четвъртък, 3 ноември 2011 г.

Yaneva canceled, at least for now

I think it's not possible yet to give a clear account of how important the today's decision of the Supreme Administrative Court to cancel the appointment of Vladimir Yaneva for head of Sofia City Court is. (The appointment was challenged before the court by the other candidate for the post.)

An appointment marked by many scandals:

- a personal friend of the minister of interior Tzvetan Tzvetanov has been elected to be the head of the biggest court in the state (what about the good old separation of powers?);
- she also has a problematic judging past (her name was involved in another scandal when it turned out that her father, whom she was legally representing, had purchased real estate owned by a municipal company in Sofia; later on against the director of this company charges for serious crimes were raised, including for corruption and mismanagement of the company assets; the case was assigned to Yaneva, but she did not ask to be struck off the case; furthermore, she even suspended the criminal proceedings and when her ruling was revoked after an appeal before the higher instance she continued to insist on terminating the case);
- with no clear reasons the members of the Supreme Judicial Council (the highest judiciary body responsible for electing the magistrates) voted in a different manner in the two rounds for the appointment of a Sofia City Court head;
- two judges, members of the Council, resigned and talked about unprecedented pressure on them during the election process;
- a campaign started against the appointment and the Supreme Judicial Council itself, supported actively by the Bulgarian Judges Union and the human rights organization Bulgarian Helsinki Committee, as well as by all the other leading human rights organizations in Bulgaria;
- Nevertheless, Yaneva did not seem to care at all – she took office and in two months of being the head she issued 1,748 permits for the police to use special investigative techniques - spying, phone tapping, access to private correspondence, using of marked money, etc.

And today, out of nowhere, completely unexpectedly, popped up the decision of the Supreme Administrative Court. Two women appeared to be brave enough to oppose to the system – to Tzvetan Tzvetanov, to Vladimira Yaneva, to the head of the Supreme Administrative Court Georgi Kolev (appointed through an equally corrupted procedure), to the police wanting to be the only ruler in the state, to the pressure.

One man, Ivan Radenkov, the third judge who refused to sign the court decision, bent to the instructions of the judge Kolev. Rumors state that he was promised a higher post. Time will show how correct these rumors are.

What remains now is the appeal before a 5-member panel of the Supreme Administrative Court.

But whatever their decision will be I am really proud that today two judges proved that not everybody in the system is corrupted and that there is future for the Bulgarian judiciary!

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