Bulgarian Parliament Approved Election of Investigative Prosecutor for Probing Prosecutor General
The Parliament approved at first reading the appointment of a new figure of an investigative prosecutor who will investigate the Prosecutor General, with an appendix to the Criminal Procedure Code (NPC) submitted by Krasimir Tsipov of GERB. 100 MPs voted in favor, 46 were against (mainly of the Bulgarian Socialist Party) and 10 abstained, BTA reported.
This person must have the status of acting prosecutor with the full powers under Bulgarian law, similar to the European Delegated Prosecutors.
It is envisaged that this Prosecutor will have a seven-year term, be nominated by not less than six members of the Prosecutor's College of the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) and elected by the Plenum of the SJC by a simple majority.
"Between the first and second votes, we will submit a proposal that each candidate for this position can be self-nominated," Tsipov announced during the discussion.
He was adamant that the majority intends to adopt the annex by the end of this National Assembly term of office and to initiate the procedure.
"The election of the first prosecutor investigating the Prosecutor General is scheduled to start one month after the adoption of the amendments to the NPC and the Judiciary Act, and candidates will be nominated by then, and in another two months the SJC should make the choice.
The requirements are that the new investigative prosecutor has at least 12 years of service, has high professional and moral qualities, with a positive overall assessment from the latest attestation and in the last five years none of the four most severe disciplinary penalties has been imposed on him, such as disrating, dismissal as administrative director or deputy of one, or disciplinary dismissal.
The proposed seven-year term of the investigative prosecutor entitled to probing into the Prosecutor General would ensure his work during the tenure of various chief prosecutors, leading to the impossibility of potential influence, the rationale of the movers reads.
The Prosecutor's Office has already stated that such a magistrate is redundant, since even now, if there are any reports against No.1 prosecutor, they are being investigated like any other reports. However, the Justice Ministry upheld the idea.
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