, the itinerary and all contacts of Fedotov in Bulgaria have been probed into and the information has been passed over to the British authorities which investigate the Skripals poisoning. Everything else, apart from this body of information, is so far in the sphere of guesses and conspirator theories. This applies also to the wish of a certain group of people to include this story in this plot convenient to the behind-the-scenes clique.

3.  The basic element in the Capital’s disinformation campaign is the suggestion that Gebrev and Peevski were nearly enemies. Neither of them have ever claimed that it was true. On the contrary, they both have touch points which could well result in an alleged conflict. The only reason why their names are quoted in one and the same sentence is the attempt of the oligarchs to bring it home that Peevski wanted to lay hands on the munitions plant. Because this is the easier way to somehow justify their own wish to use Dunarit as their private ATM. The truth is that Peevski publicly announced that he has never showed interest in the defence industry or any want to work with it. These statements, however, are conveniently omitted by Capital. They prefer to spread information about the imaginary ties instead of making a simple journalistic checkup just to verify the facts.   

4.  In all articles on this topic Capital and its satellite media are brandishing some non-existant Russian ties of Peevski. There are no such ties! He has never had any ties with Russia and has never had any affiliations to this part of the World. On the contrary. Delyan Peevski is the MP of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, a party with a definite Euro-Atlantic alignment while the editions of his media group have always been supporting the clear-cut editorial policy and democratic values which have nothing in common with the imaginary Russian ties. Unlike Peevski, however, other characters in this story do have rather close Russian ties, starting from Gebrev himself, who accidentally or not, was dining and wining with his Russian and Polish partners shortly before he was hospitalised. Or oligarch Tsetan Vassilev who partners with him in the scheme for Dunarit appropriation. Vassilev has twice attempted to hand out the munitions plant to the Russians who are closely related to the Kremlin and the Moscow oligarchy, such as Pierre Louvrier, Konstantin Malofeev and Dmitrii Kosarev. The close Russian connections lurk behind one of the main “spokesmen” on the Gebrev case, the pseudo journalist Atanas Chobanov. Posing as an “independent journalist” he shares bed with daughter of RIA Novosti correspondent in Paris Maria Onuchko. She herself is also connected with the Kremlin propaganda machine via the project for which she is working.  Against this backdrop, all accusations addressed to Peevski sound like an old proverb, “He who smelt it, dealt it”.

5. And аs we are talking about a thief, don’t you notice that along with the whole conspiracy about Novichok, Russian agents and poisoned businessmen all and the same word is always mentioned. This is the Dunarit munitions plant. Its role in the whole scheme is crucial for the oligarchs, especially for Tsvetan Vassilev, who can afford hiding from the Bulgarian justice system abroad and to pay to all sorts of garbage journalists, lobbyists and lawyers with the money he is still draining from CorpBank. That is why he worries so much that someone may take it away from him. And this “someone” is the State, of course. The State is the main creditor of CorpBank and Dunarit owes indirectly about BGN 200m to it. And, because Vassilev does not want to pay off these debts, neither the outstanding BGN 5bn which he syphoned off CorpBank, he is now pushing to the public via his media outlets (including those controlled by his oligarchic cronies) the talking point that there were some “private interests” to this munitions plant. Now it’s time to mention Peevski again, who together with his colleagues Hamid Hamid and Yordan Tsonev moved the amendments to the Bank Insolvency Act thanks to which the State has the right to seek reimbursement of the stolen billions and to forestall the secondary looting of the assets bought with the money of CorpBank.   

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