site.bta"US Embassy Staff Tends to Commit to Organizations Suspected of Links with Oligarchs," NGOs Claim

"US Embassy Staff Tends to Commit to Organizations Suspected of Links with Oligarchs," NGOs Claim
"US Embassy Staff Tends to Commit to Organizations Suspected of Links with Oligarchs," NGOs Claim
Pictured from left: lawyer Rosen Dimitrov, Association for Independent Judiciary Deputy Chair Dimitar Mitov and Centre for Applied Law Studies and Practices Governing Board Chair Mila Georgieva at the BTA-hosted news conference, Sofia, March 22, 2023 (BTA Photo)

Eight non-governmental organizations have sent a letter to the newly appointed US Ambassador in Sofia Kenneth H. Merten, who will shortly take office, pointing out that recent years in this country have witnessed a tendency of "the administration of the US Embassy in Bulgaria building a commitment to certain specific organizations which the Bulgarian public suspects of links with oligarchic and economic circles."

The letter was presented at a BTA-hosted news conference here on Wednesday.

"As evident from the volatile situation that is almost ruinous to the political system in Bulgaria, these circles make increasing efforts to foist on the citizens of the Republic of Bulgaria manipulative propaganda allegations of untrue nature seeking to undermine the authority of a series of Bulgarian institutions and State bodies," the letter states. 

It points out that the judiciary is independent of the remaining two branches of government, the executive and the legislature, and that the Bulgarian prosecutor general is elected by a Supreme Judicial Council, which is an independent personnel-management body. "In this sense, the attempts at political interference with the independence of the judiciary and the aspiration to a personal vendetta with and lynching of the Prosecutor General of the Republic of Bulgaria on the part of political, oligarchic and economic entities are inadmissible in a democracy like Bulgaria," the letter says.

Its writers are concerned to see that "precisely particular parties and those same non-governmental organizations" "through the powerful oligarchic media machine insinuate that the judicial reform they propose and the dismissal of the Prosecutor General are inevitable. This is profoundly untrue and even dangerous because such allegations only benefit organized crime, terrorism, and corruption - negative phenomena eroding the Bulgarian public environment, which Prosecutor General Ivan Geshev has been strenuously combating for more than four years now. Even before he assumed this office, in his capacity as deputy prosecutor general and, earlier, as administrative head of the now closed-down Specialized Prosecution Office. This made him enemies who now approach you with malicious and manipulative alerts, posing as reliable sources of information about public and political life in this country."

The organizations describe as "a dangerous public lie" the allegations that "Bulgarian society needs precisely such judicial reform: replacement of the sitting Prosecutor General with another one who suits their interests and financial benefactors."

 "The Bulgarian judiciary has a number of problems, but they are completely different from those of oligarchs under investigation, defendants and other persons adversely affected by the Bulgarian prosecution service. Part of these persons were sanctioned by the US, too, under the Global Magnitsky Act," the letter states.

The NGOs invite Ambassador Merten to discuss the issues of judicial reform and expect him to confirm publicly that he is "an envoy of the ideas about the rule of law, a state based on justice and integrity, equality, justice and human rights" and "to pay attention to the fact that there is an enormous spectrum of non-governmental citizen organizations in the Republic of Bulgaria."

The letter is signed by the Association for Independent Judiciary, the FORUM Association, the Centre for Applied Law Studies and Practices, the Dialogue for Justice Association, the Bulgarian Association of Recording Magistrates, the Association of Public Enforcement Agents, the International Legal Advice Centre, the Media Monitoring Network Association, and political and civic analyst Stoyan Kaloyanov.




By 07:57 on 29.09.2023 Today`s news

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