Bulgaria former court chief gets suspended sentence in eavesdropping trial

Vladimira Yaneva, the former head of Sofia City Court, was handed a one-year suspended sentence, with a three-year probation period, on charges of authorising the use of covert surveillance beyond limits imposed by law.

Yaneva’s co-defendant Todor Kostadinov, the former department head who made the requests for covert surveillance, was found not guilty on charges of submitting false data in the requests. He was, however, fined 3000 leva for making inquiries in the police register without proper authorisation and using someone else’s account.

The sentences can be appealed and case prosecutors have said that they would do so, Bulgarian National Radio reported.

Yaneva was accused of authorising the use of covert surveillance in “Operation Worms” for 300 days, a period well in excess of the 180 days limit allowed by law.

The row about “Operation Worms” began with claims in February 2015 – denied by top officials including Prime Minister Boiko Borissov and then-interior minister Vesselin Vuchkov – that under the now-departed Plamen Oresharski administration, the State Agency for National Security and the Interior Ministry had been involved in illegal covert surveillance of anti-government protesters.

A day after she was suspended by the Supreme Judicial Council, Yaneva resigned as head of the Sofia City Court, but not as a judge.

(Photo: Jason Morisson/sxc.hu)



The Sofia Globe staff

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