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Bulgaria: Government To Ask for Ex-Politburo Official Extradition

SOFIA, 12 August 1997 (RFE/RL) - Bulgarian Prosecutor General Ivan Tatarchev signed a request today for Austria to extradite former Communist Politburo member Ognyan Doinov and his wife Elena, for trial in Bulgaria on charges of fraud and misuse of state funds.

The Doinovs currently live in Vienna and are charged with having sold a villa in Dragalevtsi a second time in 1990 after having already agreed one year earlier to give someone else first right of purchase .

Austria rejected an earlier request by Bulgaria to extradite Doinov on a charge of illegally channeling some two million dollars in state funds to third-world communist parties and movements.

Doinov and 20 other former officials, including former Communist Party leader and head of state Todor Zhivkov, were charged with misusing a total of 250 million dollars in state money by making grants to communist parties and regimes around the world. No trial date has been set.

Doinov also served as minister of engineering and a Deputy Primem Minister before being Ambassador to Norway when the Communist regime collapsed in 1989. He never returned to Bulgaria.