The Bulgarian Ministry of Internal affairs has announced that the crypto-queen Ruja Ignatova has been released from Bulgarian citizenship. Bearing in mind that Ruja has been on the run from the justice for many years now, we are baffled how she has been “released” from Bulgarian citizenship.

The Bulgarian citizenship law

According to art. 20 of the citizenship law, the only way a person can be released from Bulgarian citizenship is if he cumulatively meets all of the following conditions:

  1. the person is living permanently abroad;
  2. an application to be released from Bulgarian citizenship is lodged by the person;
  3. if the person has other citizenship or if a procedure for obtaining such has been started.

For us it is a mystery when and how has Mrs Ignatova lodged her application to be released from Bulgarian citizenship. Additionally, art. 29 of the citizenship law states that the person who requests to be released from Bulgarian citizenship has to lodge his application in person in the Ministry of Justice or in a Bulgarian diplomatic or consular mission. And to make things even more mysterious, the person requesting to be released from citizenship must attend an interview in person (art. 29, par. 3).

So was there an interview with Mrs Ruja Ignatova?

Is it possible that Ruja Ignatova has requested to be released from citizenship prior to her flight from justice? Maybe. Or she has applied before 2017 and her application has been approved now. Knowing the Bulgarian bureaucracy and how hard is citizenship being changed, this may very well be the case. But then, did all Bulgarian institutions, including the President, worked so hard for so many years to push forward the application of a refugee? And to finally approve everything and release her from Bulgarian citizenship…?

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