Modern Facility Opens Doors for Bulgaria's Anti-mafia Tribunal

Society | October 18, 2011, Tuesday // 12:11|  views

The new building of Bulgaria's so-called 'specialized court' is located on Cherkovna street in downtown Sofia. Photo by BGNES

The new building of Bulgaria's so-called 'specialized court' or 'anti-mafia tribunal' was officially opened in Sofia Tuesday.

The tribunal is a first-instance criminal court set up to hear high-profile organized crime and corruption cases.

The facility, which is located on Cherkovna street in downtown Sofia is using the building which previously housed the military counterintelligence and later the State Agency for National Security (DANS).

Hristo Angelov, who is temporarily in charge of the Justice Ministry since Justice Minister, Margarita Popova, is running for vice president on the ticket of the ruling, center-right Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria, GERB, party, said during the opening ceremony that the building has five courtrooms with high security measures.

The facility also boasts the very first in Bulgaria courtroom where defendants will sit behind a glass barrier in order to respect their dignity since metal bars are considered obsolete in Europe over the fact they look like cages, according to Angelov.

All full-time magistrates will have offices with 2 sharing one room. 30 security guards will also work at the court. There are 10 prison cells to hold 4 people each, separate space for defendants and witnesses, and separate entrances for citizens, magistrates and detainees. The entire facility is fully aligned with European standards.

The Court is expected to begin trying cases on January 1, 2012.

On October 6, Judge Georgi Ushev, 37, was elected by the Bulgarian Supreme Judicial Council to head the special tribunal.

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Tags: modern, Facility, special court, specialized court, anti-mafia tribunal, Georgi Ushev, Sofia District Court, Sofia City Court, Supreme Judicial Council, EU, corruption, organized crime, Hristo Angelov


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