Bulgarian President Radev initiates series of meetings with leaders of judiciary to discuss judicial reform

Bulgarian head of state President Roumen Radev began on June 5 a series of hitherto-unannounced meetings with senior figures in the country’s judiciary, in what a media statement billed as discussions on the continuation of judicial reform.

The fact of the first meeting, with the head of the Supreme Administrative Court, Georgi Kolev, became known only after it took place, in a 6pm statement by the President’s office.

On June 6, Radev was to meet with the head of the Supreme Court of Cassation, Lozan Panov, a notice on the President’s diary said. The meeting was taking place at Radev’s request.

The President’s office said that the purpose of the meeting with Panov was to discuss the interaction between the authorities in the country in view of the latest developments in the judicial system as well as possible constitutional changes related to the functioning of the Republic of Bulgaria as a rule of law state.

On May 15, Panev made a public appeal to Radev to form a special commission to investigate what the Bulgarian-language media indulges itself in calling “Tzum-gate”.

This refers to a conversation between Prosecutor-General Sotir Tsatsarov and business person Sasho Donchev in the office of wealthy Plovdiv business person and long-time Bulgarian Socialist Party strongman in that city, Georgi Gergov. Bulgaria’s media, which tends to have next to no understanding of the Watergate affair, is fond of attaching the “gate” suffix to whatever is the scandal du jour.

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