Bulgaria Top Judge: Politicians Should Talk Less, Work More

Politics » DOMESTIC | February 25, 2010, Thursday // 12:59
Bulgaria: Bulgaria Top Judge: Politicians Should Talk Less, Work More Lazar Gruev, Chair of Bulgaria's Supreme Cassation Court, has added his voice to the battle of words between the judiciary and the country's most senior politicians. Photo by BGNES

Lazar Gruev, Chair of Bulgaria’s Supreme Court of Cassation (SCC) has weighed in to the ongoing war of words between the executive and judiciary powers.

"I shall clench my teeth for one last time," Gruev stated on Thursday. "I will abide by our gentlemen's agreement reached with Prime Minister Borisov 10 days ago not to comment on the actions and results of the actions of other institutions."

Prof Gruev was referring to remarks made by both the Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, and Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov, relating to the ongoing SAPARD trials. On Wednesday, Sofia City Court had published a statement highly critical of their "inadmissible" and "completely unacceptable" comments that endangered the process of a fair trial.

PM Borisov had stated that it was known under which "political umbrella" the accused in the SAPARD trial were protected. Then, Tsvetanov announced on Wednesday that he was looking for a way to transfer the trial to Germany.

"Every honest citizen of Bulgaria, as the majority of Bulgarian judges are, undoubtedly and without reservation, supports the policy of zero tolerance for crime, which some call a war," Gruev commented, stressing that this policy should be conducted solely within the law.

"If I use sporting terminology, in order for some to understand me - each person runs on his own track. There is no democratic country in which one of the players monitors compliance with the rules and defines them," he said.

According to him, Bulgarian judges have run out of patience with having to listen continuously to groundless and unfounded allegations. Instead, Lazar Gruev urged the institutions to talk less and work more.

He pointed out that there is no war, and there can be no war, between the institutions, because this damages statehood and the honest and fair conducting of trials.

When asked whether there was any information on the number of judges being investigated for corruption, the Chair of the SCC said that it was not his job to have such data in his possession.

Commenting on the statement by Tsvetan Tsvetanov that the Mario Nikolov case for siphoning SAPARD funds might be transferred to Germany, Lazar Gruev concluded: "The Interior Minister is a politician and probably speaks as a politician. I speak as a professional, the court has no other language."

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Tags: Lazar Gruev, SCC, Boyko Borisov, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, SAPARD

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