MPs: Lozan Panov has to make choice – is he a politician or a judge

According to Volen Siderov, it is inadmissible to work against your native land, those who do it must resign

The statements by the Chairman of the Supreme Court of Cassation Lozan Panov before the emissary of the European Commission were qualified by the MPs as treason and inadmissible behaviour.

A day ago, the Supreme Judicial Council published the so-called “memorandum” signed after the meeting of the Brussels’ reps and the three top officials of the judiciary – the Chief Prosecutor, the chairs of the Supreme Administrative Court and the Supreme Court of Cassation as well as the Supreme Judicial Council. The topic was the cooperation and verification monitoring report on Bulgaria. It transpired that Panov was lobbying before the EU Commission insisting that the monitoring of Bulgaria should not be scrapped and accused the Commission of complicity. He also said he was very disappointed that the latest report was positive and accused of impassiveness almost all of the institutions and, last but not least, expressed his dissatisfaction at the fact that he cannot deliver political speeches.

“Having in mind that all efforts of the legislative, executive and judicial powers since Bulgaria acceded the EU (when the so-called Mechanism for Cooperation and Verification was set up) have been focused on scrapping this mechanism, such statements are absolutely inadmissible. They run counter to the national interests of Bulgaria,” said deputy chair of the parliamentary Legal Committee Hristian Mitev of the National Front for the Salvation of Bulgaria in a lobby interview who qualified the behaviour of Panov as ‘scandalous’ and even called it ‘treason’. In his opinion, Panov should have long made his choice and decided whether he wants to be a judge and chair of the Supreme Court of Cassation or a politician.

“I would recommend to him, after all of his statements, to opt for a political career, to join some of the existing parties or set up a party of his own and then come out with these statements,” Mitev commented. However, in his words, not only the changes initiated by the Ministry of Justice but also the calls for resignation of Lozan Panov are becoming increasingly pressing.

The leader of Ataka party Volen Siderov was adamant that the chairman of the Supreme Court of Cassation cannot afford playing at politics. In his view, there is distribution of powers in Bulgaria and it is constitutionally stated. “If someone wants to chart policy he should set up his own party, run for election, enter Parliament and fight for his political ideas. It is inadmissible to work against your own country, moreover in front of the representatives of the European Commission or other Brussels institutions. What Lozan Panov is doing is unacceptable. “I don’t understand why he is still holding this post,” Siderov said. In his opinion, Panov should have long had to table his resignation and quoted as an example the so-called ApartmentCate following which many political figures tabled resignations, among them Tsvetan Tsvetanov, floor leader of the ruling GERB party. “Lozan Panov and his wife were also implicated in this same ApartmentGate. “He is obliged to resign too,” Siderov believes. In his estimation, in Western Europe where Panov goes to complain people table resignations for much less serious misdemeanors.

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