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(DF) Prosecutor General Geshev Approaches Constitutional Court about Transfer of Witness Protection Bureau Assets

October 13 (BTA) – Bulgaria’s Prosecutor General Ivan Geshev has challenged the constitutionality of provisions in the Act on Protection of Persons Threatened in Connection with Criminal Proceedings, concerning the transfer of assets from the Witness and Magistrate Protection Bureau to the Ministry of Justice, the Prosecutor’s Office said on Wednesday. On September 15 the Parliament voted conclusively to transfer the Witness and Magistrate Protection Bureau from the direct control of the Prosecutor General to the Justice Ministry. The Constitutional Court has already initiated proceedings and designated judge Pavlina Panova as rapporteur. According to the petition, Parliament obliged the Council of Ministers to transfer the Bureau’s assets from the Prosecutor’s Office to the Ministry of Justice. Prosecutor General Geshev argues that this is unconstitutional, as under the Constitution it is the Council of Ministers which organizes the management of the state’s assets. The provision also violates the separation of powers, he said. The judiciary assets are administered by the Plenum of the Supreme Judicial Council and their purpose cannot be changed without the consent of the judicial authorities, Geshev further added. In 2014 the Bureau’s fixed assets amounted to 2,059,774 leva, including 24 cars. Its off-balance sheet assets amounted to 661,205.76 leva. As of September 28, 2021, the fixed assets amounted to 3,039,200 leva, including 29 cars, and the off-balance sheet assets amounted to 980,000 leva. Facilities with network equipment and video surveillance were provided for the Bureau’s needs, as well. RY/KK //