Continuing his series of meetings with senior figures in Bulgaria’s judicial system, President Roumen Radev held talks on June 7 with Prosecutor-General Sotir Tsatsarov, who said that Radev had a “detailed knowledge of all the problems in the judiciary”.
The Wednesday meeting was the third in the series, after Radev held discussions with Supreme Administrative Court head Georgi Kolev on June 5 and with Supreme Cassation Court head Lozan Panov on June 6.
Tsatsarov said that Radev had an “extremely good and I would say, a detailed knowledge of the problems of the judiciary, of all elements of the judiciary, of all its bodies”.
Radev had reaffirmed that solving the problems of the judiciary would be complex, “that is, it cannot be confined to declaring one or another institution guilty of all the problems in the judiciary, but to solve the problems of all the institutions and to seek the best for Bulgarian citizens,” Tsatsarov said.
At the same time, Tsatsarov hit out at Panov, who is the president of the court that is supreme in all criminal and civil trials in Bulgaria, and who said the previous day that a Grand National Assembly should be convened to amend the constitution to separate the prosecution from the judiciary.
Panov did not have the support of the judiciary in proposing such a move, according to Tsatsarov.
When asked the opinion of Radev on the issue, Tsatsarov said that he could not speak for the President. “I think I said that the president has a very good and clear understanding of the problems in the judiciary. ”
Tsatsarov complained that the Prosecutor’s Office was blamed as the culprit for all the problems and for being an “uncontrolled” institution.
Removing it from the judiciary would only make this worse, he said. “”ill it not make us more uncontrolled and far more unlimited in our powers than now?” Tsatsarov asked.
“I am not convinced, but I am sure Mr Panov has no support from the ruling majority. This is not the opinion of the judges, that is the opinion of Lozan Panov. An opinion that has long been pouring its way into the political arena, and it has finally been said aloud.”
Panov had a right to an opinion but the matter should be brought to “my colleagues on the Supreme Judicial Council and see what they say,” Tsatsarov said.
In its statement on the meeting, the President’s office was terse, saying only that the meeting had taken place and that “improving mechanisms for interaction between institutions involved in the fight against corruption and organized crime were key highlights during the meeting”.
Radev had confirmed his willingness to hold working meetings with all judiciary and executive representatives on justice reform issues, the statement said./IBNA
(Photo of Tsatsarov: prb.bg, and photo of Tsatsarov and Radev: president.bg)