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Bulgarian prosecutor tasked with probing chief prosecutor, unable to function

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The ad hoc prosecutor charged with investigating allegations of crimes against the chief prosecutor, which the Bulgarian parliament set up, is now facing organisational problems that make it virtually impossible to function.

After several months’ delay, Judge Daniela Taleva was elected among senior judges on 18 October, which the Supreme Judicial Council officially blamed on a legal loophole that was eventually filled by parliament.

“I am subject to these investigations. Not necessarily every prosecutor general will be investigated, crucified, immediately indicted and put in jail. The goal is to have a functioning mechanism to deter every prosecutor general, to prevent the abuses of every chief prosecutor,” Borislav Sarafov, who currently serves as the chief prosecutor, commented on Thursday.

Bulgaria has been without a titular prosecutor-general since June, when Ivan Geshev was dismissed for damaging the prestige of the judiciary. He is currently trying to position himself in politics instead.

Taleva, the new interim prosecutor, has not yet taken office even though there are reports against Sarafov to investigate.

The reason is that the Prosecutor’s College of the Supreme Judicial Council is about to propose changes to the rules governing the administration of the Prosecutor’s Office so that Taleva will be provided with staff.

However, according to jurists with whom Euractiv spoke on the condition of anonymity, the law is obvious but is being sabotaged by the Supreme Judicial Council so that the mechanism for investigating the prosecutor general does not work.

It was only on Thursday that it was decided that Taleva would receive an office in the Supreme Prosecutor’s Office.

The Prosecutor General’s Special Investigation Mechanism was introduced with a delay of more than 10 years, after in 2009, the European Court of Human Rights found and condemned the absolute power that the Bulgarian Prosecutor General has, turning them into a figure untouchable by the law.

The adoption of the investigation mechanism was a key commitment of Bulgaria under the Recovery and Resilience Plan (RSP).

(Krassen Nikolov Euractiv.bg)

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