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Access to a Decree of the Council of Ministers as of 1988, listing towns and villages, in the region of the power plant Belene, to which access would be restricted

Center for Environmental Information and Education vs. The Council of Ministers (CM)

First Instance administrative court case No. 9872/2004, SAC, Fifth Division
First Instance administrative court case No. S 63/2005, SAC, Fifth Division

Request:
In July 2004, Mr. Petko Kovachev, the Director of the nongovernmental organization Center for Environmental Information and Education, submitted a written request to the Prime Minister demanding a copy of a Decree of the Council of Ministers as of 1988, which defines the towns and villages, in the region of the power plant Belene, to which access would be restricted. Other MC's Decrees and Decision from the period 19801990, and related to the construction the power plant, have been requested as well.

Refusal:
The requested copy of the Decree has been denied on the grounds of classified information. In regards to the other requested documents, all available decrees and decisions have been provided to the requestor, while for the rest, he was referred to the State Archive Administration.

Request:
The refusal for the provision of the copy of the document has been challenged in the court with the argument of noncompliance with the requirements stipulated by the APIA and the PCIA in terms of the issuing of a decision for refusal on the grounds of classified information. The refusal has not stated whether the refused information constitutes state or administrative secret.

Developments at the First Instance:
At its first session, the court requested the the CM provide the Decree to be inspected for the lawfulness of the classification and stayed the proceedings.

In the meanwhile, the court classified the proceedings since the CM presented classified evidence.

At the second session, the court has again stayed the proceedings for the provision of additional evidence.


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