Influenced by Soros court in Strasbourg wrongfully convicts Bulgaria

The Kolevs case was launched and decided by two Bulgarian judges connected with the billionaire speculator and Prokopiev

Yonko Grozev

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has gone beyond its competence with its ruling on the case of Kolevs vs Bulgaria, convicting Bulgaria. On the basis of the ruling, the Strasbourg court, about which a little more than a month ago a French NGO warned that it was controlled by billionaire speculator George Soros, requires Bulgaria to change its constitutional law with regards to its prosecution. The reason is that this way there will be a possibility for introducing criminal sanctions for the Prosecutor General if the latter commits a crime. However, such decision is beyond the competence of ECHR, PIK Agency states in its inquiry.

The former representative of Bulgaria in the ECHR, defence attorney Zdravka Kalaydzhieva, and the current representative, Yonko Grozev, have contributed a lot to this 2009 ruling on the Kolevs vs Bulgaria case. Grozev, who at that time represented the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee, of which he is a co-founder, filed a complaint on the case which was decided by a panel in which Bulgarian judge Kalaydzhieva was included. In the report of the French NGO European Centre for Law and Justice there is ample evidence, both for Grozev and Kalaydzhieva, that they were acting under conditions of a conflict of interests. It is also specified that both of them come from the organisations connected with Soros - a fact known in Bulgaria, where people have long been aware that the so-called “Bulgarian judges” in the Strasbourg court represented there not the interests of our society but those of the billionaire speculator and his Bulgaria follower, oligarch Ivo Prokopiev, to whose close entourage they belong (See here).

We publish the inquiry of PIK:

The ruling on the Kolevs vs Bulgaria case obliges Bulgaria to “create guarantees for independent investigation of crimes in which the Prosecutor General or other top officials close to the Prosecutor General may be suspected”. Within the coming months a sitting of the Committee of Foreign Ministers with the Council of Europe will be held. During this sitting a question may be raised again as to whether Bulgaria has ensured enough guarantees for investigating the Prosecutor General if the latter committed a crime.

What are the facts, however?

At the beginning of 2020, the European Centre for Law and Justice headed by Gregor Puppinck published a report which rocked the political and judicial circles in Europe. The French researchers have found out that George Soros's NGO Open Society exerts strong influence over the work of ECHR. One-fifth of the judges in ECHR within the period of 2009-2019 were caught in “inadmissibly serious dependencies and serious conflict of interests”, reads the report. According to it, Bulgarian representatives, defence attorneys Zdravka Kalaydzhieva (until 2014) and Yonko Grozev (from 2015) are the most notable examples which led to the compromising of the European Court. The name of Bulgaria is mentioned 30 times in the 25-page report. The country is the leader in conflict of interests cases involving its representatives in ECHR.   

Out of 313 cases of recusal of judges over the span of 10 years, 66 involve the Bulgarian representatives Kalaydzhieva and Grozev. Kalaydzhieva is a defence attorney - founder of the Bulgarian Lawyers for Human Rights Foundation financed by Soros. Since then, she has been receiving money from Soros and has been working for him. Grozev is a defence attorney too. In 1992, he founded (together with Kanev) the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee, also funded by Soros. Since then, he accepts money from Soros and serves him. Kalaydzhieva and Grozev share the same values (the money and ideas of Soros), they have the same goals (to gain control over the judicial power and depersonalise the prosecution), they have common friends (Ivo Prokopiev, Ivan Kostov, Hristo Ivanov) and common enemies (Prosecutor General Ivan Geshev).  

Back in 2014, Kalaydzhieva was a judge in ECHR and Grozev was a defence attorney in Bulgaria. Under the expert directorship of another “Sorosoid” and their close friend, Hristo Ivanov, they played out quite a performance - Kalaydzhieva quitted her job in ECHR several years before her term in order to make way for Grozev. To this end, then-Minister of Justice Hristo Ivanov appoints a commission for the election of a new judge, in which “Sorosoid” Krasimir Kanev (chair of the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee) is included.

“All of a sudden” Grozev wins the battle and assumes the post of Kalaydzhieva in ECHR. And Kalaydzhieva returns to her defence lawyer practice in Bulgaria for a “just compensation”, worth €2m, as rumour runs in the media.

ECHR ruling from 2009 on the Kolevs vs Bulgaria case

Word-for-word it reads: “the claimant's statement is confirmed, concerning the existing absence in the Bulgarian legislation of sufficient guarantees for conducting an independent investigation of crimes in which the Prosecutor General, or other top officials close to the Prosecutor General, may be suspected”. There are many arguments against this ungrounded claim. According to the Bulgarian legislation, there has always existed a legal possibility for seeking criminal liability from the Prosecutor General if that person commits a crime. First, according to Article 129, paragraph 3, point 5, of the Constitution, the Prosecutor General is relieved of the post if caught in “serious misconduct or systematic neglect of duties as well as for actions which are detrimental to the prestige of the judicial power”. It means that the Prosecutor General may be relieved of the post for disciplinary infraction which poses much less danger for the society than a crime (for inaction or even only for breach of morals). Let alone for committing a crime!

Second, if the Prosecutor General commits a crime, nothing will prevent the bodies of the competing executive power (Ministry of Interior, State Agency for National Security and other special services, customs office and other monitoring agencies) from working, checking different versions, etc. Besides, they can conduct examinations, searches and confiscations, may question witnesses, etc. All this is not only possible but also mandatory. And, as long as it concerns the Prosecutor General, everything is done with special attention and is analysed in-depth by many other institutions in Bulgaria.

Who are the participants in the Kolevs vs Bulgaria case brought before ECHR

The claimant is Ms Koleva represented by defence attorney Grozev, the minion of Soros. The defendant is the Republic of Bulgaria, represented in court by Malina Karadzhova, officer of the Ministry of Justice, who before that was Soros's grant-recipient in ECHR. The judge is Kalaydzhieva (along with other judges). She is also a minion of Soros. One of the main flaws of the decision is that the panel of ECHR judges in the Kolevs vs Bulgaria case is illegal, because Kalaydzhieva did not recuse herself despite the fact that she is close to one party to the lawsuit, which is represented by her friend and associate - defence attorney Grozev. The report of the European Centre notes that while Kalaydzhieva was a judge, she was recused from various cases 53 times by the litigating parties. Besides, Kalaydzhieva for decades has been working towards impairing the Bulgarian prosecution and limiting its role. And the abovementioned ruling is concerned with the status of the Bulgarian prosecution and the Prosecutor General. Consequently, on these grounds Kalaydzhieva had to recuse herself from the case, but she didn't do it.

According to paragraph 28, point 2 of the ECHR Rules of Court, judges cannot take part in case hearings if their “independence or impartiality may be called into question”. Kalaydzhieva, however, did not recuse herself, which means that the ruling of ECHR was pronounced by an illegal panel. More than that - Kalaydzhieva has pushed through her own and Grozev's biased and paid opinion, damaging the Bulgarian prosecution. Thus, the ECHR ruling comprises a claim that the Prosecutor General of Bulgaria is untouchable and no independent investigation may be conducted against the person holding this post even if that person commits a crime. 

It is also important to note that ECHR has gone beyond its sphere of competence with the ruling on the Kolevs vs Bulgaria case. The court demands that Bulgaria changes its constitutional law in its part concerning the prosecution in order to create possibility for charging the Prosecutor General with criminal liability if the person holding that office commits a crime. This, however, is beyond the competence of ECHR. In its ruling, ECHR specifies what evidence has to be collected on the Kolev's murder case. But the court cannot take substantive decisions on a case in Bulgaria. According to Article 32 of the European Convention, ECHR can resolve only “issues pertaining to the interpretation and application of the Convention”. In other words, ECHR can resolve procedural issues only - whether during the case hearing in Bulgaria the rights of the claimant guaranteed by the European Convention for Human Rights were violated (above of all in Article 6 of ECHR). Besides, ECHR does not have any evidence on the case in Bulgaria. It has only one complaint and the reply by the Ministry of Justice, which is only an inquiry concerning the questions of the claimant.

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