21:51, March 30, 2010
Bulgarian Health Minister Bozhidar Nanev resigned Tuesday after the District Prosecutor's Office charged him with making money on government purchases and damaging the public interest.
In a statement, Nanev dismissed the charges as "groundless."
According to the prosecutor's press service, Nanev, on behalf of the health ministry, last December signed two deals with a foreign private company for the delivery of Tamiflu, an A/H1N1 flu vaccine, and was suspected of making personal gains in the deals.
The prosecutor said there was a cheaper offer proposed by the National Health Service in Britain and the Bulgarian health ministry lost a total 1.69 million U.S. dollars by taking the more expensive option.
If found guilty, Nanev may spend at least five years behind bars.
The European Union has criticized the level of organized crime and corruption in Bulgaria.