Notorious 'Fake' Ballots Case Returned to Bulgaria's Prosecution
The Sofia Appellate Court has upheld the return to the prosecution of the notorious Kostinbrod ballots case over procedural breaches.
Thursday's ruling by a three-judge panel of the Sofia Appellate Court confirmed a ruling of the Sofia City Court that the case had to be returned to the prosecuting authority so that major shortcomings could be corrected.
The case was returned to the prosecuting authority so that the serious flaws in the indictment against Rosen Zhelyazkov, former Chief Secretary of the Council of Ministers, could be removed.
The court ruled that the indictment had been too vaguely worded by the prosecution and it lacked specifics concerning the criminal behavior of Zhelyazkov, the goal he had pursued and his gain.
In end-January, the Sofia City Court returned to the prosecution he case of the unaccounted-for ballots discovered on the eve of Election Day in May 2013 at a printing facility in Kostinbrod.
The only defendant in the case is Rosen Zhelyazkov, Chief Secretary of the Council of Ministers.
On January 22, the Sofia City Appellate Prosecutor's Office protested the decision for returning the case to the prosecuting authority. The protest, submitted with the Sofia Appellate Court, claimed that the decision to return the case was unfounded and unlawful.
On December 16, 2013, the prosecuting authority submitted an indictment against Zhelyazkov to court.
Zhelyazkov was accused of failing to fulfill his duties as Chief Secretary of the Council of Ministers in the period April 27 – May 12, 2013.
He was accused of not exercising adequate control over the activities of the administration of the Council of Ministers in connection with the implementation of obligations of the Kostinbrod-based printing house Multiprint OOD under the contract for the preparation and supply of 8 343 000 ballots.
Raykov was said to have failed to guarantee strict control over the quantities of ballots printed and the processing of the spoiled ballots.
The printing house produced a total of 351 075 ballots fit to be used outside the quantities stipulated in the contract.
The damages incurred as a result of the case consisted in undermining public confidence in the fairness of the election process and the lawful functioning of public authorities.