Losan Panov to Spiegel: Delyan Peevski Is De Facto a Co-Prime Minister of Bulgaria
“There is an oligarchic merger of the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. The owner of a media empire, Delyan Peevski, who is unofficially but actually the Co-Prime Minister is an example of this. Key institutions and authorities are under his influence. Such an issue undermines the three cornerstones of real democracy - independent courts, free media and strong opposition. That is why many citizens feel that they are living in a "captive" country." This was stated by the President of the Supreme Court of Cassation, Lozan Panov, to the German journalist Keno Werzek in an interview with the German magazine Spiegel, dedicated to the protests against the government and the Prosecutor General in our country.
Panov noted to the publication that he personally considers our country a "captive state" too and adds that "this is something that European policy does not want to recognize. There is a lot of talk in Europe about Hungary and Poland, but unfortunately not about Bulgaria."
The President of the Supreme Court of Cassation says that a "substantial part" of the judiciary is corrupt and "conquered" and the reason, he says, are the structural problems in it.
"The Supreme Judicial Council, the self-governing body of the Bulgarian judicial system, which decides all processes in the judicial apparatus, including appointments, disciplinary proceedings and dismissal, consists mainly of politically appointed and controlled members. Therefore, it can be said that the most important parts of the Bulgarian judicial system are under political influence and can be corrupt. All judicial reforms over the last few years have been just a simulation of reforms," Panov said in the interview quoted by the bTV.
Panov puts up the inspection of the President of the Court of Appeal - Sofia Daniela Doncheva as an example of corruption in the judiciary because, according to him, it had no consequences, despite the established procedural violations.
The President of the Supreme Court of Cassation also commented on the protesters' request for the resignation of Prosecutor General Ivan Geshev and the proposal for the adoption of a new Constitution by Prime Minister Boyko Borisov:
"One of the main demands of the protesters is the resignation of the almighty attorney general. The old Soviet model of the prosecutor's office is still functioning in Bulgaria. The Attorney General bears no liability and may change or suspend any investigation of the prosecutors under his authority. Borissov does not want to change anything on this issue. On the contrary, his reaction is to give him even more powers. And this is dangerous. "
Panov told Spiegel that he was on Prime Minister Boyko Borisov's "blacklist" for his stance against "mimicry of judicial reform" and that the Prime Minister had sent him a warning message.
"So far, five disciplinary proceedings have been instituted against me. No violations were found on my part in any of them. The bolts on the tires of my company car were once disassembled. Luckily, the driver noticed it. Three years ago, masked men carrying bloody lamb heads blocked my way to a meeting.
My wife is a journalist and publisher of a German-language Bulgarian economic newspaper. Dozens of tax and criminal cases are being filed against her and me with completely absurd accusations. Media close to the government have been waging a smear campaign against us for years”, Panov says in response to a question about what it means to be blacklisted by the Prime Minister.
The President of the Supreme Court of Cassation also says what he expects from Europe regarding the situation in Bulgaria:
"Personally, I have repeatedly sent reports to the EC on the state of the judiciary in Bulgaria. I think they are aware of the situation there", says Panov according to whom “you can make a comparison with a cancer patient whose vital organs are affected but each time he pays a visit to the doctor, he is told he is healthy and even given candy in addition. EU candy is the multibillion - euro grants. They contribute to the fact that the tumor in Bulgaria continues to increase. That's why people have taken to the streets now. They want to beat cancer.