Balmoral - Bansko

Balmoral - Bansko

Twisted Knee Complex

Twisted Knee Complex


Key Contracts Signed for Greece-Bulgaria Gas Interconnector Construction 10.10.2019
Key Contracts Signed for Greece-Bulgaria Gas Interconnector Construction
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09.10.2019
Industrial Production Down 1.3% in August 2019, Y/Y
October 9 (BTA) - According to preliminary data released by the National Statistical Institute on Wednesday, the seasonally adjusted Industrial Production Index this August decreased by 0.1 per cent compared to July...


Weather/BNB fixing 14.10.19

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Parliament Revises Penal Code, Criminal Procedure Code on First Reading in Connection with Fast-Track Trial

Parliament Revises Penal Code, Criminal Procedure Code on First Reading in Connection with Fast-Track Trial

26.9.2019
Sofia, September 25 (BTA) - Bulgaria's National Assembly Wednesday approved on first reading four bills addressing the issue of fast-track trial and the ensuing reduction of sentences. By a vote of 97-62, the legislature passed amendments to the Penal Code, moved by GERB, according to which the fast-track trial institute will be retained but the court will have discretion to decide whether to reduce the offender's sentence by up to one-fifth in cases of intentional homicide, grievous bodily injury, molestation or rape. By the same bill, the court is given leeway not to impose life imprisonment without commutation and to replace life imprisonment by deprivation of liberty from 20 to 30 years. The idea of the revisions is to keep the existing celerity of the procedure while, at the same time, enable the court to exercise discretion in determining the penal sanction for grave assaults on the person. The bill also transposes the requirements of Directive (EU) 2017/1371 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 July 2017 on the fight against fraud to the Union's financial interests by means of criminal law, extending liability for malfeasant embezzlement to foreign public officials. The Supplementary Provisions amend the Criminal Procedure Code making the cases falling within the jurisdiction of the European Public Prosecutor's Office cognizable in the Specialized Criminal Court. Earlier in the day, Parliament passed on first reading three other bills, moved by BSP for Bulgaria, the United Patriots and Volya, respectively. All three pieces of draft legislation would make a fast-track trial leading to a reduction of the sentence inapplicable in cases where the offender has intentionally caused death or grievous bodily injury. The revisions were prompted by the rape and murder of a seven-year-old girl in the Village of Sotirya near Sliven (Southeastern Bulgaria) in mid-August, which was followed by attempted sexual abuse of an eight-year-old girl in the same village just a fortnight later. Pros and Cons During the ensuing debate, the opposition BSP for Bulgaria argued that the passage of the revisions proposed by GERB was wrong and watered down the provisions voted through earlier that abolish the fast-track trial. "Within an hour or so, we adopted a law that scraps the fast-track trial and another one that brings it back," the Socialists' Floor Leader Kornelia Ninova pointed out, describing this as "a legal absurdity". "The excessive narrowing of the scope of the fast-track trial will throw us back to the time when such cases were dismissed through lapse of time and the offenders went unpunished," Krassimir Tsipov MP of GERB countered. Justice Minister Danail Kirilov stressed that the major issue at present should be whether to continue to trust the court in determining the penal sanction. The fast-track trial was institutionalized more than 10 years ago in order to speed up the administration of justice. Under the effective procedure, a defendant who admits the facts and circumstances in the indictment and requests a fast-track trial automatically qualifies for a reduction of his or her sentence by one-third. The institute has been applied on numerous occasions, but has invariably triggered public discontent in high-profile murder cases. LN/LG Source: Sofia, http://www.bta.bg/en/c/DF/id/2080359
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