Draft resolution

Resolution 1096


Communist Terror
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Sources > Books

The Crimes during the Communist Regime and the Attempts at Their Investigation after 10 November 1989

by Hristo Hristov
Journalist, Dnevnik daily



Insane psychiatry
Anatolii Prokopenko
Anatolii Prokopenko's shocking book, based on materials from the state archives that have not been published before and using the archives of the Soviet Union Communist Party Central Committee. About one of the uttermost methods of violence used by the Soviet governance - bringing "punitive" psychiatry against people of different political opinion.
In Russian

Bulgarian doctors and students of medicine - victims of the communist terror of 1944-1989

Kill The Tramp
by Hristo Hristov

The murder of Georgi Markov and Bulgarian and British Government policy

CIELA Soft and Publishing AD
Sofia 2005


"Kill the Tramp" is a documentary investigation into one of the most emblematic crimes of the Cold War - the murder of the Bulgarian dissident writer, Georgi Markov, in London in 1978.

The work calls upon a large volume of previously unknown documents, many of which were contained within the secret archives of the former Bulgarian State Security Service. They prove that the assassination was organized and carried out by the Bulgarian State Security Service in accordance with the policies of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Part and Todor Zhivkov, the First Secretary in the aims of combating "hostile" Bulgarian emigres and the most vociferous critics of the regime abroad. From here the book enters into unknown territory and leads to a completely new interpretation of the history of Georgi Markov. By destroying the myth that all materials referring to writer had been removed from official archives and destroyed, Hristo Hristov in an unique way recreates events not only before the assassination of the writer but after the event and right up to the present day.

Extensive research was done into the archives of the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Central State Archive (archive of the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party and the secretariat of the Central Committee, the archive of the Union of Bulgarian Writers, the confidential archive of the State Council), the archive of the Supreme Cassation Court, the Presidency and the Bulgarian Telegraph Agency. The author has used materials from the archives of the Foreign Office and other British diplomatic documents and the archives of Scotland Yard. For the first time a significant number of very important secret documents have come to light from the archive of the First Main Directorate of the State Security Service (Zhivkov's intelligence service), to which access is not permitted in Bulgaria, as well as materials from the Georgi Markov family archive and the personal archives of the author.

The view that it is impossible to understand what happened to Georgi Markov without an understanding of the era in which he lived, is supported by the broad panorama of social and political life in Bulgarian after the 9th September 1944 to the end of the 1970's as seen through the prism of the secret archives.

The author traces the BCP policy, inherited from Stalin, of countering the regime's enemies abroad. There is a detailed study of the authority which Zhivkov held over the Ministry of the Interior and State Security. There is also a detailed investigation of the policy pursued by the Politburo of developing the repressive apparatus of the Ministry of the Interior. The work traces the development of all key secret decisions of the higher party institutions relating to the structure, methods and tasks of the State Security aimed at controlling the enemies of the country and "hostile" emigration. The author discovered in the archives a hitherto unknown secret decision of the Politburo from 1973 permitting the intelligence service to use murder ("acute operations") against physical persons whose activities were determined to be active and hostile. The work also elaborates the influence of the KGB on the Bulgarian State Security Service. The author was given access to exceptionally valuable high secret documents signed by the chairmen of the KGB, Vladimir Semichastni and Iuri Andropov, regulating cooperation with the State Security Service in the area of organizing and conducting special operations.

To highlight the scope of the "wet" operations used by the Zhivkov regime to counter the activities of political immigrants the Author documents the State Security Service's 1974 operation against Boris Arsov, leader of the emigre organization in Denmark, carried out only four years before the murder of Markov. Arsov's dossier. In contrast to Markov's file this case was not destroyed and contains a written plan for the physical liquidation of the immigrant and detailed indications of how the assassination was to be carried out.

Undoubtedly one of most important revelations in the book is the discovery of the name of the agent who was tasked with the "neutralization" of the "Tramp" - the pseudonym given to Markov by the State Security Service. For the first time the reader will be able to read the most important documents from the files on Francesco Gulino, an Italian recruited in 1972 and who for 18 years was in the pay of Zhivkov's intelligence service under the code name "Picadilly". The Bulgarian Investigation Service has confirmed that he was the only SSS agent who was sent to London with the task of "neutralization" of the Tramp.

The author reveals the shocking fact that the National Intelligence Service was directly involved in removing all traces of the murder. A high-ranking officer immediately "froze" the activities of "Picadilly" shortly before the first democratic elections in 1990. The aim was to prevent the new opposition in the country after the change of government to find out about him and his operations in 1978 in London. This was the last attempt of the former leaders of the SSS to cover up the murder of the writer after his files had already been destroyed.

The book investigates the dramatic diplomatic efforts of the United Kingdom and Denmark in 1993 (Franceso Gulino was a Danish citizen) to obtain the most important documents from the "Picadilly" files in order for him to be charged with espionage in Denmark and extradited to Great Britain for questioning in connection with the Markov case. Despite the promises of President Zhelui Zhelev to cooperate with the international investigation, Bulgaria refused to provide the documents. The author acquired a copy of a letter from the Senior State Prosecutor, Ivan Tatarchev, which contains a refusal on grounds of "national security" to provide the most direct evidence of the involvement of the Zhivkov regime in the murder of the writer. This refusal put an end to the international investigation of the murder. The concealment of the real reasons for this explained very accurately by the author who discovered that the original copy of the letter from the State Prosecutor was destroyed in 1998. The archive of the Ministry of the Interior contains no preserved documents relating to meetings held with the Danish Ambassador in connection with this matter or any diplomatic notes from the Danish Embassy or letters from the Danish Ministry of Justice.

Yet more sensational documentary revelations are brought to light in the story of the destruction of the Georgi Markov files in January 1990 during the panicked operation by the overturned BCP to purge the secret archives. For the first time the reader will be able to peer into the secret investigations against Gen. Vladimir Todorov, the last director of Zhivkov's intelligence service. The court proceedings were held in 1992 behind closed doors. The author publishes statements made by more than 30 officers from the intelligence services and the Ministry of the Interior during interrogations by the Military Prosecutor and the Supreme Court. These included officers of the First Section and the Sixth Section of the SSS who conducted operations against the writer. None of them indicated that Markov had ever been an agent of SSS or any foreign intelligence service, a fact which distinguishes them from the disinformation promulgated by some former SSS officers in their attempts to distance SSS from the murder. By comparing various secret documents the author reveals that V.Todorov, director of intelligence, had provided a false alibi to the Supreme Court for the day on which he destroyed the ten-volume operational file against Markov. A fact which the prosecutor was unable to disprove in 1992. The author investigated the roles of such key figures during the post-communist transitional period such as Gen Liuben Gotsev, Deputy Director of Intelligence and Foreign Minister and former member of the Central Committee of the BCP, Gen. Atanas Semerdzhiev, former Minister of the Interior and subsequently Vice President and Gen Stoyan Savov, who directed intelligence operations during the last 20 years of the Zhivkov regime and who committed suicide.

A critical analysis was made of the policies of President Zhelev and the subsequent Bulgarian head of state, President Petar Stoyanov who demonstrated a lack of political will to resolve the case by taking the political decision to submit certain documents from the intelligence archive to the British.

The wealth of documentary evidence in the book is supported by a large number of interviews (25) with important figures from Bulgarian political and cultural life. These include Presidents Zhelev and Stoyanov, Vice President Dimitar Ludzhev, writers Stefan Stanev and Liubomir Levchev, literary critic prof. Rosali Likova, Dimitar Bochev and Dimitar Inkiov. Interviews were also conducted with key figures involved in investigating the crime in Bulgaria - investigating officers Bogdan Karaiotov and Gen. Kosta Bogatsevski, former Deputy Director of the National Intelligence Service, Colonel Radoslav Raikov, former presidential advisor on national security, Rumen Danov and also the directors of the National Intelligence Service between 1991-2003, Brigo Asparuhov and Gen. Dimo Gyaurov. The British position is represented by the former Deputy Foreign Minister, William Waldgrave, former British Ambassador to Bulgaria, Richard Thomas and Lord Nicholas Bettle, Euro MP. Another 15 interviews with other key figures connected with the case are also quoted.

The conclusion is open-ended and focuses on the struggle for access to the secret archives in Bulgaria. In 2004 the author submitted a complaint to the Supreme Administrative Court against Georgi Petkanov, the Minister of the Interior, for refusing access to documents connected with Georgi Markov. During the same year he began a further court battle for access to the most important archive, that of the National Intelligence Service, which contains key documents on the murder of the writer This led to the itiation of a court case against Gen Kircho Kirov, director of the National Intelligence Service. The case is at the moment pending.

The narrative, supported with a wealth of archive materials and personal statements, has developed into a convincing document about one of the most protracted, hidden and denied crimes of Bulgarian communism.

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