Three judges testify to corruption pressure in the Sofia City Administrative Court. Two of them directly charged the judge from the Supreme Administrative Court and a former deputy. Chairman of the ACSC Dobromir Andreev that he put pressure on them to decide cases in a certain direction! Andreev had to them “demand a certain result” and “proposals to fix our man”.
The unprecedented situation unfolded in the course of the General Assembly of the Judges of the Sofia City Court, which was organized in connection with the nomination of Judge Dobromir Andreev (in the leading photo of the man in the background) for the next chairman of the ACSC. BRRD paid attention of Judge Andreev’s candidacy in a previous publication. Before the General Assembly, the situation did not foreshadow such a scandal. Andreev is known as the favorite of the President of the Supreme Administrative Court Georgi Cholakov for the post and his candidacy was a sign that the ACSC should get into the “right track”.
In recent years, many magistrates have The ACSC made it clear that in court the rule of law is worth more than the wishes of this or that. The latest evidence of this is the decision of the ACSC, which confirmed the revocation of the license of “Delta Guard”. Over the years, the security company has gained a reputation as a “penal brigade” of GERB and MRF and Peevski’s “personal guard”, but this did not weigh in their favor before the ACSC and judge Miglena Nikolova. papproved the revocation of the company’s license.
The right footage behind the right candidate
The candidacy of Dobromir Andreev was nominated by judges Ralitsa Romanova, Iva Kecheva, Margarita Nemska, Zlatka Ilieva, Kalina Petsova, Natasha Nikolova and Antoni Yordanov. Romanova is known for her penchant for promoting justice among adolescents., and also with the canceled distraint of Tumparov. Iva Kecheva is a former deputy. Chairman of the ACSC and was among the unqualified candidates in the Supreme Administrative Court in one of the last competitions. Margarita Nemska, who is a former spokesperson of the Sofia City Prosecutor’s Office since Boris Velchev’s time in recent months, has again been in media publications. She lives with the lawyer and former investigating policeman in the General Directorate for Combatting Organized Crime (GDBOP) and an employee in the Economic and Financial Security Agency at the State Agency for National Security (DANS) named Emil Piskov. He was exposed by Ivayla Bakalova how he offered assistance in amending the detention measure of Veselin Denkov. Of the initiators of Andreev’s elevation, only Judge Antoni Yordanov is one of the “fresh additions” in the ACSC, recruited under the watchful eye of Cholakov.
At the General Assembly of the ACSC of 69 judges with the right to vote 37 support Andreev. 27 votes for Krasimira Milachkova and five abstained. Naturally, the result of the vote is also concerned by the fact that newly appointed administrative judges joined the ACSC, for whom there are serious doubts that they were selected in conditions of a predetermined end result..
Pressure for a specific outcome in cases
Undoubtedly, there was an expectation that Andreev’s candidacy would cause resistance, but it practically opened Pandora’s box in the administrative law judge. After the praising of Andreev, First Judge Antoaneta Argirova recalls the 33 conversations of the candidate in 2009 with the Krasimir Georgiev – Krasio the Black. The latter is said to be there are still current connections both in the judiciary and in the underground.
The facts about each of the two candidates are in their biographies. We have a candidate who was a junior investigator, a junior prosecutor, a civil judge in a district court, seconded to the SCC, a judge in our court, then an administrative head of this court, then, having the desire and will to go to a cassation instance, appearing for a competition, he is already a judge in the Supreme Administrative Court. Yes, colleagues, this is a testament to qualities. Evidence of qualities is also the recommendation given by the SJC to this colleague to sanitize his personal contacts because of 33 conversations announced publicly with Krassimir Georgiev, who remained infamous as Krasio the Black and as the informal cadre of the judiciary. A proof of qualities is that this same candidate, while in the Administrative Court – Sofia-city, allowed himself pressure for the specific result in cases, something that two more colleagues can confirm. Therefore, colleagues, I ask you to vote in content. Let us take responsibility not to ourselves, but to the function for which we are here. I, for the reasons stated, cannot support the candidacy of Judge Dobromir Andreev.
The story of Krasio Cherno, however, is a predictable weak spot for the candidate. It has been public for over 12 years. Judge Argirova, however, makes a statement about corruption pressure from Andreev! She said that while he was in the ACSC, Andreev “allowed himself pressure for the specific result in cases.” In other words, Judge Argirova accuses the former deputy. Chairman of the ACSC that is trying to decide cases in favor of any of the parties. Judge Argirova claims that two other judges can also confirm her words! That is why she declared that she simply could not confirm Andreev’s candidacy.
The written minutes of the meeting cannot fully reveal the emotional charge of the speakers, but sometimes it cannot be hidden. In a subsequent speech, Judge Argirova noted that none of the administrative heads in the ACSC – neither Radostin Radkov nor Lozan Panov dared to put pressure on judges, unlike Andreev.
“Suggestions to Fix Our Man”
The words of Judge Argirova are confirmed by Judge Tanya Zhilova, who is also the President of the Association of Judges in Bulgaria! However, she spoke of “interceding” from Andreev’s camp and of “demanding a certain result”. The very word “requirement” implies an imperative intervention of Andreev, which in turn can be qualified under the Criminal Code.
I confirm the words of Judge Argirova that Judge Dobri Andreev allows himself to indicate, call and intercede on cases and to demand a certain result. Is that what we want?!? Think about it. When 2007 I and other colleagues who were then, things were different. No one has ever allowed such a thing. Now, there really is no statute of limitations for morality. When Judge Radkov proposed Dobromir Andreev as Vice-President, I also abstained to express my attitude, but not to dismiss Judge Radkov’s proposal for his team. I do not believe that Judge Dobromir Andreev has improved his contacts. In the covid epidemic, we can sanitize all our contacts. It’s about moral contacts.
At the end, Judge Milena Slaveykova said that there were “proposals to fix our man”. In themselves, the minutes of the general collected are evidence that testifies, through the statements of magistrates, that there are attempts to interfere with their decisions, in other words there are attempts not to decide cases by law, but by interest.
As someone who has been offered to fix a person of ours, I will tell you that it is very difficult to react in this situation. First of all, you can’t believe what you’re being told, because it’s incompatible with our mentality. This is incompatible not only with our independence by law, but also with our personal independence. internal independence. Who can afford, who can go through their heads, that somewhere there is a person of ours?!? There’s no one of us! We are independent, we are truly the expression of the law. So I admit it happened to me and I didn’t know how to react. I confess to everyone , I kept quiet. Simply because we were provoked.
Judge Margarita Nemska, who is outraged by the allegations that Andreev continues to maintain contacts with people from the underground, reacted most violently to the statements of her colleagues. Probably because German herself could fall into a similar hypothesis in view of her relationship with Piskov.
Ethics committees should check the information
BIRD.BG sought comment on judges who testify to corruption pressure in the ACSC. Judge Zhilova and Judge Argirova said they stood by their words and that what they said was enough to trigger the system. The two judges refused to provide more information about the case or cases in connection with which they were pressured.
In their words, they intend to leave the revelations about the ethical committees in the Sofia City Court and the Supreme Administrative Court, which will attest Andreev. They must verify, if they decide, the allegations made by them. Both ladies stressed that Judge Slaveykova, who warned of corruption pressure, is not the third magistrate they refer to as a potential witness of pressure from Andreev’s camp.
In a conversation with Judge Milena Slaveykova, she confirmed that the case she referred to was not about the actions of Judge Andreev. “In my case, there was a sum of money for a colleague who intercedes on behalf of a supreme colleague without naming him. The events took place when Judge Slaveykova, as part of a tri-state, ruled on a case in which the ACSC was the last resort.
The judge said she had not thought about whether to refer the matter to the Inspectorate or any other body. The easiest counteraction is simply not to do what is asked of us, and so I have done. Because I trust myself. What happens if I contact the Inspectorate and when will it happen? Somehow I don’t believe it. I am just looking for ways to act in an opposite direction, because this is the surest way for the situation not to happen again.” Judge Slaveykova is the third candidate for President of the ACSC. She, along with judges Milachkova and Andreev, must be attested by the ACSC and the SJC.
Since the composition of the ethics committees in the courts are not public, Bird.bg will send an inquiry to the Sofia City Court and the Supreme Administrative Court which magistrates are part of them. Our team will check if there are no judges, who are among the nominees candidates. We have received information that Judge German is part of the Commission in the ACSC. Therefore, it would not be right for her to attest any of the candidates, because she would be in a conflict of interest.
“I was very bitter and disappointed”
We also sought comment from Judge Andreev. He said he was not present at the meeting and did not know what it was about. “I don’t want to comment on these things at this point. You are aware that there is a proper order in which the relevant authorities could be approached. There are authorities, if they decide, let them be approached.”
Andreev said he was very bitter and disappointed because he had left his heart in this court (ACSC) and was on the verge of giving up the competition for the post of administrative head. “Anyone can fabricate something, it was not correct on the part of colleagues.” With his colleagues, who pointed to him as a source of corruption pressure, he had no relations and only greeted each other in the corridors.
The judge also said that he had not asked for verification of the allegations and did not intend to do so because he could not prove that he did not have a sister. “My grief is purely human. If I happen to become president or not to become, I will make an effort to preserve the friendly spirit and relations in this court. My idea is that if this thing stays that way and no one does anything, I just turn my back on it, because I know it’s not real things. This is not serious. If the conflict continues, something is ignited there, which… A kind of shock for this work that we have done over time to preserve this court. You are aware of what is happening in other courts. In Rayonen, in Gradski, there is intrigue, and the ACSC we kept it. I hope that this will continue to continue.”
What will result from the statements of judges Zhilova, Argirova and Slaveykova is too early to say. Probably if things come to a ruling from the current SJC – nothing. But the very fact that three judges from a key administrative court are sounding the alarm about pressure and “settling cases” means that corrupt practices in administrative justice are more of a rule than a precedent.
In addition, the public way judges declare that they are under pressure indicates that reasonable limits of tolerance have been irrevocably crossed. The SJC inspectorate and ethics committees will have to check whether the judges have “fabricated allegations”, as Andreev claims, or whether there has been corruption pressure on his part, as Zhilova and Argirova claim. If the allegations of corruption pressure are confirmed, for example with witness statements, then the prosecution should be on the move. Something that would hardly happen while Ivan Geshev is Prosecutor General, as his proximity to Andreev is an open secret.
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