Supreme Bulgarian Court Launches 'Confiscation Act Case'Domestic | July 2, 2012, Monday // 12:10| views
The illegal assets forfeiture law was passed on May 3, following several extended sessions of the Bulgarian Parliament. File photo
Bulgaria's Constitutional Court has launched case number 6/2012 to rule on the new illegal assets forfeiture law under the request of 59 Members of the Parliament.
The opposition MPs want the Act to be declared unconstitutional and in contradiction with international contracts, the Court announces Monday, but it does not list the exact grounds of the request.
The rapporteur in the case is listed as judge Rumen Nenkov, who is the father of MP, Alexander Nenkov, from the ruling, center-right Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB, one of the staunchest supporters of the new legislation.
The illegal assets forfeiture law was passed on May 3, following several extended sessions of the Parliament.
The bill is to take effect in six months' time and the commission in charge of implementing it is to be appointed within two months after its entry into force.
The new piece of legislation provides for a non-conviction based confiscation of illegally acquired assets.
The procedure can be launched against people charged with serious crimes such as terrorism, organized crime, kidnapping, human trafficking, pimping, and tax evasion, among others.
The law will apply in cases of a minimum discrepancy of BGN 250 000 between income and property acquisitions tracked for a period of 10 years back.
The major opponents of the bill were the Bulgarian Socialists Party (BSP) and the ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) party. As soon as the Bill was passed they declared their intentions to challenge it with the Constitutional Court.
MP, Maya Manolova, from BSP, stated then that the law will enter into effect right on time for the 2013 general elections and will target people, including businessmen, who are deemed inconvenient for GERB and support other political parties.
Those from DPS labeled the Act a repression, endangering the property and the rights of common citizens.
After the vote, Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, told GERB MPs that thanks to them the government will remain in power since he had declared he would resign if the bill is not passed by the Parliament.
European leaders and western diplomats in Sofia gave Bulgaria high marks for the new legislation, which they assess as an important step in the fight against organized crime.
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