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Fiches Belges: Bulgaria

Confiscation (505)

1. MEASURE IMPLEMENTATION

Bulgaria

Is this measure possible in your Member State under International Judicial Cooperation?

The application of the measure is possible upon sending of a request for legal assistance. According to the Criminal Code of Republic of Bulgaria the confiscation is a kind of financial punishment and is compulsory appropriation without compensation of assets in favour of the state, of assets belonging to the convict or of part thereof, of specified pieces of assets of the culprit, or of parts of such pieces of property. The punishment shall be enforced after the verdict has entered into force. In case the punishment confiscation is imposed by a verdict of a foreign court and refers to assets in the Republic of Bulgaria, the realization of the sanction is possible if the enforcement of the act of court or confiscation aimed at subsequent enforcement of the act of court is requested. The request shall be addressed to the Ministry of Justice of Republic of Bulgaria, which shall sent the request and its enclosures to the district court at the location of residence of the person in the Republic of Bulgaria and if the person does not live in Bulgaria Sofia City Court is the competent court to review the request. The decision of the court may be appealed before the respective court of appeal whose decision is final. In this procedure the participation of a prosecutor is mandatory. The Criminal Code of Republic of Bulgaria envisages 2 hypotheses of confiscation of property: - Confiscation of assets is envisaged in the special part of the Criminal Code with regard to some separate types of crimes. In these cases the subject of the crime (or the assets in which it has been transformed) shall be confiscated in favor of the state and if it is not available or is disposed of its money equivalent shall be confiscated; - Apart from the penal liability, art. 53 of Criminal Code envisages an opportunity for confiscation of the subject or means of the crime belonging to the culprit, confiscation of objects, the possession of which is forbidden and confiscation of proceeds of crime (if they are not subject to restitution or reimbursement). When the proceeds are not available or disposed of their money equivalent shall be confiscated. The court imposes the confiscation of assets by the verdict. In case of termination or suspension of pre-trial proceedings the confiscation of assets shall be performed by virtue of an act of the prosecutor. The request for enforcement of an act of a foreign court imposing sequestration or confiscation of the means of crime and of proceeds of crime or its equivalent shall be addressed to the Ministry of Justice of Republic of Bulgaria, which shall sent the request and its enclosures to the district court at the location of residence of the person in the Republic of Bulgaria, respectively at the location of the seat and management address of the legal entity in the Republic of Bulgaria and if the person does not live in Bulgaria, respectively the legal entity does not have a seat of business and management address in Bulgaria, Sofia City Court is the competent court to review the request. The decision of the court may be appealed before the respective court of appeal whose decision is final. In this procedure the participation of a prosecutor is mandatory. An alternative measure is envisaged under the Law on Recognition, Enforcement and Enacting of Acts for Securing of Assets or Evidence. It is mandatory the request to be accompanied by or to be preceded by an act for securing of assets and also by a form-certificate. The securing of assets that shall be confiscated by virtue of the verdict is a necessary condition for review of the request for sequestration. The authority competent to recognize the securing act and to send it to respective body for fulfilment is always Sofia City Court. Fulfilment of the securing act shall be performed under the rules of the Civil Procedure Code. The request shall be reviewed after notification that the security measure was fulfilled. This is done in conformity to the rules for recognition of a verdict of a foreign court, but in this case the request may not be based on an enforceable verdict, but to contain demand for sequestration of assets aimed at subsequent enforcement of a verdict. Alternative measure is sequestration of illegally acquired assets from criminal activity under the rules of the Law on Sequestration in Favour of the State of Illegally Acquired Assets. As such shall be considered assets for the acquisition of which a legal source may not be established. When specific separate assets may not be sequestrated their money equivalent, defined according to the market price towards the moment of filing of the claim for sequestration, shall be sequestrated. The Commission on Sequestration of Illegally Acquired Assets shall file a claim for sequestration of the illegally acquired assets before the district court at the region of which is the permanent address of the person in term of up to three months as from the moment of imposing of security measures and when the assets include a real estate the claim shall be filed before the district court at the location of the real estate and when the assets include more than one real estate – at the location of the real estate with the highest tax evaluation.

2. LEGAL FRAMEWORK

Bulgaria

International legal framework applicable for this measure in your Member State

Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters between the Member States of the European Union established by the Council in accordance with Article 34 of the Treaty on European Union, ratified by a law adopted by the National Assembly of Republic of Bulgaria, promulgated in State Gazette issue 58/2007. European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters of the Council of Europe, ratified by a law adopted by the National Assembly of Republic of Bulgaria, promulgated in State Gazette issue 39/1994. Protocol of 2001 to the Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters between the Member States of the European Union, ratified by a law adopted by the National Assembly of Republic of Bulgaria, promulgated in State Gazette issue 58/2007. European Convention on the International Validity of Criminal Judgements, ratified by a law adopted by the National Assembly of Republic of Bulgaria, promulgated in State Gazette issue 11/2004. Council Framework Decision 2003/577/JHA of 22 July 2003 on the execution in the European Union of orders freezing property or evidence (transposed in the Republic of Bulgaria in the Law on Recognition, Enforcement and Enacting of Acts for Securing of Assets or Evidence). Convention of the Council of Europe on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime, ratified by a law adopted by the National Assembly of Republic of Bulgaria, promulgated in State Gazette issue 31/1993. Convention of the Council of Europe on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime and on Financing of Terrorism, ratified by a law adopted by the National Assembly of Republic of Bulgaria, promulgated in State Gazette issue 103/2012.

3. COMPETENT AUTHORITY TO:

Bulgaria

* receive the request/decision for judicial cooperation

With regard to enforcement of punishment confiscation by virtue of a verdict of a foreign court referring to assets in the Republic of Bulgaria, the request shall be sent to the Ministry of Justice of Republic of Bulgaria. The request for enforcement of an act of a foreign court referring to sequestration or confiscation of means of crime and proceeds of crime or their equivalent shall be sent to the Ministry of Justice of Republic of Bulgaria. If the Convention of the Council of Europe on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime and on Financing of Terrorism is applied, the requests for legal assistance shall be sent and received by the following central authorities: The Supreme Prosecutor`s Office of Cassation of Republic of Bulgaria – for the pre-trial proceedings; The Ministry of Justice – for the court proceedings. The competent authority with regard to alternative measures are: - Under the Law on Recognition, Enforcement and Enacting of Acts for Securing of Assets or Evidence: Sofia City Court; - Under the Law on Sequestration in Favour of the State of Illegally Acquired Assets: the Commission on Sequestration of Illegally Acquired Assets.

* execute/recognise the measure (if other than the receiving authority)

With regard to enforcement of punishment confiscation by virtue of a verdict of a foreign court referring to assets in the Republic of Bulgaria, the request addressed to the Ministry of Justice of Republic of Bulgaria, shall be sent for review to the district court at the location of residence of the person in the Republic of Bulgaria and if the person does not live in Bulgaria Sofia City Court is the competent court to review the request. The request for enforcement of an act of a foreign court imposing sequestration or confiscation of the means of crime and of proceeds of crime or its equivalent, addressed to the Ministry of Justice of Republic of Bulgaria, shall be sent for review to the district court at the location of residence of the person in the Republic of Bulgaria, respectively at the location of the seat and management address of the legal entity in the Republic of Bulgaria and if the person does not live in Bulgaria, respectively the legal entity does not have a seat of business and management address in Bulgaria, Sofia City Court is the competent court to review the request. The competent authorities with regard to the alternative measures are: - Under the Law on Recognition, Enforcement and Enacting of Acts for Securing of Assets or Evidence: Sofia City Court - Under the Law on Sequestration in Favour of the State of Illegally Acquired Assets: the district court at the region of which is the permanent address of the person, in term of up to three months as from the moment of imposing of security measures and when the assets include a real estate the claim shall be filed before the district court at the location of the real estate and when the assets include more than one real estate – at the location of the real estate with the highest tax evaluation.

4. ACCEPTED LANGUAGES

Bulgaria

Accepted languages for the request/decision

The requests and enclosed documents shall be accompanied by translation in Bulgarian language and in case of lack of such translation – by translation in one of the official languages of the Council of Europe. The requests and enclosed documents shall be accompanied by translation in Bulgarian language if application of the European Convention on the International Validity of Criminal Judgements is required. If the application of the Convention of the Council of Europe on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime is required, the requests for legal assistance shall be accompanied by translation in Bulgarian language or in one of the official languages of the Council of Europe, which is especially defined by the Republic of Bulgaria. If the application of the Convention of the Council of Europe on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime and on Financing of Terrorism is required, the requests for legal assistance shall be accompanied by translation in Bulgarian language or in one of the official languages of the Council of Europe.

5. EXECUTION DEADLINE

Bulgaria

Deadlines for the execution of the request/decision (where applicable)

Not applicable.

6. CONCISE LEGAL PRACTICAL INFORMATION

Bulgaria

a. Special requirements

The legal assistance shall be rejected in the cases when: - The perpetrator shall not bear penal liability due to amnesty; - The penal liability became void by prescription; - After performance of the crime the perpetrator suffered long-term mental derangement that excludes mental capacity; - Against the same person for the same crime: a pending penal proceedings is in course, an enforceable verdict is issued, an enforceable decree or ruling on termination of the proceedings is issued. When the European Convention on the International Validity of Criminal Judgements is applied the Republic of Bulgaria reserves the right: a) to refuse enforcement if it considers that the sentence relates to a religious offence; b) to refuse enforcement of a sanction for an act, which according to the Bulgarian legislation shall be punished only by an administrative authority; c) to refuse enforcement of a European criminal judgment which the authorities of the requesting State rendered on a date when, under its own law, the criminal proceedings in respect of the offence punished by the judgment would have been precluded by prescription; d) to refuse the enforcement of sanctions rendered in absentia and ordonnances pénales; e) to refuse the application of the provisions of Article 8 where it has an original competence and to recognise in these cases only the equivalence of acts interrupting or suspending time limitation which have been accomplished in the requesting State.

b. Other useful information

Rendering of assistance or participation of agents from the requesting/issuing state in the course of fulfillment of the measure is not admissible.

Last reviewed on 25 August 2016 by EJN Secretariat

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