Bulgarian top cop investigated for bribery

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Associated Press

Posted on April 19, 2013 at 8:07 AM

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgarian prosecutors have begun pretrial proceedings against a senior police official suspected of bribery.

Sofia City Prosecutor Nikolai Kokinov said on Friday that Stanimir Florov, in charge of a special police unit for combating organized crime since 2009, will be investigated for "bribery in particularly large amounts, representing a severely grave case."

According to classified documents obtained by the prosecution, Florov allegedly protected smuggling and drug trafficking suspects, while serving in a lower position in the same police unit between 1999 and 2008.

Bulgaria, which joined the EU in 2007, has been urged by Brussels to reform the judicial system and step up its fight against organized crime as a condition for being admitted to the European passport-free Schengen zone.

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