BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Last Updated: Saturday, 18 November 2006, 04:57 GMT
Bulgaria secrets chief found dead
Pope John Paul II after being shot
The files may shed light on Pope John Paul II's shooting
The man in charge of Bulgaria's Communist era secret police files has been found dead at his desk just weeks before the files are to be released.

Officials say he shot himself, but a delay in making the news public has led to accusations of a cover up.

The opposition has asked why the authorities waited two days to announce the death of Bozhidar Doychev, claiming that the timing was suspicious.

Officials say Doychev, who was found on Wednesday, shot himself in the head.

Umbrella murder

Prosecutors said he committed suicide in his office for what appeared to be personal reasons.

The opposition has demanded an explanation for the delay in announcing his death and accused the secret service of a cover-up.

Bulgaria's now defunct Darzhavna Sigurnost was one of the Cold War's most notorious spy networks.

It is thought that the former secret police files, due to be made public in a few weeks time, could throw light on the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II and the poisoned umbrella murder in London of the dissident, Georgi Markov, who was working for the BBC's Bulgarian Service.

Rome memorial for Pope shooting
13 May 06 |  Europe
Soviets 'ordered Pope shooting'
02 Mar 06 |  Europe

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific