Prof. Plamen Kirov: All Those Who Had Excessive Anticipations about the Constitutional Court Decision Were Left Displeased
“All who have had over-expectations in relation to this decision were dissatisfied”. The Constitutional Court has shown that the president is not immune for justice, he bears responsibility. The constitutional judges shall decide unanimously." This was said to BNR by the former constitutional judge Prof. Dr. Plamen Kirov, a lecturer at the Department of Constitutional Legal Sciences at Sofia University "Kliment Ohridski".
President and vice president-in-office can be investigated but they cannot be charged. This follows from the decision of the Constitutional Court which was referred to by the Prosecutor General with a request for an interpretation of a text in the Constitution, related to the immunity of the head of state. The Constitutional Court has given unambiguous and unanimous answers to all questions.
Without blocking the prosecutor's office, the Constitutional Court says an investigation can be carried out without detention, wiretapping, search, identification, DNA sampling.
"There shall be no impediment to all investigative actions," provided that they do not constitute an indictment by their nature - explicitly or tacitly, to the President or Vice-President through actions that directly affect their personal rights and freedoms ". This is the opinion of the magistrates.
"The MPs remain the only immune people, who do not bear criminal responsibility under the Constitution for the opinions expressed by them and for their votes in the National Assembly ", pointed out Prof. Kirov. He added that the president is not responsible for his actions in the performance of his constitutional functions with the exception of actions classified as treason or violation of the Constitution.
"The Constitutional Court makes an important clarification in the concept of 'treason'. High treason is a criminal act that is part of Chapter One of the special part of the Penal Code - crimes against the republic," said the former constitutional judge.
The case in the Constitutional Court for interpretation of the basic law was initiated at the beginning of the year and Ivan Geshev explained there were ambiguities in the Constitution regarding the immunity of the president and vice president.
A specific investigation turned out to be the basis of the Prosecutor General's interest in whether the head of state could be investigated or inspected. It is related to the Air Force head, General Tsanko Stoykov, whom SIM were applied to some time ago at the request of the special prosecutor's office.
Ivan Geshev requested an answer from the constitutional judges to the following questions:
- Does the concept of “high treason” used in the Constitution overlap with the crime of “treason” in Chapter One “Crimes against the Republic” of the Penal Code?
- What is the difference between the constitutional concepts of "high treason" and "violation of the Constitution"as a basis for holding the President and Vice-President liable for actions taken in the performance of their duties?
- Do the terms "high treason" and "violation of the Constitution" in the Constitution include the commission of crimes other than those against the republic in the Penal Code?
- Whether the expression "no prosecution may be instituted" is limited to acts of a procedural nature, does it include a ban on criminal proceedings, when evidence of possible criminal activity of the President and Vice-President is found. Does this mean a ban on carrying out actions of a procedural nature in criminal proceedings having been instituted, if President or Vice President’s criminal activity is disclosed?”