site.btaGERB Will Oppose any MP's Immunity Lifting before Judicial Reform Is Complete
Until the completion of the judicial reform, GERB will not second the lifting of the immunity of any member of Parliament whosoever, Daniel Mitov MP of GERB-UDF said in a live stream from the GERB headquarters Tuesday afternoon. Earlier in the day, the Sofia City Prosecution Office asked Prosecutor General Ivan Geshev to seek the lifting of the immunity of an MP identified only as "D.D., a former economy minister", in connection with pre-trial proceedings in which the MP is accused of very serious intentional mismanagement. The only former economy minister matching these initials is Delyan Dobrev, now MP of GERB-UDF.
According to Mitov, "passions have overheated as a result of the judicial reform, especially on the part of the prosecution service". In his opinion, cases are being instituted and charges are being brought in order to pressure politicians into reconsidering their conduct at a time when difficult political decisions are made. "This cannot possibly be treated as normal in a European democracy," Mitov argued. "We are taking a categorical and clear decision against supporting the lifting of the immunity of any lawmaker regardless of their parliamentary group at a time when a deep-going judicial reform is underway," he emphasized.
"I am not concerned about waiving my immunity," Dobrev said during the live stream. He described the prosecution service in Bulgaria as "an arm of repression" and said that he has learnt this from personal experience over the last more than ten years. The Sofia City Prosecution Office wants Dobrev's MP immunity lifted in connection with a case that the Specialized Criminal Court dismissed in 2021 and returned the indictment to the prosecution owing to irreparable breaches or procedure and ambiguity why five persons were charged in the case, the MP explained.
"Every summer, when I leave on holiday, I am summoned for questioning," he added. In April 2022, the prosecution itself issued a 20-page decree terminating the case, he added. "Now this cold case is reopened because it is the only one and they are unable to invent another, so they are heating up this stale dish to harass me. And this occurs to them just days after the Prosecutor General said he was starting to harass us and called us political garbage," the former energy minister pointed out.
Commenting on the prosecutors' immunity-lifting drive, GERB Deputy Chair Tomislav Donchev said, for his part: "We cannot tolerate everybody who stand to lose from the judicial reform to influence the National Assembly by such methods." GERB MP Denitsa Sacheva defined what is going on as an attempt to influence political processes and the road that Bulgaria has to cover "by dishonest and in ways that are a far cry from the rule of law". "This is yet another attempt to frustrate the judicial reform in Bulgaria," she added.