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 INTERVIEW Wednesday, 9 October 2002 
 

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Filchev Reviled Because He's Naughty

For about a year the power-vested liked the Prosecutor General, now they want to topple him. We defend the rights of thugs and punish their victims, says Simeon Petkov

Picture Stamen Petkov was born in 1944. He studied law in Sofia University. In 1984 he took the post of district prosecutor in Botevgrad and 1993 became a prosecutor in Sofia regional prosecutor's office. In 1998 he becomes a prosecutor in the appellate prosecutor's office. As of the last year he is employed in the Supreme Cassation Prosecution.  

- Mr. Petkov, lately much has been said about amendments to the Constitution because of the role of the prosecution and prosecutor's mandate. What do you think about it?

- Whoever comes to power always develops a liking for a Prosecutor General. This lasts about a year. When they see that he is a maverick figure, they fall out of love with him. So it happened with Ivan Tatarchev, so it is with the present Prosecutor General. He has also become an inconvenient person.

- An ordinary man who may become a victim of crime any day is not particularly interested who takes this post. He wants justice but doesn't see it. Why?

- People are right - 15 years ago the same judicial system worked effectively. No criminal remained unpunished, the percentage of unsolved cases was statistically insignificant. At the moment it is different. And the Constitution is the last thing we can blame for it. The truth is that there is no synchrony between police, investigation, prosecution and court, while the punitive procedures are extremely awkward. The rights of criminals are protected to the extent when punitive measures become meaningless. We provided possibilities to the defendant to interfere into legal procedures and to protract them as long as he pleases. No one takes heed of a poor victim. He simply has no rights. From the moment when he was robbed or mobbed all he can do is suffer.

- Who is to blame for the fact that the court always fails to collect enough evidence to be able to send a perpetrator to jail?

- As regards evidence collection we are still using last-century techniques. Fingerprints are taken the way it was done 100 years ago. Criminal proceedings are too formalized, there is a lot of opportunities for postponement or protraction of a case.

Neika Krasteva

(Abridged)

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