British Ambassador: Bulgaria Should Probe Markovska's Case
The tipoffs against controversial Bulgarian magistrate, Veneta Markovska, who was recently elected constitutional judge, should be subject of a serious investigation, according to Great Britain's Ambassador in Sofia, Jonathan Allen.
Speaking in Bulgarian for the Bulgarian National Radio, BNR, the Ambassador reiterated Tuesday his deep disappointment from the serious issues raised by Markovska's nomination and election for the post, in the aftermath of what he sees as a very transparent procedure to elect the members of the Supreme Judicial Council, VSS.
Allen characterized the ongoing scandal with Markovska as a "shame."
In a Twitter note to Novinite.com, the Ambassador stresses the following: "The point is I don't know whether the allegations are true or not, but no-one does. So need a full, transparent investigation."
In the occasion of Remembrance Day observed on November 11 in Commonwealth countries since the end of World War I to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty, the Ambassador visited Tuesday the second largest city of Plovdiv and its cemetery to pay homage to the British soldiers who perished in World War I.
Markovska's nomination and following election for one of Parliament's two candidates to serve on Bulgaria's Constitutional Court raised controversy after information was leaked that she had attempted to use her influence to pressure the Ministry of Interior to suppress an investigation.
This led to the European Commission issuing a warning it could publish an emergency report for Bulgaria on the so-called Cooperation and Verification Mechanism for Corruption and Organized Crime.
"The reputation of one person cannot be more important than the reputation of the State," Bulgaria's Justice Minister, Diyana Kovacheva, commented Monday in connection with reports that the magistrate has postponed taking the oath of office in awaiting the results of a probe of all tipoffs against her.
Kovacheva, however, noted the conclusion of the complicated situation depends only on Markovska and her sense of dignity.
Bulgarian Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, called twice on the magistrate to withdraw.
Markovska has continuously and vehemently denied all accusations of attempting to illicitly use her influence, albeit without failing to produce a coherent alternative narrative regarding the events.
In a Monday interview, she said she still had not decided if she would withdraw, but reiterated firmly the tipoff was a false, anonymous slander.
She declared her reputation was everything to her, and pledged to continue to fight for it, regardless of the cost. The judge pointed out that it was inadmissible for a European country, such as Bulgaria, to be ruled not by laws, but by slander.
"As a judge and Deputy Chair of the Supreme Administrative Court, VAS, where cases of huge material interests are tried, I obviously have harmed some people and their interests. In Court, one of the sides always loses and here they try to find revenge. I have inflicted both on material and political interests," Markovska stated.
Also on Monday, Interior Minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, when announcing her postponing the taking the oath of office, stood firmly behind her and informed that if a probe was to be assigned by the Prosecutor's Office, his institution will conduct it.
Last Thursday, Markovska a letter to the Chair of the Constitutional Court, declaring she would take the oath of office after it is proven that her reputation as judge and person is impeccable.
Legal experts in Bulgaria have argued that her request to find the author of the tipoff and conduct a probe violates Article 6 from the Constitution, postulating that all Bulgarian citizens are equal before the law regardless of their personal and social status. They say Markovska should file a private complaint, pay all Court fees, and wait for a Court rule to clear her image.
The lawyers further point out that the Interior Ministry agreeing to search for the author of the tipoff, but refusing to investigate the information in his letter is an example of abusing the Constitution for personal interests.
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