Bulgarian Constitutional Court Decided: The Minister of Justice may Demand the Resignation of the Prosecutor General
The Minister of Justice may make a proposal to the Supreme Judicial Council for the early release of the Prosecutor General, as well as to the chairmen of the Supreme Court of Cassation and the Supreme Administrative Court. This was ruled by the Constitutional Court on Tuesday. The decision was taken unanimously - with 10 votes in favor.
The case came after former Justice Minister Yanaki Stoilov asked the Supreme Judicial Council in the summer to remove Prosecutor General Ivan Geshev from office. However, the Council then accepted that the Minister of Justice did not have such power. Then Yanaki Stoilov turned to the Constitutional Court.
Here is the full text of the decision:
“Today, February 8, 2022, the Constitutional Court ruled with an interpretative decision on constitutional case № 17/2021, formed at the request of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Bulgaria to give a mandatory interpretation of the provision of Article 130c, item 3. of the Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria in response to the question: ‘Does the powers of the Minister of Justice under Article 130c item 3 of the Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria include the possibility to make a proposal for early dismissal of the President of the Supreme Court of the Supreme Administrative Court and the Prosecutor General in the hypothesis of Article 129, paragraph 3, item 5 of the Constitution?’
The adopted operative part of the decision reads:
The provision of Art. 130c of the Constitution includes the possibility for the Minister of Justice to make a proposal to the Supreme Judicial Council for early dismissal of the President of the Supreme Court of Cassation, the President of the Supreme Administrative Court, and the Prosecutor General in the case of Article 129 para. of the Constitution.”
Novinite.com reminds that the answer was awaited by the Minister of Justice Nadezhda Yordanova in order to submit a new request to the Supreme Judicial Council for the release of Ivan Geshev. Yordanova has repeatedly stated that signals have been received related to the activities of the Prosecutor General and they are already being worked on.
The issue before the Constitutional Court was raised by former Justice Minister Yanaki Stoilov, who is now a constitutional judge.
Later today, the Prosecutor's Office issued a statement by the spokesman for the Prosecutor General. “The prosecutor's office never commented on court decisions, in the case of the Constitutional Court. The prosecutor's office has no concerns. As for possible actions of the Minister of Justice to remove the Prosecutor General, it is clear that this is not a principled approach, but a personal political attack by representatives of the executive branch.”
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