Bulgarian Parliament Sets Up Committee on Immunity of Nationalist Ataka MPs
The Bulgarian parliament approved on Wednesday the setting up of an ad hoc inquiry committee to deal with the request for lifting the immunity of nationalist Ataka MPs Volen Siderov and Desislav Chukolov.
The committee will review the two requests of Chief Prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov to lift the nationalist MPs' immunity from criminal prosecution.
Tsatsarov demanded on Monday the arrest of Siderov and Chukolov on charges of hooliganism after they had broken into the building of the National Academy for Theatre and Film Arts (NATFA).
The two nationalist MPs are accused of breaking into the academy building on two occasions last week, both allegedly disrupting classes and insulting students.
Earlier in October, Siderov and Chukolov had been involved in a similar incident in front of a tobacco and alcohol store located on the same street.
While MPs were discussing the setting up of the inquiry committee, two protests took place outside the parliament building, one in support of Siderov, the other against him.
The parliament overwhelmingly approved the setting up of the committee, with 136 MPs voting in favour, while only the 11 Ataka MPs were opposed.
The committee is headed by Deputy Parliament Speaker Dimitar Glavchev.
Following the latest scandal caused by the two MPs on Sunday, the largest ruling party, GERB, proposed on Monday that MPs should have immunity from criminal prosecution only for their political actions in parliament.
In order for the proposal to be turned into law, an amendment of the constitution is required.
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