site.btaCouncil of Europe Ministers Present Recommendations on Mechanism for Investigation of Bulgarian Prosecutor General

Council of Europe Ministers Present Recommendations on Mechanism for Investigation of Bulgarian Prosecutor General
Council of Europe Ministers Present Recommendations on Mechanism for Investigation of Bulgarian Prosecutor General
Council of Europe (BTA Photo)

The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe presented recommendations related to the mechanism for the investigation of the Bulgarian prosecutor general. This was noted in the decisions adopted at a meeting at the end of last week in Strasbourg, said the Council of Europe in a press release on Monday.

The Committee welcomed the appointment of a judge that would hear reports against the prosecutor general and urged the speedy resolution of any practical issues to ensure adequate conditions for the work of this judge. Bulgaria is expected to clarify the application of the rules for recusal and the rationale for allowing the removal from office of the prosecutor general for all types of offenses. The Committee invited Bulgaria to consider whether, when discussing changes to the Constitution, the recommendations of the Venice Commission, related to the dangers of abuses in such investigations, should be taken into account. The future appointment of an investigator against the prosecutor general is expected to be be carried out by an independent institution to avoid politicization, as well as to provide for steps when the investigator is temporarily suspended or released.

Regarding the matter of violence in police custody or in detention centres in Bulgaria, legislative changes from this year introducing the right to judicial appeal against a refusal to initiate a criminal investigation have been welcomed by the Committee. Bulgaria is urged to consider the need to criminalize the extraction of confessions from suspects prior to being charged and to introduce video recording of suspect interrogations.

The Committee urged Bulgarian authorities to present concrete measures to ensure timely access to legal aid for detainees, and the notification for their detention to persons indicated by them, as well as to rapid medical examinations. A call was also made for the doctors in these cases to be professional and independent. Bulgaria has been urged to provide oversight of preliminary investigations into cases of police violence by prosecutors who do not often work with suspected perpetrators. Bulgaria is expected to take measures to have police officers and prison officers convicted of crimes involving ill-treatment, which would include job termination and suspension.

The Committee expects Bulgaria to submit data from investigations into police violence at the Sofia protests in 2020, as well as to provide a national system for collecting statistics on complaints, prosecutions, and disciplinary and punitive measures related to abuse by law enforcement officers.

/RY/

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By 01:25 on 18.04.2024 Today`s news

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