Bulgarian Chief Prosecutor Resigns to Assume New Post

Society | November 1, 2012, Thursday // 13:38|  views

Outgoing Bulgarian Chief Prosecutor, Boris Velchev, resigned Thursday ahead of his term in order to assume his new job as constitutional judge. Photo by BGNES

The Supreme Judicial Council, VSS, is going to accept Thursday the resignation of Chief Prosecutor, Boris Velchev, who is on his way to become constitutional judge.

On Wednesday, Bulgarian President, Rosen Plevneliev, issued a decree for the appointment of the outgoing Chief Prosecutor as constitutional judge.

Velchev was nominated for the post by Plevneliev on October 20, 2012, and must take the oath of office within one week after the appointment thus the need to release him from his current post. However, his Chief Prosecutor's term is set to expire in February 2013.

Velchev's 7-year term in office as Chief Prosecutor began in 2006. He used to be the legal advisor of former left-wing President Georgi Parvanov.

"I did everything I could do," is how Velchev, who has been often criticized for not having any high-profile convictions during his term, assessed his work before VSS.

VSS will vote on the resignation after they conclude the election of the new Chief of the National Investigative Services, NIS.

Bulgaria's Constitutional Court has a total of 12 sitting members; 1/3 of those are replaced every three years, with the Parliament being entitled to elect two of them, and the President and the Judges from the Supreme Court of Cassation and the Supreme Administrative Court being entitled to one appointment each.

Ignoring strong criticism from the European Commission that the Parliament is covering up tipoffs against one of the candidates, the Bulgarian MPs elected Wednesday without debates the 2 constitutional judges from their quota.

They are Anastas Anastasov, Deputy Speaker of the Parliament from the ruling, center-right Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB and the Deputy Chair of the Supreme Administrative Court, VAS, Veneta Markovska.

In the aftermath, EC announced that Bulgaria might face an interim report on justice and home affairs in case "the situation requires it."

The warning was stated by Olivier Bailly, spokesperson of EC.

"There were serious allegations of trading influence and corruption on the part of one of the candidates," Bailly, cited by the Bulgarian National Radio, BNR, said, but did not disclose a name.

The tipoffs, again according to BNR, were against Markovska.

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