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13.05.2015

Request


On January 16, 2014, the journalist Rossen Bossev filed a request to the Prosecutor’s Office under the procedures of the Access to Public Information Act (APIA). He demanded access to information related to the work of Mr. Delyan Peevski´╗┐ as an investigator in the Sofia Investigation Service.´╗┐ Peevski is a media mogul and a current member of the National Assembly.

  1. The number of the pre-trial proceedings and investigation cases assigned to Mr. Delyan Peevski;
  2. The number of indictments, conclusion reports for ending or proceedings, issued by Mr. Delyan Peevski during his work as an investigator;
  3. The number of completed investigations and inspections by Mr. Peevski;
  4. The total period of time when Mr. Peevski had been in a holiday during his term as an investigator.

Referral of the request

The Prosecutor’s office referred the request to the Sofia City Prosecution Office (SCPO) as a responsible institution and in compliance with the provisions of Art. 32 of the Access to Public Information Act.


Refusal

The city prosecutor refused to grant access to the journalist on the grounds that the requested information was not public under the meaning of the APIA. Furthermore, the information would affect the interests of a third party, who had not expressed consent for a disclosure.


Complaint

With the assistance of the Access to Information Programme, the refusal of the Sofia City Prosecutor was challenged before the Administrative Court Sofia – City (ACSC)


First Instance Court Decision:

With a Decision No. 3196/13.05.2014 (in Bulgarian), the ACSC dismissed the appeal of the journalist against the refusal of the city prosecutor.  


Cassation Appeal

The decision of the ACSC was appealed before the Supreme Administrative Court (SAC).


Second Instance Court Decision:

In Decision No. 5400/13.05.2015 (in Bulgarian), a panel of the SAC found that the first instance court had wrongly assumed that the information requested under the 4 points was not public since it could not contribute to the forming of an opinion about the work of the judiciary and more precisely the work of the Prosecution Office of the Republic of Bulgaria.

 

According to the court, the information requested by Rossen Bossev under the first three points was public despite the fact that it did not concern the overall activities of the Prosecution Office, but the work of a single magistrate. As far as information is requested about the number of the pre-trial proceedings and investigation cases assigned; the number of conclusion reports and completed investigations and inspections by a certain magistrate, it was is undoubtedly generated and held by the obliged body, and thus is official public information under the meaning of Art. 11 of the APIA.

 

In their judgment, the SAC also pointed out that considering the type of the requested information, the provision of Art. 5 of the Law on the Judiciary was applicable in the current case. It provides for the citizens’ right to information about the work of the judiciary and respectively an obligation for the judicial authorities to ensure openness, accessibility and transparency of its activities. to   

 

The decision of the SAC is final.


Media Publications (in Bulgarian):


The court ruled the attempt of the Prosecution Office to hide information about Peevski, Capital weekly, 13.05.2015

 

How many prosecutors are necessary to defend Delyan Peevski? , Capital weekly, 23.03.2015

 

 

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