Access to former state security files
Hristo Stanev Hristov v. Minister of Internal Affairs
1. As active researcher of the facts surrounding the journalist Markov's
assassination in London in the 70s of the 20th century Mr. Hristov requested
under APIA access to MIA archival documents containing security services'
information about the Bulgarian units of BBC, Free Europe and Deusche
Welle radiocasts. He had researched volumes of different files in the
MIA archives before and published a number of articles on the matter.
At the time of filing the above request Hristov was bound to comply with
regulations named "instructions" of MIA adopted in 2002, which
required that everyone seeking information in the ministry archives had
to disclose in his/her request form information about the issue of research.
The instructions were put on the website of MIA. He filled in the matter
of his research and separately described the requested documents (so called
literni dela) which he wanted to inspect and subsequently to copy selected
1. The Supreme Administrative Court appointed a hearing on 8th of April
2003. The plaintiff appeared with his lawyer Kashumov and presented as
evidence several documents already obtained from MIA implying that not
only the requested documents exist, but also they expectedly contain also
information within the scope of research. The plaintiff's position was
that his request was misinterpreted by the respondent, that he was required
unlawfully to specify the issue of his research in order to disclose the
purpose of the information request. According to him the disputed letter
was a sophisticated manner to deny access to information using the showing
of the matter of research in the request form improperly. Hristov said
that to fulfill APIA obligations, it was enough for the Minister to check
the existence of the requested documents and afterwards to let him in
the archive library to select the ones he need. The lawyer for the respondent
raised some procedural questions and repeated the requested documents
are not in MIA possession.
HOME | ABOUT US | APIA | LEGISLATIVE BASE | LEGAL HELP | TRAININGS | PUBLICATIONS | FAQ | LINKS | SEARCH | MAP
English Version Last Update: 22.05.2004 © 1999 Copyright by Interia & AIP