Prosecutor General Tstatsarov Comments on Forensic Experts' Problems
105 HOME AFFAIRS - PROSECUTOR GENERAL - COMMENTS
Prosecutor General Tstatsarov
Comments on Forensic Experts'
Plovdiv, South Central Bulgaria, October 27 (BTA) - Bulgaria's Prosecutor General Sotir Tsatsarov commented to journalists here on Saturday on the underfunding and understaffing of forensic science. He attended a National Conference on Forensic Medicine and Deontology.
The expenditures on expert examinations represented 8.05 per cent of the Interior Ministry budget. This is an enormous amount, Tsatsarov pointed out.
The prosecution service and the Interior Ministry have approached the Council of Ministers with a request to allocate 8 million leva to pay the overdue amounts for forensic medical, automotive and other expert examinations. Three judicial districts in Northwestern Bulgaria have a single forensic medic who will retire shortly. This specialist is expected to carry out 232 expert examinations, of which none has been paid, and this is delaying the judicial procedure.
Tsatsarov stressed that it is not right to talk about a forensic medics' protest and their demands are justified because experts' work has to be paid for. In his opinion, their work need to be reorganized.
According to newspaper reports earlier this month, forensic medics in Varna, Plovdiv and Bourgas were preparing for a protest and already refused to work on murders, rapes and beatings. Since August 1, they had stopped sending post-mortem reports to the Interior Ministry and even rejected requests for new autopsies. The low and irregular pay is one of the reasons for the shortage of such experts. The Inspectorate with the Supreme Judicial Council said there is no forensic medic in Yambol, and there is one each in Vidin, Sliven, Rousse, Shoumen, Haskovo, Montana, Pernik and Blagoevgrad.
On the initiative of the prosecution service and forensic medics, a working group is preparing the establishment of a National Centre for Expert Witnesses, which will take over the entire organization of forensic expert examinations and will be under the jurisdiction of the Justice Ministry. "We must consider the setting up of an entirely new entity, a central forensic science laboratory and local laboratories," the Prosecutor General said. The idea is to speed up the judicial procedure.
* * *
Tsatsarov broke the news that Bulgaria was informed through official channels on Friday that the competent Turkish court had allowed the extradition to Bulgaria of convicted drug lord Dimitar "Mityo the Eyes" Zhelyazkov. The executive is expected to decide on the final arrangements for his transfer.
Zhelyazkov was arrested in Istanbul on August 5, 2018, following an August 2 crackdown on a drug-pushing, beating, extortion and arson ring allegedly led by him which terrorized the Bulgarian Southern Black Sea coast. In the police operation, 19 persons were detained in Bourgas and the area. LI/LG