Bulgarian Supreme Council Chastises Judges in Real Estate Scandal

Society | June 1, 2010, Tuesday // 10:38| Views: | Comments: 0
Bulgarian Supreme Magistrates Chastise Judges in Real Estate Scandal: Bulgarian Supreme Council Chastises Judges in Real Estate Scandal 27-year-old judge from Blagoevgrad, Denitsa Urumova, and her father, Nikolay Urumov, enter the VSS building. Photo by BGNES

The “Professional Ethics” Committee at the Bulgarian Supreme Judicial Council (VSS) has decided to begin disciplinary actions against judges involved in the latest scandal that is shaking Bulgaria’s judicial system.

The proposal is to be submitted Thursday and would come on the heels of the Monday VSS hearing of those involved in the real estate scandal in the Black Sea town and resort of Primorsko.

The Committee reacted swiftly after an investigative report of the Bulgarian weekly “Kapital” revealed that three senior judges from the Supreme Administrative Court (VAS) helped close relatives to obtain beach-front real estate property in Primorsko thanks to their acquired status of people on social benefits.

Kapital” wrote how Denitsa Urumova, who is a Junior Judge at the Blagoevgrad District Court, and daughter of the VAS judge, Nikolay Urumov, is building a hotel in Primorsko, for which she obtained the construction permit by pretending to be on welfare.

The father, Nikolay Urumov, is probed for bribery and was dismissed as the head of the Third Department of VAS

Last week, the VAS Chair, Konstantin Penchev, also fired the other two VAS judges involved in the scandal: Panayot Genkov was removed from office as the Head of the “First A” Department of VAS; and Judge Andrey Ikonomov was fired from the head position of the Fifth Department of VAS.

In addition, relatives of the former Appellate Prosecutor of Burgas, Yordan Ivanov, and of the Head of the Sofia Appellate Court, Veselin Pengezov, have also received building permits.

The disciplinary action would be against all of the above, excluding Yordan Ivanov, because he is no longer an employee of the Court.

The Committee deems that with their actions the magistrates have hurt the reputation of the legislative power.

The Committee’s Chair, Tsoni Tsonev, further says that the judges were fully aware their relatives have registered as residents of the town of Primorsko in order to receive building rights.

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Tags: Supreme Administrative Court, Konstantin Penchev, corruption, judges, Justice Ministry, Kapital, Primorsko
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