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Sep 26, 2019

Professor Ivan Todorov commented before the Bulgarian National Television the proposed dismissal of the shortened criminal proceedings for serious crimes

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Professor Dr. Ivan Todorov commented to the Bulgarian National Television (BNT) in a TV program called “The referendum” the proposed dismissal of the expedited criminal proceedings for serious crimes. He shared his opinion on the early release of the Australian John Paulfreeman, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2007 for the murder of the student Andrey Monov:

“In this case, the interesting thing is that the data is contradictory. There are conclusions and suggestions that he should not be released, there is a decision of the court of first instance in this sense, and in particular the opinion of one of the judges of the Court of Appeal. All this casts considerable doubt on the expediency and legality of the decision to release the Australian citizen ahead of time.”

Our managing partner also discussed the expedited criminal proceedings for serious crimes, which has provoked strong political opinions in the last few days:

“One should ask himself the simple question – why was the legal institute of expedited criminal proceedings introduced? For a very simple reason – in many cases it is uncertain whether a crime can be proved in court. It is uncertain, yes, there is evidence, but it is not enough or not very related, and a defense thesis can be devised that refutes them. After all, the criminal gives an explanation of things without the proof that he has committed a crime. That is why this institute was introduced – with the fear that they could sentence him to a much longer prison term, the criminal confesses so he can go to an expedited criminal proceeding and to receive a shorter sentence, shorter but  certain, because it can also happen that  the perpetrator has committed the crime but it cannot be proved in the lawsuits and he leaves the court house as a person, who has committed a crime, but received no punishment. Let’s not forget this as well. This is the main reason, and the second reason is that it allows for faster criminal proceedings, precludes appeal in many cases, and ultimately results in speedy law enforcement.”

The questions of whether speedy conviction or justice are more important to society, and whether the abolition of the possibility of dismissal of the expedited criminal proceedings will lead to more costs for the state or less judicial errors, were discussed in the studio of the Bulgarian National Television with the with the additional participation of former Minister of Interior Affairs – Emanuil Yordanov, forensic professor Petya Shopova, as well as the attorneys-at-law Lyudmil Rangelov and Plamen Dimitrov.

Further comment on the topic by Prof. Dr. Ivan Todorov can be found in the article: “Why didn’t the court consider the unpaid legal duties?”.