Bulgarian Ombudsman: Someone Must Be Jailed for Snooping

Society | April 17, 2013, Wednesday // 12:04|  views

Bulgaria's Ombudsman, Konstantin Penchev, photo by Bulfoto

Bulgaria's Ombudsman, Konstantin Penchev, is asking for a broader Court control on the permits for the use of special surveillance devices in the country.

"There must be changes and the Court should stop granting these permits as a village mayor would do," Penchev said Wednesday in an interview for Nova TV.

According to him, judges must have the right to refuse granting wiretap permits.

Penchev's comments came in the aftermath of the scandal known as "Bulgaria's Watergate," over allegations police and secret services have been spying illegally on wealthy businesspeople and senior politicians.

He further said the issue was within his authority as illegal eavesdropping was a violation of basic human rights.

The Ombudsman noted Bulgaria has been sentenced in the Human Rights Court in Strasbourg for excessive use of SRS, stressing this time the prosecution must go all the way to effective sentences, and not limit itself to just pointing at the culprits.

"I am sick and tired of 23 years of spying. Two people in jail, even just two people, would be a lesson to the rest. If this happens, the others would think twice when someone orders them to illegally snoop around. We also need to examine the legislation on SRS, as it is obvious it is flawed. We need civil control here as well," Penchev explained.

He noted that the above did not mean anyone meddling in the spying technology, but rather having stronger accountability of its use. Penchev stated the new Parliament must finally deal with the issue as the 41st General Assembly failed to do so.

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Tags: Ombudsman, Konstantin Penchev, wiretapping, spying, wiretapping, interior ministry, special surveillance devices, SRS


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