Nikolai Kolev vs. the Prosecution Office of Bulgaria
First Instance Court – administrative case No. 3617/2010, ACSC, First division, 13th panel
On February 16, 2010, Nikolai Kolev filed a request to access the Report on the state of the Sofia Regional Prosecution Office and the acts and omissions to act of a particular regional prosecutor.
With a decision as of April 21, 2010, the Deputy Attorney General refused access to the report on the ground that it contained conclusions, opinions, and recommendations of the supervising prosecutors and the report was prepared for the Attorney General for the exercise of his power to give instructions to the prosecutors and it had no significance in itself.
The refusal was challenged before the ACSC. The complainant stated that for the successful supervising function, the establishment of facts and violations is essential. Precisely, this establishment of facts during the inspection is indispensible for effective supervising. Therefore, the report had significance of its own.
Development in the Court of First Instance:
At the first hearing of the case in September 2010, the Court required the Prosecution Office to provide the report for consultation. In November 2010, the case was heard in an open session and was scheduled for judgment.
With a decision No. 3959 as of December 2, 2010, a panel of the ACSC repealed the refusal and compelled the Prosecution Office to grant access to the report. For the Court, the report is the final act of supervisions and audits of the prosecutors under Art. 142, Para. 2 of the Judiciary Act. For this very reason, it cannot be assumed that this act had no significance in itself and only had a character of opinion or recommendation. The court reached this conclusion after scrutinizing the report. It is noteworthy to mention that the court decision reproduces many of the findings and recommendations of the supervising prosecutors. They establish number of violations and inefficient organization of the work in the Sofia Regional Prosecution Office.