Bulgarian MP Facing Charges over Obstruction of Police, Hooliganism

Crime | July 7, 2016, Thursday // 10:09
Bulgaria: Bulgarian MP Facing Charges over Obstruction of Police, Hooliganism File photo, BGNES

Bulgarian Chief Prosecutor has filed a request to Parliament to lift a lawmaker's immunity from criminal prosecution.

The document submitted by Sotir Tsatsarov refers to allegations that on May 01 Aleksandar Metodiev, MP from the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) party, willfully obstructed police and committed an act of hooliganism.

Lawmakers in Bulgaria are immune to criminal prosecution and cannot be indicted unless Parliament revokes it at the request of prosecuting authorities.

Metodiev allegedly ignored a police stop baton after committing a traffic violation. He shortly returned, but only to intervene as officers were writing a ticket to a member of the Roma football team of Samokov (his hometown), according to the prosecution.

The lawmaker was informed by a member of a team, whose van was stopped by the same police officers, that one of them did not have identity documents with him and was being issued a ticket.

Metodiev then allegedly tried to settle the affair with the local police chief over the phone, but as the latter declined his request, returned to the site.

He showed his MP card to police officers, insulting and intimidating them and subsequently demanding that they give him all the tickets they had written during their shift, an instruction they did not comply with.

Metodiev, who is also known in his hometown and in the media as "Bat Sali", sparked controversy in 2014, when his election to Parliament triggered protests in his constituency of Kyustendil.

Metodiev made it into the legislature with the help of expat votes for his DPS party, some of which were transferred to the region, even though the DPS had only mustered 800 votes from locals. The biggest party GERB, on the other hand, had 21 000, but it also earned a single lawmaker in Kyustendil.

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Tags: Sotir Tsatsarov, Aleksandar Metodiev, Bat Sali, obstruction of justice, immunity, prosecution
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