Bulgaria's 'Most Corruptible Judge' Caught on Video

Society | June 4, 2010, Friday // 19:57
Bulgaria: Bulgaria's 'Most Corruptible Judge' Caught on Video A shot from the compromising video shows wasted judge Petar Balkov washing his face in a toilet and barely standing on his feet.

A video clip released on the Internet showing Petar Balkov, district judge from Bulgaria’s Ruse, drunk in a night club has spurred a public scandal.

The 2-minute video in question (available HERE) was shot in a toilet in the Moulin Rouge club in the Danube city of Ruse where the judge celebrated April 16, lawyer’s day in Bulgaria. It shows Balkov talking to one of guards of the disco.

“And who am I? Read the Press! I am the most corruptible judge in Bulgaria,” the wasted magistrate says in the video which apparently was shot without his knowledge.

Balkov has confirmed that he is the man in the video but said that it is aimed at hurting his image. The video was uploaded on the Bulgarian video sharing website vbox7.com in April, with a comment reading “The Ruse District Judge Petar Balkov drunk, ruining the authority of the judiciary! How is Tsvetan Tsvetanov (i.e. the Interior Minister) going to comment on that, or why doesn’t he ask the American Ambassador for a comment?”

The ethics commission of the Ruse District Court convened Friday in order to consider the case. The Chair of the Court, Darinka Aleksieva, said she learned about the video from the media.

“The only bothering sentence in the clip is the one where he says he is the most corruptible judge. From my conversation with him, I understand that he was making a joke – obviously, a bad one. He has the habit of being self-ironic,” Aleksieva told the BNT.

In her words, the video does not affect the prestige of the judiciary but only the image of judge Balkov.

The decision of the ethics commission in Ruse is expected within a week. District Court Chairs are only authorized to scold their subordinates, while any harsher punishments can be imposed by Bulgaria’s Supreme Judicial Council (VSS). However, there is no indication that the case will be referred to it.

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Tags: Petar Balkov, judges, corrupt, corruption, magistrates, Ruse, Darinka Aleksieva, video, video clip, judiciary

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