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Bulgaria: Interior Ministry Names Former Agents

Sofia, 22 October 1997 (RFE/RL) -- Bulgarian Interior Minister Bogomil Bonev told parliament in Sofia today that 14 current deputies collaborated with the Communist-era secret police.

Bonev named another 9 officials who currently occupy senior posts in government agencies and ministries. None of those named by Bonev as former agents are members of Bulgaria's current government.

Among the parliamentarians named by Bonev is the leader of Bulgaria's ethnic Turkish party, Ahmed Dogan. Bonev accused him of working for the intelligence service from 1974 to 1988. Observers say this could complicate already delicate relations between ethnic Turks and Bulgarians. Dogan did not immediately respond.

AP reports that other deputies said they had been forced to work as informers, while some defended their record, saying they were proud to have worked for the country's national security.

Bulgaria's parliament passed a law in July mandating the opening of secret police files on top officials.