Police Activities Have Made Many Judges Rich – Bulgarian Interior Minister

Domestic | January 16, 2012, Monday // 12:49|  views

Interior Minister Tsvetanov Tsvetanov has yet again hurled criticism at the judiciary, stressing that his words are a "common perception". Photo by BGNES

Asked to comment on the quality of evidence presented in court, Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov, who is famous for his clashes with the judiciary, has suggested that there is a common perception in society that the actions of the police have made many judges rich.

In a Monday interview for the morning broadcast of the Bulgarian National Television (BNT), Tsvetanov said that the verdicts that would be handed down in the trial against "the Impudent" kidnappers gang, which is deemed responsible for at least 13 high-profile abductions in Bulgaria in 2008-2009, would be of crucial importance as regards crime prevention.

"The Impudent" crime group involved in ransom kidnappings was busted in December 2009, when some 25 people were arrested, following a special police operation of the same name.

"If people planning to engage in such activity know what harsh penalties they will get, this will give a strong boost to the Interior's preventive function," Tsvetanov stated.

Regarding "the Impudent" case, he said that the judges had been presented with information about the rooms where the abducted had been held and with the testimony of two protected witnesses.

"I would not like to get into an argument on this, but what I can tell you is that there is a widespread perception in Bulgarian society that the actions of the police have made many judges and representatives of the judiciary rich. This is the answer to what you are asking me - the evidence is obviously always insufficient and there is always a mechanism to release from custody or to change the measure of remand of certain people who have been arrested on suspicion of serious crimes," Tsvetanov reasoned, without going into details.

"I am telling you what I have heard during the numerous meetings I attend on a daily basis," the Interior Minister declared, emphasizing that the authorities had an obligation to always listen to "the voice of the people".

As regards the case of 17-year-old Moiroslava Niklolova, whose dead body was discovered last week, Tsvetanov vowed penalties for the "one or two" police officers who had behaved inappropriately after the murder had been established, as well as for the policemen who had failed to prevent the suicide of one of the suspects, 25-year-old Mario Lyubenov.

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Tags: Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov, judiciary, The Impudent, kidnappings, ransom, Miroslava Nikolova


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