Europe

Bulgarian judges indicted in embezzlement probe

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgarian prosecutors have filed an indictment against two top magistrates for alleged embezzlement and document fraud.

The head of the Sofia Court of Appeals, Veselin Pengezov, and Petko Petkov, head of the Military Court of Appeals, were indicted on Monday for embezzling European Union funds from a project to develop an integrated IT system for the Bulgarian military courts.

The prosecutor's office did not specify the exact amount of the funding that was awarded in 2008, but media reports put the figure at an estimated 90,000 euros ($125,000). Both have denied all charges claiming that the case was politically motivated.

The European Commission is closely monitoring Bulgaria's progress in reforming its inefficient judiciary since joining the bloc in 2007, and has repeatedly voiced concern over widespread corruption.

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