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Bulgaria: Bomb Attack Involved Car Of Missing Nomenklatura Banker

By Assen Guechakov

Sofia, 31 October 1996 (RFE/RL) -- A Bulgarian election official who was the apparent target of a car bomb attack in Sofia today told RFE/RL that the vehicle previously had been used by a banker who is now being sought by the General Prosecutor's office.

Haralampi Anchev, secretary of the commission supervising the current presidential elections, was not seriously injured in the blast. Interior Ministry spokesman Dobromir Pelov said the bomb exploded at the rear of the Mercedes Benz as Anchev was parking.

In addition to his work with the Electoral Commission, Anchev is a lawyer handling bankruptcy proceedings against the Bulgarian Agricultural and Industrial Bank (BAIB). That bank had been a key financial institution of the secretive "Orion Group," which is closely linked to Socialist Prime Minsiter Zhan Videnov.

Anchev told RFE/RL the car had been the personal vehicle of Veska Medzhidieva, chairwoman of the BAIB and wife of Orion boss Rumen Spassov. Medzhidieva is thought to have fled to South Africa several months ago, shortly before her bank was forced to close under pressure from the International Monetary Fund.

Anchev told RFE/RL that he saw no political motive in the bombing. Bulgaria will conduct a runoff presidential ballot on Sunday between candidates of the opposition Union of Democratic Forces and Videnov's Socialist Party.