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Diplomats encourage all Parliamentarians to seize this moment of opportunity to agree meaningful reforms: "As representatives of Bulgaria's EU partners we think all Parliamentarians, regardless of political affiliation, should seize this moment of opportunity to agree meaningful reforms. We believe these reforms are vital in order to ensure a real rule of law in Bulgaria and hence to tackle corruption and organised crime. They are also necessary to create the right environment for increased investment in Bulgaria including from the countries that we represent."

The Bulgarian Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) will conduct an election for a Supreme Court of Cassation President in a hearing on September 25, 2014. Two candidates were nominated for the position –Polina Panova, Supreme Court of Cassation justice and Head of the Criminal Division, and Tanya Raikovska, Supreme Court of Cassation justice and Head of the Commercial Division. Each of the two was proposed by five members of the SJC.

We are not changing anything dramatically in the judicial system

The Deputy PM and Minister of Justice Zinaida Zlatanova undertakes in advance to neutralize the effect of the expected EC’s highly critical report on justice and internal affairs as announcing that the responsibility is common.  Besides that, she informed that the new Penal Procedural Code will be enacted by the National Assembly by the end of the year and commented that we are not changing anything dramatically in the judicial system; we are not changing the Constitution; there is no need to call a Supreme National Assembly. According to her EC’s report will outline the common responsibility of several governments, which have led the country in the last 18 months.  

The Supreme Judicial Council dismissed Ms. Galina Toneva as Deputy Prosecutor General under proposition of the Prosecutor General Sotir Tsatsarov. Seventeen of the SJC members voted “in favor”, two – “against”, and four abstained. Ms. Toneva was one of the three candidates for the highest position within the Prosecution Office and the only Deputy Prosecutor General from the team of Boris Veltchev (former Prosecutor General), who remained on the position after Sotir Tsatsarov took the lead of the Prosecution Office (apart from Boiko Naidenov, who under the law is a Deputy Prosecutor General as Head of the National Investigation Services). Ms. Toneva will remain a regular prosecutor in the Supreme Cassation Prosecution Office.



Supreme Court of Cassation deputy president and chair of the Criminal Division Mr. Grozdan Iliev was nominated for Constitutional Court justice from the Parliament quota to take the seat which was left unoccupied by Ms. Veneta Markovska. The nomination was submitted on Monday at 17:58, at the very close of business when the term for nominations was to expire. Mr. Iliev was nominated by three Members of Parliament from the GERB party – Krassimir Tsipov, Dimitar Lazarov and Emil Radev as the official nomination of the GERB party.



Destroyed documents, checks on anonymous signals and disciplinary prosecution of prosecutors based on their decisions about cases on trial are part of the violations, because of which the Inspectorate with the Supreme Cassation Prosecution Office was disbanded and the prosecutors working there – moved to other divisions, announced the Prosecutor General Sotir Tsatsarov yesterday.

Ten Rule of Law NGOs presented a report setting out an appraisal of the state-of-play of judicial reform and the necessary further steps to be taken to the European Commission. Its purpose is to substitute the monitoring on the judiciary until the end of the year. Independence of the judiciary and ensuring efficient justice are viewed as the two key aspects of future reforms.

In a letter to the members of the Parliamentary Assembly to the Council of Europe a coalition of eight leading Rule of Law and Human Rights NGOs in Bulgaria share their assessment of the progress of the judicial reform in the country. The NGOs conclude that the principal challenge faced by the Bulgarian judicial branch is that its independence continues to be seriously undermined.

Yet in his first week as a Prosecutor General, Sotir Tsatsarov established what Boris Veltchev was talking about for years – that state controlling authorities are not used effectively, but rather all signals for offences are sent directly to the Prosecution office. Comment in this sense made Sotir Tsatsarov on his way to his first Supreme Judicial Council session as a Prosecutor General. Asked whether he acquainted himself with the Minister of Agriculture’s signal concerning the substitutes of the forest fund land tracts, submitted to the Prosecution office the day before yesterday.

Former Head of the Regional Court in Plovdiv Mr. Sotir Tsatsarov took oath of office as the new Prosecutor General of the Republic of Bulgaria in the Court House in Sofia. Shortly after 12 o’clock he took the oath in the presence of the acting Prosecutor General Mr. Boiko Naidenov, former Prosecutor General Mr. Boris Veltchev, the Presidents of the Supreme Court of Cassation and the Supreme Administrative Court, members of the Supreme Judicial Council, journalists. 

Conditions for a debate are necessary, and the three candidates for Prosecutor General should present their concepts, stated the president. “Discussions, concepts, ideas and defense thereof are necessary. Only then we would be able to choose the right candidate”. The president called for the public attention to be placed upon concepts and answers to questions that need to be asked, rather than on individuals.