Bulgaria Elects President of New 'Special Court'

Domestic | October 6, 2011, Thursday // 14:26|  views

Judge Georgi Ushev, who was elected head of the Bulgarian first-instance specialized court for organized crime Thursday. Photo by BGNES

Judge Georgi Ushev was elected by the Bulgarian Supreme Judicial Council to head the first-instance criminal court set up to hear high-profile organized crime and corruption cases.

This was the third competition for the so-called 'specialized court' or 'anti-mafia tribunal' head, after the first two failed with no candidates adequate showing up.

Ushev was elected with 21 votes from the Supreme Judicial Council out of 23, with 2 more members voting for another candidate and a third one receiving no votes.

Up to present, judge Georgi Ushev has been a vice-president of the Sofia District Court and has been commissioned to work in the Sofia City Court.

A week ago, Ushev went to the second round of elections for the second-instance special criminal court, but as he is elected to head the first-instance tribunal, he would revoke his candidacy.

The so-called 'special courts' were created in 2010 by legislation tabled by Bulgaria's government, headed by PM Boyko Borisov, in a bid to curb organized crime and corruption, a field that has drawn much criticism for Bulgaria by fellow EU member states and EU institutions.

The launch of the anti-mafia tribunals is set for January 1, 2012. The specialized structures were scheduled for inauguration on August 12, 2011, but were put off for a number of reasons, including serious problems with filling the competition committees.

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Tags: special court, specialized court, anti-mafia tribunal, Georgi Ushev, Sofia District Court, Sofia City Court, Supreme Judicial Council, Boyko Borisov, EU, corruption, organized crime


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