874.00/2–448: Telegram

The Minister in Bulgaria (Heath) to the Secretary of State

confidential   urgent

149. According very reliable informant indictment calling for death or life imprisonment was handed down tonight against Dimiter Gitchev.1 Understand Gitchev accused of conspiracy against Government on behalf foreign imperialists. Device used in Petkov trial namely of placing Gitchev on trial in company with several self-confessed accomplices probably is to be employed. These co-defendants apparently will be Dimiter Ivanov, Dimiter Malkovsky, Irrdan Vlazov and Katia Stefanova, who are to be linked with Greek “fascists”.

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Democratic record of Gitchev will be well-known to Department which will realize how transparently false must be this indictment. If indictment is confirmed tomorrow as I believe it will be I trust Department will be fully prepared issue immediately strong condemnation along lines that which followed arrest of Petkov not failing draw parallel between two cases. In this connection I feel it useful to point out that Gitchev following arrest and execution of Petkov was in constant and close touch with Legation and that there is absolutely no doubt of his democratic sympathies and outlook.

  1. Leader in the Bulgarian Agrarian Union. An indictment of Gitchev and four alleged co-conspirators was issued by the Bulgarian Government on February 5.