The 1st Television Interview of Ivan Geshev After His Election as Chief Public Prosecutor
The SJC approved Ivan Geshev as the new Chief Public Prosecutor. His candidacy was the only one for the post. The hearing began at 10 o'clock in the morning yesterday and lasted nearly 10 hours. He gave an interview specifically for BNT.
Many criticisms were heard as well as positive reviews about Geshev. Which critics he thinks are appropriate?
Ivan Geshev: I am a person who carefully considers all criticisms and changes when I consider that the criticisms are constructive and that they are justified and correct. I was impressed by Judge Sekerdzhiev's opinion. I do not agree with his view, his reasons for not supporting me. I don't think it makes the right assessment for me. But I am impressed with the honest and correct analysis, from his point of view, and I will personally try to show that his judgment is not correct for me and I will gladly make efforts in this direction.
Geshev says prosecutors need to be more active. However, how will this happen? What does it envisage for prosecutors to be more active, especially in the "domestic crime" part of which Geshev says the prosecutor's office is a debtor?
Ivan Geshev: I envision a lot of things. The point is that part of the procedure has gone on today. We have yet to see how the procedure will evolve in the next phase, that is, what the President's assessment will be, so that this procedure is not substantially complete. It's too early to say some of the things I'm planning. Much of the commitments I intend to fulfill, the strategic goals, the measures, are outlined in my concept. I can say in general that I hope that the prosecutor's office will be open to the problems and pain of the people. I hope that the prosecutor's office is more active in changing the sense of injustice, which I realize exists in the Bulgarian society and the prosecutor's office takes over the commitments it owes to the Bulgarian society in places where this does not happen. That is, it is about the performance of the respective functions of the Attorney General for greater activity in the district and appellate prosecutor's offices mainly outside Sofia.
Geshev said there was a problem with fighting high-level corruption, despite the report. Why is there a problem?
Ivan Geshev: Look, I didn't say there was a problem, I said there were still unresolved problems. It is a fact that the EC report strongly states that Bulgaria's commitments made at the time of our accession to the EU have been fulfilled. The fact is, however, that there is still a lot of work to be done and we cannot be content and calm with EC reports. I mean, there is a lot of work to be done. And, why the results are not yet what the Bulgarian society is expecting, which I report to be objective reality, is a matter of long analysis. I did quite a bit of it in the 10 hour hearing. It is a complex of factors, including normative ones, including a formal process, described not by Bulgarian commentators but by experts in the cooperation and verification mechanism, by prosecutors from the Structural Reform Support Office who carried out an independent analysis of the structural and functional model of the Bulgarian prosecutor's office and analysis of its independence. There are evidentiary standards in Bulgaria that are much higher than any EU country, there are also problems with substantive law in the Criminal Code, there are problems that are outside the prosecutor's office and concern the institutions of the executive power, we are talking about personnel , social security, training, and more. There are problems that are purely organizational and improve the prosecution's work in these cases.
What is the evidence that proves that Geshev is independent?
Ivan Geshev: I was really sincere in this hearing. I said things I believe in and I think. How will I continue to persuade, if this procedure is successfully completed, is a question that I will answer that we must continue in the same way that we have started in the last two or three years, showing that there is no difference between a Bulgarian citizen of low social status and Bulgarian citizens of high social status when they have committed an offense or crime and when there is evidence of a crime or evidence of a crime.
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