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Hundreds of Candles Flicker in front of "Indigo" The relatives, schoolmates and other people came to the "Indigo" disco to lit up a candle in commemoration of the seven children who died in a melee at the disco's entrance in December. The schoolmates of Tsveti, Mitko, Chrisi, Eli, Madlena, Viki and Ljuba brought toys and plaster angels.

Thousands of Candles Lighted 'Indigo'


Milena Orozova

There were children again in front of the 'Indigo' discotheque last night. The same children, who 40 days ago at 6.30 p.m. had gathered there to celebrate Christmas. Now tears fell on their cheeks. They held flowers and 7 candles in their hands. A candle for each of the children - Tzvety, Mitko, Krisi, Eli, Madlena, Viki and Lyuba. The children who died stamped down in the crowd. 40 days later there wasn't music. Only one priest prayed for the children's souls. In the morning residents of Sofia covered with flowers the entrance to the discotheque. Instead of flowers their coevals left plaster angels and fluffy toys at the spot, where their last cry for help was heard.


King Had His Say, Let Him Be Heard.


Evgeni Petrov

The famous appeal Peter Stoyanov sent to Ivan Kostov, "Ivan, tell them, they will understand...", only at first glance bears similarity with what happened in NMS on Saturday. Just like Kostov did two years ago, Simeon also scolded his deputies and ministers and now people are expecting that he will, first, change some of the ministers (like Kostov) and, second, name the real reasons for the change (unlike Kostov). However Simeon differs from Ivan. He never laid the solid foundation for the Party, never required two recommendations for membership. Simeon's cousins do not belong to the "Olymp" circle, but to the aristocratic elite of the world. For this reason he is independent from his party opponents, which any Balkan political structure generates aplenty. It would be nave to assume that the MPs, ministers and their deputies do not know whom exactly the King meant in his speech before the frustrated constituent assembly of NMS-party. And, if the ideas of the new time prove to be true, these people will leave on their own accord, without waiting King's finger to point to them. Simply because the King is not a field-keeper whose business is to rush the kids from the melon field. Whereas the NMS shouldn't be converted into a kindergarten for grown-ups. Evidently, in part of the NMS members the appetite and digestive system have developed more rapidly than certain cortex centers, which is detrimental for the entire organism's behavior. Simeon again has made the wisest move. This time against his own people. Now it's their turn to understand him.

Parvanov Chooses New Chief of the NSS within 10 Days.


Gen. Borissov insists that the acting chief Ivan Drashkov becomes a titular.

Within 10 days President Georgy Parvanov will suggest new chief of the National 'Security' Service (NSS). This became clear from his statement after he met Chief Secretary of the IM Boyko Borissov yesterday. The two of them talked for about 15 minutes in the building of the mayoralty in Targovishte in the presence of the chief of the National Service 'Police' Directorate Gen. Vassil Vassilev. Parvanov said that he already had 5-6 suggestions for counter-intelligence agent N1 on his bureau. Some of the the people were connected with the service, but no one of them was recommended by a political force. To well informed sources among them are Alexander Petrov, who left the IM in 1990, Chavdar Petrov, former deputy-chief of the NSS during the rule of Minister Lyubomir Nachev. The counter intelligence service needs not simply a new director, but a new leading team, Parvanov added. My idea was met with understanding, said he after the meeting with General Borissov.


Jews to Invest $200-M in Sofia.


Silvia Nikolova

Israeli 'Plazza Center' company aspires to build a communication - social center downtown Sofia for $200 million. Premier Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha had been already acquainted with the project and has approved it, said governor of Great Sofia - Rossen Vladimirov. A hospital, kinder gartens, banks, post offices and optic networks on improvement of the telecommunications, are part of the construction sites, which 'Plazza Center' wants to make. Flying ground for medical helicopters of 'Pirogov' Emergency Health Center will be built for free by the Israeli company as well. The project's realization will provide within 6,000 and 9,000 jobs, of them 3,000 full-time working places, Rossen Vladimirov stressed.


Border Control Boats Chase Run-away Ship.


"Nova Cura" implicated in theft of goods meant for Ukraine.

Elena Dimitrova

Boats of the border control chased for half an hour a ship ran away from the port of Bourgas. Despite the blockade the vessel under a Maltese flag managed to escape from the authorities. The officers of the border police blocked the entrances to the port and started the chase. The action lasted till noon. The authorities of all Black-Sea countries were informed about the incident. "Nova Cura" was detained a week ago according to a court decision. The vessel was arrested on the request of USA company "California Trading". The lawyer of the American company, Ivo Baev, declared that the ship's owner has to pay $ 870,000 in compensations. The ship unloaded tons of poultry meat in Bourgas. According to the contract, though, it had to deliver it to Ukraine.

Minister Passy Takes Sofiyanski in Moscow.


Sofia mayor Stephan Sofiyanski is enlisted in the delegation, which Foreign Minister Solomon Passy will lead to Moscow. Ivan Petkov - Deputy Foreign Minister, Vladimir Donchev - chairman of the parliamentary group for friendship between Bulgaria and Russia, Bourgas mayor Yoan Kostadinov and Chief Secretary of Foreign Affairs - Yasharali Ahmed, will also travel. Businessmen, public figures, scientists and cultural figures are also included in the delegation. Passy will meet his counterpart Igor Ivanov in Moscow. Both of them will sign an Agreement on the journeys of both states' citizens, which envisages visa alleviations. Passy will have appointments also with Moscow mayor Yurii Luzhkov and other high-ranking official persons. Russia's Patriarch Alexis II will receive the Bulgarian delegation as well.


IM Data Are Untrue.

INTERVIEW Standartnews: Boiko Rashkov

They have 12 000 examining officers with each one completing three cases annually, claims MP Boiko Rashkov, former chief of the National Investigation Service.


- Mr Rashkov, IM chief secretary Boiko Borissov and minister Georgi Petkanov said there were 50 000 pending cases. Do they include the latest ones?

- Yes. Among them is the case of what happened in the 'Indigo' disco, of which I don't know why the ministry was in a hurry to announce there were no guilty, even before an investigation had been started. Is this the way he will decide things if the inquiry is sent to the IM too? Employed in the IM are around 12 0000 examining officers and theirs should be a very high quality activity when taking into account the comparatively low degree of their occupation (around 3 cases in court per person in 2001 according to data of the prosecutor from the HCPO (Higher Cassation Prosecution Office) Hristo Manchev). Regrettably, in the view of magistrates and prosecutors things are not like this.

- What do you think of the idea of the IM leadership for magistrates to be attached to the ministry?

- Under the constitution the inquiry authorities are in the judicial and not in the executive power, in the IM respectively. This is not accidental. The interior minister is a political person and he shouldn't exercise any powers on the investigation. Because in every democratic state, by law the procedural decisions are based on the law, evidence and inner conviction. And not on an order. The idea of Mr Petkanov is not topical. To have it implemented the constitution has to be necessarily amended. I'm sure that my MP colleagues wouldn't dare turn the country's development 12 years back with the introduction of totalitarian and Stalinist methods of the inquiry system.

- Mr Rashkov, there were misunderstandings even when Bogomil Bonev was interior minister. Are these contradictions personal or in principle?

- I've never had any conflicts with the IM. I have been an officer in that ministry. As for certain personnel misunderstandings between the members of the IM leadership in definite periods, it's another matter. They are a result not of a real assessment of any moral and professional qualities, but of a personal or party and politically biased loyalty what is the case of Mr Bonev.

- You had a conflict with the justice minister and according to your own words, also with some other people from Ivan Kostov's entourage. Later on you were removed from the Supreme Judicial Council. Is there any antagonism between you and the UDF?

- Talking about toadying, former minister Vassil Gotsev was a worthy rival of Mr Bonev, because he had more experience, gained in the top echelon of the totalitarian power by 1989 - a fact which was successfully used by Ivan Kostov. Similar samples were in abundance around Bulgaria's former prime minister.





Macedonian Defence Minister Popovski Meets PM Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, President Purvanov.

Sofia, January 30 (BTA) - Macedonian defence minister Vlado Popovski met Wednesday with Bulgarian prime minister Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and familiarized him with the situation in Macedonia and the implementation of the Ohrid agreement, said the Government information directorate. Popovski arrived on an official two-day visit to Sofia at the invitation of his Bulgarian counterpart Nikolai Svinarov. During the visit the two signed a protocol for military cooperation in 2002. Popovski met with president Georgi Purvanov, as well, on Wednesday.

Popovski stressed before Saxe-Coburg-Gotha the Macedonian's government wish that life in the country return to normal and that the country be integrated in the European structures, which will have a favourable effect on the overall situation in the Balkans.

After conferring with president Purvanov, Popovski said that during his meetings here Tuesday and Wednesday he was reassured that Bulgaria's foreign policy is extremely friendly towards Macedonia.

At the meeting with the president the sides stressed the importance of future work in improving infrastructure - especially the transport network - in the region for its overall stabilization, as well as for bilateral military cooperation in the context of the two countries' Euro-Atlantic orientation.

During his visit here Popovski conferred with Svinarov, with foreign minister Solomon Passy and with National Assembly deputy chairman Blagovest Sendov.

Milosevic asks court to release him.



Milosevic: "This is not a battle I will miss"

Former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic has asked the United Nations war crimes court in The Hague to release him, promising to attend any hearings. "It would be logical and just to let me go, I will not flee," Mr Milosevic told an appeals chamber, adding: "I am fully prepared to come to any hearing because this is not a battle I will miss." The court is hearing an appeal by prosecutors on whether the former Yugoslav president should face a single trial. The prosecutors want his trial on charges relating to Kosovo to be joined to charges relating to the Croatian and Bosnian wars. They argue the three cases are part of the same scheme to create a purely Serb state.

'One big lie'

Mr Milosevic asked for his provisional release when presiding Judge Claude Jorda asked him if he would want two separate trials or just one. It was the first time he was allowed to make a lengthy statement before the tribunal. He did not answer the judges' question - instead, he gave a long speech, saying the charges against him were "abnormal and nonsensical". Mr Milosevic, who has previously rejected the court's legitimacy, said the trial was "an attempt to turn the victim into the culprit." If the chamber rules in favour of a single trial, it will mean a delay to the Kosovo case, which had been scheduled to start on 12 February. There have been media claims, strenuously denied, that the prosecution has not got enough witnesses to present its case.


Tribunal prosecutors want single trial.

'Mystery witnesses'

Chief prosecutor Carla del Ponte said they would be ready to start in two weeks. But, she argued, the prosecution intended to call several former insiders of the Milosevic regime, and feared they would not be able to return to The Hague to testify again if the trials were held separately. The BBC's Paul Anderson in Belgrade says little has emerged in the Yugoslav capital as to who may testify against Mr Milosevic, but there are plenty of rumours - and much more interest in the identity of the mystery witnesses than in Mr Milosevic himself. Military and civilian leaders in a position to know anything about the former president's decisions on Kosovo have paraded before the media, either to deny they are about to testify against their former boss or to say they will, if called on.

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