President Radev Vetoes Changes to Criminal Procedure Code, Citing Constitutional Concerns

Politics | February 12, 2024, Monday // 14:22|  views

President Rumen Radev

President Rumen Radev has taken a decisive stance against amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code, effectively vetoing provisions aimed at reinstating the Plenum of the Supreme Judicial Council and bolstering the powers of the Prosecutor General. This move, announced by his press office on Monday, underscores Radev's firm stance on upholding the supremacy of the Constitution in Bulgaria's legal framework.

In a statement accompanying the veto, Radev's office criticized the amendments, arguing that they undermine the recent judicial reform efforts, particularly those outlined in the Constitution. The President denounced the February 1st amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code as a direct challenge to the constitutional order, alleging a deliberate disregard for the fundamental principles enshrined in the nation's legal foundation.

Of particular concern to Radev is the division of the Supreme Judicial Council into distinct entities - the Judicial Council and the Prosecutorial Council - a move that, in his view, dilutes the authority of the Prosecutor General and weakens judicial oversight. Additionally, the President expressed reservations about the restricted access to evidence afforded to defendants held in custody pending trial, emphasizing the importance of due process and transparency in the legal system.

Radev's veto represents a significant escalation in the ongoing debate over judicial reform in Bulgaria, highlighting deep-seated divisions and conflicting interpretations of the country's legal framework. The President's decision to block the amendments underscores his commitment to upholding constitutional principles and ensuring the integrity of Bulgaria's judiciary.

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Tags: President Radev, Criminal Procedure Code, veto, judicial reform


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