World

Bulgarian court sentences former intelligence boss to 10 years in prison

A military court has sentenced Bulgaria's former intelligence chief, Kircho Kirov, to 10 years in prison and half of his property to be confiscated for embezzling millions in public funds.

The court said Friday that this was the minimum possible sentence for such offenses.

Kirov was convicted in 2013 for embezzling 4.7 million leva (about 2.4 million euros) between 2007 and 2011. He headed the National Intelligence Service from 2002 until 2012.

Prosecutors said Kirov falsified more than 1,000 documents to claim expenses for operations that never took place.

Kirov denied any wrongdoing, calling the trial "politically motivated." He said he will appeal the sentence.

The European Union has repeatedly urged Bulgaria to improve its efforts against high-level corruption, which so far have failed to send anyone to jail.