Sotir Tsatsarov, Prosecutor General of the Republic of Bulgaria, met Monday with Prime Minister Boyko Borisov. Both officials discussed the amendments to the Civil Code of Procedure, the press centre of the Prosecutor’s Office said.
Mr Tsatsarov introduced Mr Borisov to his stance on the draft bill:
The motives to the tabled draft bill say its aim is the establishment of a common approach of principle in determining the Prosecutor’s Office participation in civil court proceedings as well as defence of public interest. In practice, the proposed norms restore the powers of prosecuting authorities, which were restricted on the strength of a draft bill on amendment and supplements to the Civil Code of Procedure as of April 1, 1998. It is envisaged a prosecutor will be able to launch proceedings under the Civil Code of Procedure in the interest of the state, municipalities, or citizens enjoying special legislative protection and a prosecutor will be able to enter such proceedings. The introduction of such regulations cannot be assessed in a positive way. The problem does not lie with the Prosecutor’s Office having the needed ”capacity and integrity” to exercise such rights. Such arguments reduce the effect of a such a law to ordinary political populism. New powers in civil court proceedings creates conditions for interference on the part of state authorities in private legal relations, which, to be honest, could lead to dangerous precedents. Moreover, the Code of Civil Procedure envisages the state is represented by the Minister of Finance and in cases concerning state-owned real estate – by the Minister of Regional Development and Public Works. The concrete occasion (so-called deals of EUR 1) cannot substantiate in itself the amendments proposed. In criminal processes the Prosecutor’s Office has the right to ask for measures to secure a fine, confiscation and seizing possessions in the state’s favour. The state prosecution does not need more rights but the Minister of Finance in the defence of state interests, including in the civil process, needs them. A maximum expansion of a prosecutor’s powers could be the opportunity to appeal against any judicial act concerning the state’s property rights and legal interests (and only of the state).
Irrespective of the withdrawing of the draft bill on amendments and supplements to the Penal Procedure Code due to declared intentions of such amendments to the Judicial System Act, the Prosecutor General also commented on the possibility of halting financial operations or deals for a period of time of up to 48 hours. Such a legislative solution, Mr Tsatsarov thinks, is rather unacceptable. He believes it may be dangerous for free citizens and traders, much more dangerous than the amendments and supplements to the Code of Civil Procedure in question. It is logical the Minister of Finance has such powers to defend the state’s interests in exceptional cases. The Prosecutor General needs such powers under the Measures against the Financing of Terrorism Act and under the Measures against Money Laundering Act but not in other cases.
PM Boyko Borisov agreed with Sotir Tsatsarov’s arguments and undertook the engagement introducing the Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (CEDB) parliamentary group to them.