Bulgaria's Ex Tsar Loses 1st Palace in Royal Property Case
The Bulgarian Supreme Court of Cassation (VKS) has confirmed the rulings of two previous courts rejecting the the claim of Bulgaria's former Tsar and PM Simeon Saxe-Coburg and his sister Maria-Louisa in the dispute over the former royal palace Krichim.
In the past couple of years, the Bulgarian state and Simeon Saxe-Coburg and his sister Maria-Louisa have been tangled in a legal battle over the ownership of several real estate properties used by the Bulgarian royal family before its ousting by the communists in 1946.
The properties were restored to the ex-Tsar in 2001-2005 when he was Prime Minister of Bulgaria but after 2009 the Borisov government initiated proceedings to regain the ownership over them.
On Friday, VKS upheld the rulings of the Plovdiv Appellate Court and the Plovdiv District Court saying that the royal residence is not the property of the former Bulgarian royal family.
VKS also confirmed conclusively that the Krichim Palace had not been acquired on behalf of Saxe-Coburg or personally for him, in his capacity as a natural person.
VKS ruled that the Act for Declaring the Estates of the Families of the Former Kings Ferdinand and Boris and their Heirs State Property promulgated in 1947 declared unconstitutional in 1998 had no restitutive effect.
The final ruling on the case of the Krichim Palace and an adjacent agricultural land of 371 decares is expected to determine the outcome of the other claims of Saxe-Coburg for three royal residences, Tsarska Bistrirsa, Sitnyakovo and Vrana and lands in the Rila Mountain.
The issue of the so called "Tsar's estates" stirred indignation in Bulgaria over doubts that the property had been given to Saxe-Coburg unlawfully during his term as Prime Minister (2001-2005).
Tsar Simeon II is the last monarch of Bulgaria, having reigned with regents 1943-1946 (aged 6-9), after the death of his father Boris III.
After the communist takeover in 1944, a controversial referendum was held 1946, at which people voted in support for the creation of a republic, and this led to banishing of the royal family from the country.
In 1947, a new constitution was adopted proclaiming Bulgaria a republic.
Simeon returned to Bulgaria in 2001 and swiftly founded a liberal political party (National Movement Simeon II, later National Movement for Stability and Prosperity), which won a landslide victory in the general elections the same year.
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