Sofia City Court: The Comments of Caretaker Economy Minister Petkov Regarding a Court Decision Are Unacceptable
The Sofia City Court (SCC) issued an opinion on Saturday in connection to what they deem an unprecedented statement made by caretaker Economy Minister Kiril Petkov on June 25, 2021 in the Panorama programme on Bulgarian National Television. Petkov's statement assessed a SCC decision in an unacceptable manner, the disseminated opinion reads.
On Friday, Petkov said that the SCC had suspended the registration of the newly appointed three-member Bulgarian Development Bank (BDB) Supervisory Board into the commercial register, He argued that this was in "non-compliance with the law, because the acts of the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) cannot be suspended". Petkov described the court's decision as "the fastest one we've seen".
The SCC is adamant that the allegation is not true, because in all cases of this nature, the court always makes a ruling within a few hours of receiving a request, except when such is filed after 4 pm. In this case, the judge ruled in compliance with the procedural deadlines on the day of receiving the application.
The SCC opinion states that "by law the suspension of registration proceedings, as well as the request for entering the new BDB management into the commercial register are fast-track proceedings, which are normally considered by three judges on duty based on a previously determined schedule. Requests are automatically distributed randomly among the judges on duty and the court is obliged to rule within the same day. The purpose of these shifts is precisely to comply with the legal provision for prompt ruling and does not constitute a targeted "concentration with three judges ", as Minister Petkov tried to suggest in his speech".
The BDB is supposed to lend to small and medium-sized businesses. Shortly after he stepped in office as caretaker Economy Minister in early May, Petkov said he was shocked to find that eight companies had received a total of 946 million leva in loans from the BDB. He argued that was at odds with the BDB Act and the Bank's Statutes. In mid-June, BNB approved three new executive directors of BDB, whose registration process was suspended on Friday.
The compliance or non-compliance of the judicial act with the law is subject to verification only by the order of instance control, and not by unacceptable interference in the work of the court through inappropriate political statements, stressed the Sofia City Court.
On his part, Minister Petkov said that from Monday on, he would begin submitting a new registration application for the BDB Supervisory Board every day and added: ''Every single day I will make an address to the public and the media about what happened with the application''/BTA
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