A month ago, the Prosecutor’s Office initiated an investigation of Toma Belev, ex-director of Vitosha Park and current municipal councillor from Democratic Bulgaria.
The reason is the illegal appropriation of the Association of Parks in Bulgaria. In the course of the investigation it has been discovered that the non-governmental organization owns dozens of properties on the territory of the country. The reference on their properties at the Registry Agency runs for as many as 81 pages. They are purchased with funding from the times when the members of the Association of Parks in Bulgaria were only the directorates of the state parks.
Belev was voted chair of the organization in 2003 when he was the director of Vitosha Park. Although the mandate is 5 years, from 2003 to 2014 Belev has not held any of the compulsory General Meetings, nor has he organized new elections for chair of the Association.
In 2012 he was removed from the director’s position at Vitosha Park, but he remained chair of the organization in violation of the Statute.
In 2014 he held a General Meeting where he included 15 physical persons, all of them close to him, as new members and changed the Statute.
All these actions of Belev were declared illegal by the court, while the decisions made at the General Meeting were annulled.
In spite of this, he is still managing the property of the Association. The investigating bodies are also checking how the properties of the Association of Parks in Bulgaria were acquired.
The Association of Parks is managed by Belev not as an association to the benefit of society, but rather as a Sole Member Limited Liability Company. The Association is participating in many public tenders and international projects, both on its own and in consortia mainly with members of the For Nature in Bulgaria coalition.
The profits are in the millions.
How are these funds spent? Are any crimes committed and why is Belev still managing the organization in spite of the court decisions? The investigation of the Prosecutor’s Office will answer these questions.