Bulgaria’s SJC rules as inadmissible request to sack Prosecutor-General

Bulgaria’s Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) decided on July 22 that the request by caretaker Justice Minister Yanaki Stoilov to dismiss Prosecutor-General Ivan Geshev was inadmissible.

After a seven-hour debate, the SJC vote showed 12 members in favour of declaring the request inadmissible and eight against.

The motion did not cite any specific legal grounds for the inadmissibility and at least one of the members that voted against the motion said that they wanted the SJC to list the reasons for its decision in the ruling.

Stoilov’s request, tabled last week, claimed that Geshev repeatedly breached the magistrates ethical code and brought the judiciary into disrepute. He claimed that the Prosecutor-General broke the law by making contents of wire-taps public and abused his powers ordering the search of the Presidential building last year.

Geshev defended his track record in office, saying that his actions were legal and describing the request for his dismissal as politically-motivated, but lacking in legal grounds.

The bulk of the debate preceding the vote was devoted to procedural questions on whether Stoilov had the authority as justice minister to make the dismissal request, but some members also spoke about the substance of Stoilov’s request.

After the debate, Stoilov proposed that the SJC vote on the substance of the proposal, but several SJC members protested, saying that the admissibility issue had to be addressed first.

(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)

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