Chief Prosecutor Geshev Refused to Attend Hearing in Parliament on Police Brutality

Politics | August 16, 2021, Monday // 10:40
Bulgaria: Chief Prosecutor Geshev Refused to Attend Hearing in Parliament on Police Brutality

Chief Prosecutor Ivan Geshev commented for BTA on the intention stated by MPs to request his hearing within the extraordinary sitting of parliament scheduled for Tuesday.

According to him there is a long-standing practice of the Constitutional Court, which excludes the exercise of parliamentary control over the work of specific magistrates and during pending cases.

Following the publication of a video recording of police violence against protesters last summer, Parliament Speaker Iva Miteva convened an extraordinary sitting of the National Assembly on August 17, 2021 (Tuesday) at 10:00 am for hearing of the Minister of Interior.

The hearing will be about actions taken to identify the policemen, who exceeded their powers, the penalties imposed and the measures taken to prevent such acts.

A request for a hearing of the Chief Prosecutor in an extraordinary session or a request for a report on specific cases would violate the principle of separation of powers and undermine the independence of the judiciary, claims Geshev.

"But even if that were not the case, there is no way to provide information on specific cases, because by law I do not have the right to know it." That would be a violation of the country's constitution and laws, the chief prosecutor said.

He added that he respects the work of the National Assembly as the highest body in a parliamentary republic such as Bulgaria and said he expects to see what information the MPs will request from the Prosecutor's Office.

Geshev added that the request for his hearing on the specific case should be considered through the possible compliance with the basic principles of the European Union and in particular the rule of law.

According to legal experts, there are questions regarding criminal cases that can be answered by the Prosecutor General without violating the decisions of the Constitutional Court.

For example, such questions would be how many cases of police violence are there in the country, at what stage are they, how many police officers are accused, whether they are filed on complaints of the victims or by self-referral to the prosecutor's office.

These are issues that do not substantially affect the evidence in each case and would not harm the investigation, nor can they affect the independent work of particular prosecutor.

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Tags: National Assembly, Geshev, Prosecutor
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