Bulgarian President Radev signs decree dismissing Prosecutor-General Geshev

Bulgarian President Roumen Radev has signed the decree dismissing Ivan Geshev as Prosecutor-General, the presidency’s media office said on June 15.

The country’s Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) voted on June 12 to dismiss Geshev, with 16 votes in favour and four opposed on a motion that Geshev brought the judiciary into disrepute.

The motion, tabled by four members of the prosecutors college in the SJC, accused Geshev of breaching the ethics code of Bulgarian magistrates on May 15, during a news conference in which he accused politicians of interfering in the work of the prosecutor’s office.

He had previously survived two motions to dismiss him, filed by justice ministers Yanaki Stoilov in 2021 and Nadezhda Yordanova in 2022, both tabled on the same grounds that he breached the ethics code and brought the judiciary into disrepute through his actions.

Media reports in the days prior to the vote in the SJC quoted two close allies of Radev saying that the head of state might delay the signing of the decree on the grounds that Geshev intended to lodge challenges in the Constitutional Court against his dismissal.

However, with the decree signed, Geshev will leave the office half-way through his seven-year term, having taken office in December 2019. His dismissal becomes official once the decree has been published in the State Gazette, which is set to happen next week, as the decree does not appear in the June 16 issue of the State Gazette.

Geshev becomes the first prosecutor-general in Bulgaria’s post-communist history to be formally dismissed and his tenure will be the shortest by an incumbent since Martin Gounev, Bulgaria’s first prosecutor-general after the fall of communism, who resigned after less than 16 months in office, in February 1992.

He is not the only prosecutor in recent history not to see out his term in full, however, with Boris Velchev resigning two months before the end of his term in 2012 in order to be appointed to the Constitutional Court.

(Ivan Geshev photo: prb.bg)

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