Bulgaria 'Most Corrupt' Judge Faces Disciplinary Action

Society | June 5, 2010, Saturday // 10:17
Bulgaria 'Most Corrupt' Judge Faces Disciplinary Action: Bulgaria 'Most Corrupt' Judge Faces Disciplinary Action A shot from the compromising video shows drunk Ruse judge Petar Balkov washing his face in a toilet and barely standing on his feet.

The Ethics Commission at the Regional Court in the Danube City of Ruse began disciplinary actions against judge Petar Balkov.

On Friday, a video clip released on the Internet, showing the Ruse district judge drunk in a night club, spurred a public scandal.

The 2-minute video in question (available HERE) was filmed in the public restroom in the Moulin Rouge club in the city, where the judge celebrated April 16, which is the professional lawyers' day in Bulgaria. It shows Balkov talking to one of club’s guards.

“And who am I? Read the Press! I am the most corruptible judge in Bulgaria,” the wasted magistrate says in the video, apparently, 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 at the Ruse Regional Court convened Friday. They say Balkov’s behavior is violating Bulgarian magistrates’ professional ethics, particularly the so-called “decency” principle, but the clip has no evidence of corruption.

The Chair of the Court, Darinka Aleksieva, who said earlier she learned about the video from the media, announced the Commission has begun a disciplinary procedure and Balkov’s penalty will be announced Monday.

Aleksieva insists she never received any information about the judge being corrupt, and cites his long career with the Court and his, sometimes weird, sense of humor.

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