Appeals Court Leaves Top Bulgarian Judge in Jail

Crime | April 12, 2011, Tuesday // 12:26|  views

Atanas Valkov, Chair of the Burgas Administrative Court, is escorted by police to the courtroom. Photo by BGNES

The Sofia Appellate Court left under permanent detention the Burgas magistrate, Atanas Valkov, Chair of the Burgas Administrative Court.

Earlier Tuesday, Valkov asked to be released on house arrest on the grounds the latter measure has the same result and the difference is only in the level of isolation.

The defense team reiterated the case must be dismissed over serious procedural violations, explaining the magistrate has immunity and cannot be tried before this immunity is lifted.

The lawyers further pointed out if Valkov becomes a defendant without immunity, he must be tried by the Burgas Regional Court, adding the arrest has been illegal. It is also unclear why the warrant for the use of special surveillance devices has been issued by the Sofia Regional Court, according to the defense council.

On April 3, the lower instance, the Sofia City Court also ruled to leave Valkov in jail.

On April 1, Valkov and his mother, Ruska, 78, were indicted for money laundering and document fraud, after being detained one day earlier during an attempt to sell a property in the beach town of Nessebar. The magistrate had asked EUR 2.2 B for the lot, which was acquired by Ruska with forged documents. The people, listed as heirs, who, allegedly, sold her the property, were not even aware they owned it.

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Tags: document fraud, money laundering, Chair, Burgas, magistrate, arrest, police, Administrative Court, Atanas Valkov, Burgas Regional Court, Sofia City Court, Sofia Appellate Court, immunity


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