5 EU Countries to Conduct Extra Judicial Monitoring of Bulgaria

Politics » BULGARIA IN EU | July 9, 2012, Monday // 18:59
Bulgaria: 5 EU Countries to Conduct Extra Judicial Monitoring of Bulgaria Justice Minister Diana Kovacheva has announced that a delegation of EU magistrates will conduct additional monitoring of Bulgaria’s progress in the sphere of justice and home affairs. Photo by Sofia Photo Agency

Bulgaria will be subject to an additional monitoring procedure in the sphere of the judiciary by five EU Member States (Germany, France, the Netherlands, Spain and Italy), according to Justice Minister Diana Kovacheva.

Speaking Monday after an extraordinary session of the Supreme Judicial Council (VSS), she explained that the five counties would send judges and prosecutors to inspect the work of Bulgarian magistrates on five high-profile cases, including the proceedings against gangster pair Angel Hristov and Plamen Galev aka the "Galevi brothers"; mafia bosses Nikolay Marinov and Krassimir Marinov, aka the "Margini brothers"; the former CEO of State Fund Agriculture, Asen Drumev; businessman Mario Nikolov and the municipal real estate company Sofiyski Imoti.

The proceedings are part of a total of 92 high-profile cases monitored by the European Commission for the purposes of the annual progress reports on Bulgaria under the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) in the field of justice and home affairs.

Kovacheva, as cited by mediapool.bg, made clear that the experts would conduct a more comprehensive and more focused probe of judicial activities.

She noted that the work of the foreign experts would predominantly examine the work of the prosecuting authority, adding that they would also hold meetings with the judges assigned to the five cases.

Kovacheva announced that the foreign delegation would eventually present its recommendations regarding a faster and more efficient processing of such types of proceedings.

Bulgaria's Justice Minister admitted that the conclusions of the foreign magistrates would influence the final decision of these countries on the removal of the CVM.

Germany, France and, most of all, the Netherlands, have expressed reservations about Bulgaria's accession to Schengen.

Kovacheva told journalists that the Bulgarian authorities would also welcome a group of European experts from the above-mentioned Member States tasked with presenting their views on the project for a new Penal Code.

She noted that Bulgaria's project for a new Penal Code would also be assessed by a delegation of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

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Tags: Justice Minister, Diana Kovacheva, justice and home affairs, CVM, cvm report, Co-operation and Verification Mechanism (CVM), magistrates, organized crime, Schengen Accession

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