Bulgaria Might Ban Nationalist Party 'Ataka' for Stirring Hatred

Crime | May 22, 2011, Sunday // 22:14
Bulgaria: Bulgaria Might Ban Nationalist Party 'Ataka' for Stirring Hatred The Bulgarian prosecution might demand the lifting of the immunity of Ataka's leadership: MP Volen Siderov (front left), MP Desislav Chukulov (front right), MEP Dimitar Stoyanov (back). Photo by BGNES

The Bulgarian Prosecutor's Office might decide to demand the ban of the nationalist and far-right party "Ataka" for instigating ethnic and religious hatred, announced to Sofia City Prosecutor Nikolay Kokinov.

"In addition to raising charges, the prosecution might demand that Ataka be banned based on the Political Parties Act, if we collect enough evidence for instilling ethnic and religious hatred," Kokinov told BNT Sunday night.

The Prosecutor's Office investigation is motivated by Friday's incident in which activists of the Ataka ("Attack") party assaulted praying Muslims in downtown Sofia during a protest rally against the loudspeakers of the Banya Bashi mosque, which quickly got out of hand.

Kokinov has also ordered District Prosecutor Alexander Nalbantov to collect all information about the recent actions and statements of the Ataka party leadership, including Ataka leader Volen Siderov. The report is expected on Wednesday, May 25.

Prosecutor Nalbantov himself said that the prosecution is collecting evidence based on articles 162 and 164 of the Penal Code for instigating ethnic hatred and religiously motivated hatred. Based on the collected evidence, the Prosecutor's Office will decide whether to start a procedure against Ataka.

Steliyana Kozhuharova, spokesperson of Bulgaria's Chief Prosecutor Boris Velchev, said Velchev might request a lifting of the MP immunity of Ataka leader Volen Siderov but only if the Sofia City Prosecutor's Office decides in favor of starting a procedure.

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Tags: Ataka, nationalist, Volen Siderov, Bulgarian Muslims, Sofia Mosque, Banya Bashi, Nikolay Kokinov, Alexander Nalbantov, Boris Velchev, Sofia City Prosecutor's Office

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