Tuesday was all about the Prosecution in Bulgaria. First of all, the Specialized Prosecution announced that the investigation into the purchase of a Barcelona mansion involving ex-Prime Minister Boyko Borissov is still ongoing. The case was launched by the Catalan anti-corruption organ in February 2020 and concerns a money laundering scheme for a house for Bulgarian model Borislava Yovcheva, who is allegedly mother to Mr Borissov's illegitimate child.
EU Commission: Prosecutor General impunity, Supreme Judicial Council functioning remain "concerning"
The European Commission remains concerned about the issue of the absence of accountability and criminal liability of the Prosecutor General, and the composition and functioning of the Supreme Judicial Council. Those are among the main takeouts of the Bulgarian chapter of the 2021 EU Rule of Law Report. The report concludes that despite the increased investigative activity and the reinforcement of resources, "final convictions for high-profile cases of corruption remain low". The Commission also notes persistent problems with media pluralism and the lack of transparency of media ownership. The full report is available here.
Exiled mogul Vassil Bozhkov accused of treason and attempted coup
During today's briefing, the Specialized Prosecution head Valentina Madzharova announced that her institution has been investigating exiled gambling mogul Vassil Bozhkov for treason since July 2020. Mr Bozhkov has been accused of leading a group that "had the task of escalating tensions during the peaceful protests through acts of hooliganism". The Prosecution claims that the mogul has attempted a coup and а violent regime change. His extradition from the United Arab Emirates is now sought on these charges. The charges come a year after the institution released wiretapped conversations between Mr Bozhkov and other public figures, claiming to prove that the former was paying anti-government protesters.
Bulgaria violated Turkish journalist's rights by deporting him to Turkey: ECHR
Bulgaria violated the ban on inhuman and degrading treatment of prisoners and has not provided an effective remedy for protection under the European Convention on Human Rights when it deported Turkish opposition journalist M.D.,the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled on Tuesday.
The Zaman newspaper reporter has been in Turkish prison since 2016 for his alleged support for Turkish preacher Fethullah Gulen, accused of leading a failed coup in Turkey against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2015. He was returned to Turkey along with several other people when trying to cross the Bulgarian border in 2016. The Bulgarian authorities' version at the time was that the detainees did not seek asylum and did not claim to be victims of political persecution.