2010 Proves Record Year for Police Brutality in Bulgaria
The most cases of police brutality in the 2004 – 2010 period have been registered in 2010, according to a report released by the Open Society Institute Thursday.
In 2010, there have been 14 cases of police violence, compared with only 4 in 2005, the lowest for the examined period, according to the report, cited by Darik radio.
Police used brutality the most in Regional Police Directorates – 9 cases for 2010.
There have been a total of 65 such cases between 2004 and 2010 – 19 have been related to operations of the Interior, involving arrests of people suspected in criminal activities, but in 14 other cases, policemen have abused their authority at times they were not carrying job duties.
The Deputy Chair of the Supreme Court of Cassations, Grozdan Iliev, pointed out during the discussions that between 2008 and 2010, there have been 14 guilty verdicts, based on cases where police violence has been applied. The idea to create a special unit at the Prosecutor's Office to monitor and control police brutality was also discussed.
Deputy Interior Minister, Veselin Vuchkov, points out police violence is present regardless of which party is in power, saying there are 27 rules of the Human Rights Court in Strasburg, related to such cases in Bulgaria, but some date as far back as 1994.
The latest highly-publicized case, related to the arrest of former Chief Consultant of the Finance Ministry, Tencho Popov, is still being probed, but Interior Minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, promised sanctions, while Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, even called for dismissals.
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