Bulgaria's GERB Firm on Launching Special Tribunal

Domestic | March 14, 2011, Monday // 12:46|  views

The Chair of the Parliamentary Legal Committee, Iskra Fidosova, says the new special tribunal in Bulgaria will deal only with high-profile organized crime cases. Photo by BGNES

The launch of the special tribunal for high-profile organized crime cases will not be delayed beyond August, 2011, as was the request of Chief Prosecutor, Boris Velchev.

The decision was made Monday during a meeting between Velchev, Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, the Chair of the Parliamentary Legal Committee from the ruling center-right Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) party, Iskra Fidosova, Finance Minister, Simeon Djankov, and Justice Minister, Margarita Popova.

Fidosova announced the tribunal will begin functioning in August, as the law postulates.

Velchev requested the postponement on the grounds the move will lead to an overload of 1000 cases for the prosecution and will actually delay high-profile trials.

Fidosova says the new court will try no more than 400 cases a year, adding GERB is inclined to compromise with the type of cases to enter the new tribunal.

According to the already passed amendments of the Penal Code, the tribunal should deal with all organized crime cases from all over the country, but the authorities are mulling returning to the initial idea of giving the new court only high-profile organized crimes – armed gangs, kidnappings and taking of hostages, counterfeiting, money laundering, human trafficking and illegal drugs trade and distribution.

Fidosova further explains the new institution does not require additional funding for salaries because the judicial system has unfilled job openings while the Supreme Judicial Council (VSS) will be examining the old building of the State Agency for National Security (DANS) in downtown Sofia to decide what repairs are needed before it is used to house the tribunal.

The Chair of the Parliamentary Legal Commission informed she had discussed with Borisov doubling the number of judges and prosecutors who will work for the new court.

"We spoke about up to 20 judges so that the cases can be tried without interruptions and conclude in a month to a month and a half," Fidosova says.

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Tags: Iskra Fidosova, Parliamentary Legal Committee, VSS, Supreme Judicial Council, special tribunal, tribunal, Boris Velchev, GERB, DANS, penal code


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