Pressure Piles on Bulgaria's 'Discredited' New Deputy Justice Minister

Domestic | December 28, 2011, Wednesday // 17:30|  views

Denitsa Petkova, a former judge, was recently appointed as Bulgaria's new deputy Justice Minister. Photo by 24 Hours

The scandal over the appointment of Bulgaria's new deputy justice minister is gaining momentum amid allegations of corruption, which drew the ire of Strasbourg.

Last week it emerged that Bulgaria has been been sanctioned by the Human Rights Court in Strasbourg because of a controversial ruling on behalf of Denitsa Petkova, a former judge who was recently appointed as the country's new deputy Justice Minister.

In 2003, Petkova sentenced two Bulgarian journalists for slander after they claimed they discovered a corruption scheme allowing pupils with poor results to enter prestigious high schools in the Bulgarian Black Sea city of Burgas.

The children were allegedly admitted by the schools after they presented fake medical documents.

In 2011, the Strasbourg court ruled in favor of the journalists. The journalists, Bozhidar Bozhkov and Katya Kasabova, received BGN 27 000 and BGN 11 800 respectively as a result of the court's ruling.

"I insist that Denitsa Petkova's professional past is thoroughly investigated. I will not give up my attempts to show what her real motives for delivering her ruling against us were, to show in fact the real face of Bulgaria's justice system," Kasabova told 24 Hours daily.

"Petkova is just a small part of the machine, which bullies all investigative journalists in this country," she added.

"What my colleague Bozhkov and I revealed in our investigation was a brutal corruption scheme, which fit nicely in the mafia structures which governed Burgas and included judges, prosecutors, policemen, doctors, politicians."

According to her instead of caring for disabled children, the committee forged diagnoses and secured the entry into elite schools for the kids of the big shots.

Kasabova is absolutely sure that the trial against her and her colleague was set up so that it may serve as a warning for all journalists who dare make investigations.

On Thursday, Bulgaria's Prime Minister Boyko Borisov announced the appointment of two new deputy Justice Ministers, among whom Denitsa Petkova.

Petkova and Velina Todorova will step into office at the beginning of January, replacing the outgoing Daniela Masheva and Zhaneta Petrova.

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Tags: denitsa petkova, judge, Strasbourg, human rights court, Burgas


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