Leader of Bulgaria's Ataka Party Refuses to Give Up Immunity
Volen Siderov, the leader of Bulgarian nationalist Ataka party, has said he does not agree to have his immunity lifted upon a request by the Chief Prosecutor's Office.
In an interview with private national NOVA TV station on Tuesday, he said he would not comply with the demand and renounce his immunity on his own to face charges.
Chief Prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov on Monday asked Parliament to allow Siderov's detention over hooliganism after an incident on Friday, when the MP and party leader was involved in a scandal at the National Academy for Theater and Film Arts (NATFA).
Another incident followed on Sunday evening, after local elections in Bulgaria, when his second attempt at disrupting classes at NATFA caused a late-night fracas.
A man hit Siderov in the face on Sunday despite the large number of police officers trying to shield him from a crowd of angry students.
The leader then claimed he had been punched by a police officer and called himself a victim of police violence, adding an attempt had been made on his life.
Two days later, after the man's identity was established and authorities said he was not a police officer, Siderov said he still disbelieved their version.
On Monday, Parliament Speaker Tsetska Tsacheva announced lawmakers were immediately to begin consultations to amend rules of MPs' immunity enshrined in the Constitution.
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