Bulgarian PM Reiterates Call on Tainted Judge to Withdraw

Domestic | November 12, 2012, Monday // 09:15|  views

Bulgarian Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov (c) visited the National History Museum to see Bulgaria's latest priceless treasure of gold Thracian objects, discovered in the famous Sveshtari tomb. Photo by BGNES

Bulgarian Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, has reiterated calls on controversial magistrate, Veneta Markovska, who was recently elected constitutional judge, to withdraw.

Borisov made the statement during a visit of the National History Museum to see Bulgaria's latest priceless treasure of gold Thracian objects, discovered in the famous Sveshtari tomb.

Markovska's nomination and following election for one of Parliament's two candidates to serve on Bulgaria's Constitutional Court raised controversy after information was leaked that she had attempted to use her influence to pressure the Ministry of Interior to suppress an investigation.

This led to the European Commission issuing a warning it could publish an emergency report for Bulgaria on the so-called Cooperation and Verification Mechanism for Corruption and Organized Crime.

Bulgarian Parliament's Legal Affairs Committee chair Iskra Fidosova sent a letter of explanation to the EC, and PM Boyko Borisov was initially dismissive of the Commission's warning, but later "advised" Markovska to resign.

On her part, Veneta Markovska has denied all accusations of attempting to illicitly use her influence, albeit without failing to produce a coherent alternative narrative regarding the events.

Following his earlier call, Borisov said during the visit of the museum that he is asking her to kindly drop her Constitutional Court bid because it "stirred so much noise" and to just keep her post as Deputy Chair of the Supreme Administrative Court, VAS.

Many in Bulgaria say that after the allegations of corruption and trading influence, Markovska should give up being a magistrate altogether, but Borisov stressed she had the right to remain at VAS.

"One way or the other, there is much talk around her; there are tensions, and it would be dignified for her to not take the oath of office. I asked her to do so a week ago, and I hope she will made the decision," he said.

Last Thursday, Markovska sent a letter to the Chair of the Constitutional Court, declaring she would take the oath of office after it is proven that her reputation as judge and person is impeccable.

She further stated she demanded from the Prosecutor's Office to immediately launch a probe in the scandalous information about her, which she continues to see as libel and rumors.

In the letter, the judge reminds she has been elected constitutional judge by the Parliament, stressing she was a victim in recent weeks of slander, attempting to tarnish her image as a magistrate, an image she built in the 38 years of her professional career, and spreading far outside the country's borders.

"With this slander, some people and politicians want to inflict damage on the entire Bulgarian State, the Parliament and the Constitutional Court, simply for some personal gains. As a dignified citizen and judge, dedicated to a noble job to serve the people and my country, in this difficult moment, I will continue to firmly oppose any injustice and would not allow for this case to further denigrate both my name and the name of the State and its institutions. I will take the oath of office and assume my duties as constitutional judge after the Prosecutor's probe I am requesting today clears my name," the letter states.

Only a day earlier, the magistrate sent another letter to the Chief Prosecutor and the Interior Minister, requesting from them to find the author of the tipoff against her, stirring additional outrage for unrightfully involving these institutions.

Also on Wednesday, the Prosecutor's Office in Bulgarian capital Sofia confirmed that there is an investigation launched against Markovska, elected last week by Parliament to become constitutional judge.

The investigation at the Sofia Prosecutor's Office relates to a signal about Markovska using documents with untrue content, allegedly to fire an investigative officer.

In her explanations last week, she claimed there are no investigations whatsoever against her.

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Tags: Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, National History Museum, treasure, gold Thracian objects, Sveshtari tomb, cooperation and verification mechanism, EC, European Commission, Boyko Borisov, Iskra Fidosova, constitutional judge, Constitutional Court, Supreme Administrative Court, Prosecutor's Office, Veneta Markovska


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