Bulgaria's Supreme Judicial Council to Elect Sofia City Court Chair

Domestic | June 24, 2015, Wednesday // 11:59|  views

The Bulgarian Supreme Judicial Council (VSS) will elect on Wednesday the chair of Sofia City Court (SGS) as the titular position has been vacant since February.

The sole candidate to run for the position is the judge from SGS Kaloyan Topalov, daily Dnevnik reports.

SGS is the largest district court in Bulgaria and is of key importance as it is the court of first instance for people with immunity – MPs, magistrates and high-level officials such as cabinet ministers.

The election will also draw attention due to the numerous violations, which VSS established at the court.

The violations were established after judges signed two petitions demanding the resignation of the then court's management, which was made up by chair Vladimira Yaneva and her deputies Bogdana Zhelyavska and Petya Krancheva.

The position has been vacant since February, when Yaneva was temporarily dismissed at the request of Chief Prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov, which was shortly followed by her resignation.

Yaneva was dismissed for granting illegitimate permits for the use of special surveillance means (SRS) in the so-called Worms affair, which allowed for citizens to be wiretapped during the anti-government protests in 2013 and 2014.

Topalov is a civil law lawyer, who has established a reputation of a judge not allowing himself to be subjected to pressure or threats.

Topalov has been identified as competent and qualified magistrate, mastering not only the Bulgarian normative system, but also the EU one.

According to the opinion of SGS judges, the failure to hold an election will be a bad sign for the magistrates from the court.

This will also be a negative sign for the work of VSS, which has been characterised by frequent scandals, fragmented majority and internal inconsistencies.

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Tags: Bulgaria, VSS, SGS, election, Vladimira Yaneva, dismissal, resignation, Sotir Tsatsarova, SRS, surveillance, wiretapped, protests


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