Bulgaria charges NGO official with spying for Russia

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgarian prosecutors are charging an official from a non-governmental organization with spying for Russia for allegedly supplying information that aimed to turn the Balkan country away from its pro-Western orientation.

Deputy chief prosecutor Ivan Geshev said Tuesday that Nikolay Malinov, chairman of the National Russophile Movement, has been charged “with putting himself in the service of foreign organizations to work for them as a spy.”

If found guilty, Malinov faces 15 years in prison. He has been released on bail but is barred from leaving the country.

Geshev said prosecutors found a document prepared by Malinov outlining “the steps needed to be taken to completely overhaul the geopolitical orientation of Bulgaria away from the West toward Russia.”

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Malinov was not immediately available for comment.

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