Bulgaria's Ex VP Pardons of Felons Face New Challenge
A new problem has emerged with the decrees of former Bulgarian Vice President, Angel Marin, for granting pardon to criminals and Bulgarian citizenship, since they have not been signed in the way postulated by the Constitution.
During both of Marins' terms in office, the decrees had not been signed by the Justice Minister as required.
The information was revealed in a written answer, sent by current Justice Minister, Diana Kovacheva, to a question from a Member of the Parliament, quoted by the news agency BGNES.
According to article 102, paragraph 2 of the Constitutions, the decrees must be signed either by the Prime Minister or the respective minister, and the exceptions do not include granting pardons and/or citizenship.
This is just the next in a series of blunders committed by the administration of former President, Georgi Parvanov, after it emerged the latter failed to issue a decree for Marin's second term appointment, which was confirmed on February 7 in an official letter sent by the new administration of President, Rosen Plevneliev.
During his two terms as VP, Marin had pardoned 533 felons, some convicted for grave crimes such as murder and rape.
The latest revelations add to speculations as to what could and must happen with all of the pardoned individuals.
In her answer, Kovacheva lists the number of pardons at 488, explaining the difference with the fact that some had been imposed other sanctions such as fines, a ban from working for the State or from certain other jobs, as well as people who never went to jail, because meanwhile their sentences never became effective.
The Minister, however, refused, once again, to provide a list with the names of the pardoned, basing it on the opinion of the Commission for Protection of Personal Data.
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