EU Diplomats 'Pleased' with Bulgaria's Confiscation Bill

Diplomacy | May 3, 2012, Thursday // 14:49|  views

Bulgarian Justice Minister, Diana Kovacheva, reports that EU diplomats do not oppose any of the already passed texts of the bill authorizing confiscation of illegal assets. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria's Justice Minister, Diana Kovacheva, met Thursday with Ambassadors in Sofia from the European Union Member States to discuss the country's parliamentary debates on the controversial bill authorizing confiscation of illegal assets.

Kovacheva told the media that the diplomats have demonstrated huge interest towards the bill and are following the debates closely. They have also vowed full support for Bulgaria in the passing of "such complex and difficult law."

According to the Minister, the interest is directed to the most disputed texts such as the ones addressing administrative violations and information and alerts coming from ordinary citizens.

"Such laws are in place in the UK, Ireland, the US and they are working well for years now. For this reason Ambassadors fully back the idea that this law is needed in Bulgaria as well," Kovacheva stressed.

She further informed that the diplomats do not oppose any of the texts already passed by the Members of the Parliament and entirely support the concept that illegally acquired assets must be confiscated without an effective Court sentence.

According to her, this diplomatic opinion is crucial and will be, most likely, reflected in the next European Commission monitoring report on law enforcement and the fight against corruption and organized crime under the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM).

Kovacheva, however, refuted earlier reports that the ruling majority in Parliament seeks to pass the law before pending arrival of a delegation of the European Commission to collect information for the monitoring report. She says the EC visit is routine and has been planned a long time ago

Meanwhile, Bulgaria's ruling majority in the Parliament adopted another part of the bill at midnight Wednesday and the debates are continuing full force Thursday.

It is expected that the Members of the Parliament will continue to work overtime until the end of the workweek in order to turn the bill into law by Friday.

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Tags: GERB, European Commission, Council of Europe, crime, corruption, Commission for Establishing of Property Acquired from Criminal Activity, Boyko Borisov, government, center-right, Margarita Popova, venice commission, assets, confiscation, wealth, illegal, Bulgaria, Bulgarian, Justice Minister, Diana Kovacheva, Matthias Hoepfner, diplomats, Ambassadors, EU, European Union


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