Interior Min: 'Humane' Bulgarian Judiciary Serves Criminals

February 2, 2013, Saturday // 11:17
Bulgaria: Interior Min: 'Humane' Bulgarian Judiciary Serves Criminals
Bulgarian Minister of Interior Tsvetan Tsvetanov. Photo by BGNES

Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov has renewed attacks against a percieved ineffectiveness of the judiciary on the occasion of this week's shooting of alleged major drug boss Zlatomir Ivanov, aka Zlatko Baretata.

In particular, Tsvetanov argued against the practice of release on house arrest of persons convicted on first instance while their second instance appeals are under way, as is the case with Ivanov.

Tuesday Ivanov was shot and severely wounded with four bullets in downtown Sofia while entering the Central Courthouse to appear in his trial, with his life still in danger.

"The first instance court convicted Ivanov of leading an organized crime group, but then he was released on house arrest during his appeal, which time is to be deducted from his jail sentence," commented Tsvetanov in an interview for Darik Radio.

"Then the trial drags on for years. If the second or third instance court convicts him again, it will turn out hat he has no time remaining to serve in prison," went on Tsvetanov.

"I can only be thankful to the great humaneness of the Bulgarian judicial system," said an ironic Minister of Interior.

In the interview, Tsvetanov argued in favor of "swift justice" as a priority to resolve the country's lasting problem with organized crime.

Bulgarian PM Boyko Borisov has also similarly reacted to the case, saying trials should be quicker and persons convicted at first instance should be kept in detention for their own safety.

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