Bulgaria Refuses to Ban Ex Spies from State News Agency

Domestic | October 5, 2012, Friday // 08:33|  views

A woman passes by the headquarters of the state-owned Bulgarian News Agency, BTA, in the capital Sofia. File photo

Former collaborators of Bulgaria's communist regime's secret service will not be banned from serving as heads of the state-owned news agency BTA, the constitutional court has ruled.

The much anticipated but still controversial lustration legislation with regard to BTA general director, his deputy and chief secretary was promulgated last year. It was challenged at Bulgaria's Constitutional Court by the formerly ruling Socialist and ethnic Turkish party.

The court ruled on Thursday that the ban is discriminatory and breaches the foundations of a country of a rule of law.

The magistrates stressed this is also the understanding of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

The files of the former Committee for State Security are a thorny issue in Bulgaria, especially when it comes to the past of high-ranking officials.

Bulgaria's communist-era security service is believed to have remained potent after the fall of communism with the ex-operatives closely linked to the political and business establishment.

Bulgarian News Agency general director is appointed and dismissed by the country's National Assembly.

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Tags: Files Commission, agents, state security files, State Security, BTA, secret service, Bulgaria


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