Bulgaria’s Justice Minister, Tsetska Tsacheva, resigned from office today after it was reported that she and three other politicians from the ruling Citizens for the European Development Bulgaria (GERB) party bought luxury apartments at prices well below their market value.
The government’s press office said that the Bulgarian Anti-Corruption Commission has opened an investigation into the purchase of large apartments in an expensive neighborhood in Sofia last year.
This follows reporting by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and the Bivol.bg news website which revealed that at least three other members of the GERB party, apart from Tsacheva, have also purchased luxury apartments in the same area for prices that were up to more than fifty percent less than the market value.
The apartments were all bought from the same developer, called Arteks, which recently received government approval to build a 34-story office and apartment building in central Sofia.
Tsacheva has denied receiving the apartment at a discounted price in return for government support for the development project.
Another of the affected politicians, GERB’s parliamentary spokesman, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, has also denied having committed any irregularities, as has Deputy Sports Minister, Vania Koleva, has also resigned on Saturday.
Speaking to Bulgarian press Tsacheva said that she was the one who requested the authorities investigate the allegations because she has nothing to fear from the outcome.
“I’m not worried that I may have committed a crime,” Tsacheva told reporters in a Nova TV stream from the city of Stara Zagora.
”But while there are ongoing inquiries by the anti-corruption commission and by the prosecution, it’s not right to work as a justice minister.” she said