Asked to comment on the announcement of the Sofia City Prosecutor’s Office that there was sufficient evidence indicating that he had committed a crime in connection with unauthorized wiretapping, former Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov told journalists that he had to get acquainted with the decision first.

Tsvetanov, who is on a cross-country tour as head of the election headquarters of center-right party GERB, argued Tuesday that he had to study the decision of the competent authority in order to decide on his next steps.

The Sofia City Prosecutor’s Office announced Tuesday that there was sufficient evidence indicating that Tsvetanov had committed a crime in his capacity as public official.

The Sofia-based prosecuting authority made clear that the charges against the three former directors of the Specialized Directorate Technical Operations of the Interior Ministry, Sergey Katsarov, Kamen Kostov and Tsvetan Ivanov, and Radko Dimitrov, an employee of the unit, in connection with the unauthorized wiretapping case, had been dropped.

The Sofia-based prosecuting authority declared that Tsvetanov, in his capacity as public official, had consciously allowed his subordinates to commit crimes.

Later the same day, Tsvetanov, as cited by the Bulgarian Telegraph Agency (BTA), told journalists that he had not been able to examine the statement of the Sofia City Prosecutor’s Office because he was on an election tour.

“I have always striven to observe the law and what I can say is that I will wait for the competent bodies to do their job. The proceedings which have been opened will last quite some time, I believe,” Tsvetanov commented.

He refused to say whether he was planning to give up his immunity.

“The election campaign went totally beyond the limit. Unlike the opposition, political party GERB will not involve in a smear campaign. We have always considered public interest to be of prime importance,” Tsvetanov said at a meeting with residents of Aksakovo earlier the same day, according to reports of the Focus news agency.

Bulgaria’s former Interior Minister faces a penalty of up to eight years of imprisonment if the prosecuting authority presses charges and succeeds to prove them in court.

The wiretapping scandal broke out at the end of March, when Sergey Stanishev, leader of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), submitted a tipoff to Chief Prosecutor, Sotir Tsatsarov, about illegal wiretapping of politicians, businesspeople and magistrates which had taken place during  Tsvetanov’s term in office (2009-2013).

At the end of last week, a secretly recorded conversation between former Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, former Agriculture Minister, Miroslav Naydenov, and already-former Sofia City Prosecutor, Nikolay Kokinov, leaked in Bulgarian media, stirring a massive scandal.

Source