Bulgarian Prosecutors Rise against Damaging Wiretap Leak

Crime | July 1, 2013, Monday // 15:40|  views

Photo by livenews.bg

The Association of Prosecutors in Bulgaria (APB) has condemned the dissemination of wiretapped conversations between high-profile prosecutors, current members of the Supreme Judicial Council (VSS), concerning appointment of VSS members in the fall of 2012.

"We declare that the act of publishing compromising information is an encroachment upon us at a time when prosecutors are gaining public confidence and demonstrating a reform-friendly approach, when we are striving to grow as professionals and boost the image of the institution we are working at, when we are participating actively and professionally in the regulation of social reforms in Bulgaria within the powers and competencies conferred upon us by law," the prosecutors said in a media statement on Monday.

The matter involves transcripts and audio files of telephone conversations between former Deputy Chief Prosecutor Kamen Sitnilski, his colleague Rumen Boev and three other magistrates, according to reports of mediapool.bg.

The new wiretapping scandal was initiated by Varna-based website Afera ("Affair"), which argued that the anonymous author of the email containing the wiretaps had shed light on the career growth of corrupt magistrates.

"The tip-off invites the development of public opinion and attitudes that the election of VSS members by the General Assembly of Prosecutors was flawed, through the distribution of dim facts, which only suffice to trigger doubts, nine months after the event in question, and amid escalating tensions over social problems. The Management Board of the Association of Prosecutors in Bulgaria adamantly opposes this approach to the institution and to our colleagues," the prosecutors declared.

The prosecutors also opposed the dissemination of untrustworthy information collected in an unregulated manner.

"We back the efforts of colleagues tasked with conducting the respective professional inspection. We will also back them if they find reasons to initiate a procedure for penalizing the guilty parties," the APB stated.

At the end of last week, Chief Prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov ordered the Sofia City Prosecutor's Office to initiate a probe into the matter.

The participants in the wiretapped telephone conversations can be heard discussing the appointment of Sitnilski and Boev as VSS members.

The prosecutors engage in undisguised lobbying among their colleagues for the appointment of the two as VSS members.

Although the wiretaps do not provide direct evidence of a crime, they clearly demonstrate how support is summoned among prosecutors for candidates for VSS members.

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Tags: Supreme Judicial Council, VSS, Association of Prosecutors in Bulgaria, Kamen Sitnilski, Sofia City Prosecutor's Office, Chief Prosecutor, Sotir Tsatsarov, wiretapping scandal, wiretaps, leaked


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