Supreme Judicial Council Removes from Office Sofia City Court Chair

Politics » DOMESTIC | February 19, 2015, Thursday // 16:13
Bulgaria: Supreme Judicial Council Removes from Office Sofia City Court Chair Vladimira Yaneva, photo by BGNES

Bulgaria’s Supreme Judicial Council (VSS) has voted unanimously to remove from office Vladimira Yaneva, Chair of the Sofia City Court.

Thursday’s decision of the VSS involves the removal of Yaneva from the post of Sofia City Court Chair and from the post of a judge.

Yaneva faces criminal proceedings for unlawfully authorizing the use of special surveillance equipment within the so-called “Worms” operation.

The offence is punishable by 1-5 years of imprisonment and a fine of up to BGN 5000, according to Sega daily.

During Thursday’s sitting of the VSS, the VSS members exchanged views on whether she was to be removed only from the post of a judge or both from the post of a judge and Sofia City Court Chair.

Chief Prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov, who had requested Yaneva’s dismissal, insisted that the two posts were inseparable.

Yaneva, who was supposed to present her stance on the demand for her dismissal, did not attend the hearing.

She had submitted a written statement to VSS instead to explain why she had given the green light to the use of special surveillance equipment during the so-called “Worms” operation.

The case involved wiretapping permits for the period September 2013 – June 2014.

The deployment of special surveillance equipment was requested by the head of the Security unit of the Interior Ministry, who is currently being investigated for creating a forged document.

Meanwhile, Justice Minister Hristo Ivanov and Lozan Panov, Chair of the Supreme Court of Cassation (VKS), demanded the launch of disciplinary action against Yaneva and a deputy of hers, Bogdana Zhelyavska, over the scandal involving breaches to the principle of random distribution of cases at the Sofia City Court.

Panov, who left the VSS sitting early, said that the entire governing panel of the Sofia City Court, including Yaneva and her four deputies, were morally obliged to resign.

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Tags: VSS, Supreme Judicial Council, Sofia City Court, Vladimira Yaneva, Justice Minister, Hristo Ivanov, Supreme Court of Cassation, VKS, Lozan Panov, special surveillance devices, wiretapping, random assignment of cases
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