Go-Ahead for Libel Case against Bulgaria's Top Cop
The first hearing in the libel case against Bulgaria's interior minister, initiated by the chair of the Bulgarian Judges Association (BJA) will be held on Friday at Plovdiv Regional Court.
Miroslava Todorova, a judge at the Sofia City Court (SCC), filed a libel lawsuit against Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov with the Sofia Regional Court on February 06.
The step was triggered by two consecutive interviews of the Interior Minister in which he accused her of incompetence and of patronizing organized crime because of the delayed presentation of the written motives to an eight-year jail sentence handed down to drug lord Vasil Manikatov.
Todorova insisted that Tsvetanov had voiced untrue and defamatory allegations about her work as a judge and as BJA Chair.
She cited Tsvetanov as having said "There are approaches applied in the judiciary by like-minded judges who are actually not in the service of society, we, the people who keep paying our taxes to support the judiciary, but rather in the service of organized crime" in an interview for bTV.
Todorova is not seeking a monetary award and if the Interior Minister is found guilty, he will be penalized with a public reprimand and a fine of BGN 5000-15000 which will go into the state coffers.
The reporting judge assigned to the case is Ekaterina Roglekova, Chair of the Criminal Division of the Plovdiv Regional Court.
The proceedings were ordered relocated to the Plovdiv-based court by the Supreme Court of Cassation (VKS) due to the fact that Todorova is a judge at the Sofia City Court.
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