Bulgarian General Prosecutor Disclosed Audio and Video Evidence at Pre-Trial Stage Obtained by the Special Intelligence Services
On 19 March 2021 was held a press conference with the participation of the General Prosecutor, his spokesperson, and the Head of the Military Appellate Prosecutor’s Office concerning the current criminal investigation for Russian espionage in Bulgaria. During the press conference, extensive information about the investigation and the persons accused of being ‘Russian spies’ was revealed to the media and the general public. To support their arguments, the prosecution presented audio and video recordings of the suspects that were obtained by the Special Intelligence Services.
Atty. Vasil Vasilev, who represents one of the suspects, filed a complaint to the Special Prosecutor (the only prosecutor authorized to press charges against the General Prosecutor), on the basis that the three officials have violated the presumption of innocence, and asked for verification of the facts they have publicly announced. Atty. Vasilev claims that the statements made by the General Prosecutor, his spokesperson, and the Head of the Military Appellate Prosecutor’s Office were not only in violation of the Bulgarian Criminal Code, but also infringing fundamental human rights ensured by international law. Moreover, the disclosure of materials gathered by special intelligence means is prohibited by the Bulgarian Special Intelligence Means Act. The use of such materials is allowed only for the purpose of criminal proceedings and the protection of national security. Atty. Vasilev noted that the European Court of Human Rights has passed several judgments against Bulgaria based on violation of the presumption of innocence by Bulgarian authorities, and expressed his intention to bring this one to Strasbourg as well.
The article is available only in Bulgarian.
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