Bulgarian Prosecutor-General to request removal of immunity of at least five MPs

Bulgaria’s Prosecutor-General Sotir Tsatsarov said on October 30 that he would be requesting the removal of the immunity from prosecution of at least five members of the newly-elected 43rd National Assembly.

While Tsatsarov did not disclose names, these are likely to include GERB MP Tsvetan Tsvetanov and Ataka leader Volen Siderov.

Tsvetanov relinquished his immunity while a member of the 42nd National Assembly to face criminal charges related to the use of electronic eavesdropping while he was interior minister in the 2009/13 GERB government.

Siderov, also while a member of the 42nd National Assembly, relinquished his immunity in connection with criminal charges including hooliganism related to an incident in January 2014 in which he was involved in a confrontation with a French diplomat and other people.

Trials of Tsvetanov and Siderov had to be halted because, although they had given up their immunity as MPs, they again – under Bulgarian law – got immunity, first as candidate MPs in the official pre-election period, and then as elected MPs.

Apart from MPs, Tsatsarov could also approach the European Parliament about lifting the immunity of Bulgarian Socialist Party MEP Sergei Stanishev, who was charged with failing to comply with laws on the control of secret documents while prime minister from 2005 to 2009.

Tsatsarov told reporters that the requests for lifting immunity were following checks of the names of all 240 MPs against prosecutors’ records.

He said that names would be disclosed when all requests were tabled in Parliament en bloc at the end of November.

Prosecutors were continuing checks to ensure that no names were missed.

Tsatsarov said that at least MPs would definitely be stripped of their immunity against prosecution while there would be requests for the withdrawal of immunity of at least five MPs.



The Sofia Globe staff

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