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20/06/24

Interior Minister Stoyanov on Excessive Police Force, Resignations over Thursday's Violent Protest

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Five police officers have been identified so far, who admit to possibly having exceeded their powers during the Thursday protest, Interior Minister Kalin Stoyanov told NOVA TV Sunday. 
Football fans gathered on Thursday around the Vasil Levski National Stadium in Sofia to protest against the leadership of the Bulgarian Football Union (BFU). The protest turned violent, leading to clashes with the police. 
An inspection of the whole event is being carried out by the Inspectorate and the Directorate General National Police. If evidence of a crime committed by the police officers is gathered, the prosecutor’s office will be contacted. Anyone who has exceeded their powers will bear their responsibility, including criminal responsibility, the Minister said. 
He thanked all the officers who had prevented human casualties and much worse consequences for the Bulgarian capital. 
Kalin Stoyanov described the dismissal of Deputy Interior Minister Stoyan Temelakiev after the protest as a hasty decision. "This is a person on whom I relied a lot, all actions on the ground are guided by the [Interior Ministry’s] professional leadership, I trusted these people and they were on the scene," he said. 
The Interior Minister said there will be a meeting between him, Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov and Deputy Prime Minister Mariya Gabriel on Monday.
Speaking to journalists earlier on Sunday, Prime Minister Denkov said his attitude to the Interior Minister will be determined by the way he assesses and responds to the reports of police violence at Thursday’s protest. 
"So far my resignation has not been requested by the Prime Minister. My resignation has been requested by [Continue the Change-Democratic Bulgaria co-leader] Kiril Petkov, who pleaded with me for two days to become Minister of Interior", Kalin Stoyanov said. "After I accepted the offer, I told Kiril Petkov that the only thing I wanted was for no one to interfere in the Interior Ministry’s activities and determine the way it should work," he added.

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