Sofia City Court Postpones 2013 Illegal Ballot Papers Trial
The Sofia City Court has postponed the trial against Rosen Zhelyazkov, the sole defendant in the case for the illegal ballot papers discovered on the eve of the early elections on May 12, 2013.
The next hearing was scheduled for 9:30 am on March 19, according to reports of the Focus news agency.
Zhelyazkov, former Chief Secretary of the Council of Ministers, is on trial for failing to exercise adequate control over ballot papers.
The trial is to determine whether the extra ballot papers discovered during a police operation on May 11, 2013 at the “Multiprint” printing house had been fit for use in the early elections and could have resulted in election fraud.
The owner of the Kostinbrod-based printing facility was revealed to have ties to center-right party GERB (Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria).
On December 16, 2013, the Sofia City Prosecutor’s Office submitted to court an indictment against Rosen Zhelyazkov over abuse of office.
The offense is punishable by 1-8 years of imprisonment.
During Thursday’s hearing, four witnesses were examined, including Dimitar Dimitrov, who had been in charge of the software of the CCTV cameras at the printing house, Zhivko Stankulov, an official of the Council of Ministers unit responsible for the ballot papers, Bozhidar Vasilev, head of the Production unit at the printing facility, and Borislav Krumov, who had been in charge of guaranteeing the security of the ballot papers.
Stankulov said that there were no rules about the amount of flawed ballot papers, adding that the quality and the security of the ballot papers was a responsibility of the printing facility, as well as the elimination of the flawed ballot papers.
He made clear that flawed ballots were not specially accounted for and were sent to a recycling point.
Krumov noted that there had been security cameras at the room where the ballot papers had been stored and the room had been lockable.
He assured that the room had been monitored 24 hours a day, stressing that no signals about irregularities had been received.
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