site.btaFour Bills Amending Criminal Procedure Code Adopted on First Reading
Parliament Friday adopted on first reading four out of five bills amending the Criminal Procedure Code. MPs have been debating the amendments for a second day as yesterday the debate was terminated due to absence of quorum.
One of the bills is sponsored by Kostadin Kostadinov of Vazrazhdane and aims to achieve fairer and faster pretrial proceedings. The right of the accused to appeal most prosecutorial acts during the pretrial proceedings is expanded. Investigating officers will be able to launch pretrial proceedings on their own provided they notify the supervising prosecutor.
MPs voted through two bills sponsored by the Council of Minsters, which set in place a mechanism for investigating the prosecutor general. Also, under the amendments, a proposal of the Plenum of the Supreme Judicial Council to the President to appoint or remove from office a Prosecutor General will be passed on a majority of no fewer than 13 votes, down from the current 17.
The second bill transposes a EU directive and introduces procedural safeguards for children, who are are suspected or accused of crimes.
MPs voted trough a bill sponsored by Boyko Rashkov of Continue the Change which aims to speed up the criminal procedure as well. The amendments envisage broadening the use of special surveillance means with regards to a witness upon their consent, when there are grave intentional crimes. The changes will allow investigating officers to launch pretrial proceedings against magistrates.