Justice minister Danail Kirilov explained in an interview for Channel 3 some of his ideas for “large-scale amendments” to the Judiciary Act.
Here is the most radical of them:
Every regular prosecutor from the Specialized Prosecutor’s Office of Appeals will be able to ask the Supreme Judicial Council to suspend “the three big ones”, i.e. the chairmen of the two supreme courts and the prosecutor general. That can happen if one of them is charged with a crime and if the Supreme Judicial Council takes the decision with a qualified majority of at least 17 votes.
One does not need to be so much familiar with the legal details to grasp the very simple idea of the judicial minister. If Kirilov’s draft is approved, the chairman of the Supreme Court of Cassation, Lozan Panov, will be finally “suspended” or rather removed from office. The other “big one”, the prosecutor general, no matter what his name, will be almost impossible to suspend for a simple – let’s call it structural – reason, even if we hypothetically admit he has committed a crime.
That is embodied in the very structure of the Prosecutor’s Office. It is put in black and white.
The Prosecutor’s Office in the Republic of Bulgaria consists of the prosecutor general, the Supreme Prosecutor’s Office of Cassation, the Supreme Administrative Prosecutor’s Office, the National Investigative Service, Prosecutors’ Offices of Appeals, the Specialized Prosecutor’s Office of Appeals, the Military Prosecutor’s Office of Appeals, District Prosecutors’ Offices, the Specialized Prosecutor’s Office, Military District Prosecutors’ Offices and Regional Prosecutors’ Offices. The District Prosecutors’ Offices have district investigative departments and the Specialized Prosecutor’s Office has an investigative department.
The Prosecutor’s Office is a single and centralized body. All prosecutors and investigators are subject to the prosecutor general.
Let us now imagine how a regular prosecutor will commit the suicide of proposing the removal of his or her superior. Even if such a person is found, the chances that his or her proposal will be approved officially are close to nil. At the same time Kirilov expressly underscored that “the regime is one and the same for the two chairmen of supreme courts and the prosecutor general.”
As seen from the interview of the justice minister, most amendments are kept in secret, because Kirilov would not go “into concrete details.” We also learn that the draft is almost complete and the minister’s team is now going through the final vote. We can only presume – and very likely guess – who the VIPs are in the lounge of the so-called team.
If the discussions are going to be as secret, we can only hope that the draft will not be approved on a European level. If they decide to agree it at all.
“I would like to point out in advance that we cover all aspects of responsibility. Our striving has been to make the regulation exhaustive,” justice minister Danail Kirilov said.
He is absolutely right about that. The regulation is really exhaustive for the purposes it pursues.
But the real masterpiece is Kirilov’s explanation of what happens when there is information about a crime committed by any of “the three big ones”.
“In such cases we will elaborate on the actions performed by the investigative bodies, so as to clear any doubts about dependence and inability for conducting such an investigation.” As a reminder, the investigation is also subject to the prosecutor general.
Oh, yes, allegedly there will be some “form of control” but the justice minister obviously does not want to spoil the surprise with unnecessary details.
Thus the new ideas for controlling the institution of the prosecutor general have turned into an apotheosis of its complete cementing. As the saying goes, the court knows that well, so bring up the democracy’s body.