“The dark times in Bulgarian justice are yet to come. The rule of law and the division of powers are highly compromised and key state institutions have been captured by private interests.”
That statement was made by the chairman of the Supreme Court of Cassation (SCC), Lozan Panov, at a forum titled “Independent court, free state. On right and justice”.
According to Panov prosecutor general Sotir Tsatsarov is already targeting the chair of the chief judicial inspector. “Thanks to the powers that institution has, it will turn into the next gain of oligarchic interests, the way the Bulgarian prosecution has worked for the past seven year,” SCC’s chairman was adamant.
“The people we have sent to parliament to represent us do not even want to be in contact with their neighbors and therefore buy a separate elevator. Although formally their function is to express the popular will and put it into law. If I say that the independence of the judicial system and the freedom of the media in Bulgaria are highly questionable, I will have to add something else. The dark times in Bulgarian justice are yet to come,” Panov stated.
“At the same time real corruption remains unchecked and pervasive. Those who are independent from power are under constant attack. Lists of “enemies” and “traitors” are published in newspapers. Xenophobia and hatred have become a government policy.”
In his words the European elite that made a political compromise to admit Bulgaria into the EU believed that countries like Bulgaria would easily – with help from outside – overcome the heavy legacy of the totalitarian regime imposed by the Soviet Union and the organized-crime transition period. Therefore no real sanctions were envisaged.
“At the moment we are witnessing a fierce fight to fully capture the court. Because there are still magistrates in the system who defend the dignity and the honor of the court. The lack of a sustainable opposition group in the current Supreme Judicial Council shows that the process in the staff body is drawing to a close,” Panov added.
In his words no-one can say for sure when a democracy dies; when the rule of law turns into an empty shell. “There is no definite measure but the events in Bulgaria in the past few years remind me of the historical context in which national socialism developed,” SCC’s chairman said.