Fiches Belges
Measure Implementation
Measure possibility

Legal Framework
Applicable Framework

Competent authority
Request/decision
Execute/recognise measure

Accepted Languages
Languages

Execution Deadline
Deadlines

Legal info
Special requirements
Other information

Fiches Belges: Bulgaria

Vizită şi percheziţia locului unde infracţiunea a fost comisă (602)

1. MEASURE IMPLEMENTATION

Bulgaria

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

The inquest as well as the search and seizure are two different methods for collecting of evidence. The inquest is a method for collecting and verification of evidential materials that represents survey of places, premises, objects and persons for the purpose of revealing, direct review and preservation of traces of crime and other data necessary for clarification of facts of the case. Search and seizure is a method for collecting and verification of evidence that represents view and survey of places and premises for the purpose of finding and seizing of hidden papers, objects or computer information systems, which are of significance for the case. These two methods for collecting of evidence are used in both stages of criminal proceedings /pre-trial and court stage/. Application of the measure in the framework of the international legal assistance is possible including when a joint investigation team is formed by the requesting and requested state. According to art. 476, paragraph 3 of Criminal Procedure Code, the Supreme Prosecutor`s Office of Cassation is competent to form such a team and with regard to its operations, term and participants a separate agreement shall be signed. There is no alternative measure to the inquest of the crime scene. Yes, there is an alternative measure to the search and seizure – voluntary provision, when the person provides to the court or to the authorities conducting the pre-trial proceedings the objects, papers or computer information systems in his/her possession.

2. LEGAL FRAMEWORK

Bulgaria

International legal framework applicable for this measure in your Member State

Art. 19 of the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime Art. 4 of the European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Art. 13 of 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

3. COMPETENT AUTHORITY TO:

Bulgaria

* receive the request/decision for judicial cooperation

The Supreme Prosecutor`s Office of Cassation is a central authority – for the requests for legal assistance in the pre-trial proceedings as well as the competent prosecutor`s office in conformity to the rules of subject matter and territorial jurisdiction under art. 35-37 of Criminal Procedure Code. The Ministry of Justice - for the requests for legal assistance in the court proceedings.

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

When requests for legal assistance are fulfilled in the court stage of proceedings inquest, search and seizure shall be performed by the court. In the pre-trial stage of proceedings these actions are performed by a prosecutor or by investigating authority upon an order of the prosecutor. When the action does not require immediate performance the prosecutor shall file a request before the first instance court for permission of the search and seizure. In case of emergency the action is performed immediately. In this case in term of not more than 24 hours after completion of the search and seizure the prosecutor shall file a motivated request before the first instance court for approval of this investigative action.

4. ACCEPTED LANGUAGES

Bulgaria

Accepted languages for the request/decision

Bulgarian language or one of the official languages of the Council of Europe /for requests for legal assistance under Convention 2000/ [sic!].

5. EXECUTION DEADLINE

Bulgaria

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

No explicit deadline is envisaged under the law.

6. CONCISE LEGAL PRACTICAL INFORMATION

Bulgaria

a. Special requirements

Inquest of a crime scene Measure to prevent the destruction of the traces of crime shall be taken until the performance of the inquest by preservation of the crime scene. The inquest shall be performed in the presence of witnesses of inquest, except in cases when it is performed in a court session. The witnesses of inquest shall be citizens selected by the authority that performs the action among persons, which do not have other procedural quality and are not interested in the result of the case. When necessary the inquest shall be performed in the presence of an expert or a specialist – technical assistant. The inquest shall be performed at day time, except in case of emergency. First the inquest is performed by viewing of the scene as it is and after that the necessary displacements are made. Often inquest of separate types of discovered material evidence is performed together with the general inquest of the crime scene. The results of the inquest shall be recorded in a statement and the necessary material evidentiary materials shall be elaborated. The statement shall be drawn on the spot where the inquest is performed, it shall be signed by the authority that performed the action, the witnesses of inquest and the expert and the specialist – technical assistant /if such were present/. Search and seizure When there are enough reasons to presume that objects, papers or computer information systems containing information of significance for the case remain in some premises or are in possession of a person search for their finding and seizing is performed. Search may be performed with the aim to find a person or a dead body. In the pre-trial stage of proceedings search and seizure are performed after permission of a judge from the respective first instance court or of the first instance court in the region of which the action shall be performed upon request of the prosecutor. In cases of emergency, when this is the only opportunity for collection and preservation of evidence, the action may be performed without permission, but in this case immediately, not later than 24 hours the prosecutor shall present to the judge for approval the statement for the performed investigative action. Search and seizure shall be performed in the presence of witnesses of search and the person who uses the premises or an adult member of the family. When the person who uses the premises or an adult member of the family may not be present, the search and seizure shall be performed in the presence of the house manager or a representative of the municipality or the mayor`s office. Search and seizure of premises used by state or municipal authorities shall be performed in the presence of a representative of the authority. Search and seizure of premises used by a legal entity shall be performed in the presence of a representative of that entity. When a representative of the legal entity may not be present, the search and seizure shall be performed in the presence of a representative of the municipality or the mayor`s office. Search and seizure of premises used by foreign state representation offices of international organizations and in the homes of their employees who enjoy immunity from the penal jurisdiction of the Republic of Bulgaria shall be performed with the consent of the head of representation office and in the presence of a prosecutor or a representative of the Ministry of Interior. When search and seizure are related to computer information systems and software products the actions shall be performed in the presence of a specialist – technical assistant. Search and seizure shall be performed at day time, except in case of emergency. In case of emergency the actions may be performed at any time during day and night. Before the beginning of search and seizure the respective authority shall present the permission for these actions and to ask the searched objects, papers and computer information systems, which contain computer data to be provided. The authority that performs the search has the right to forbid to the persons present to get in contact with other persons or among themselves and to leave the premises until the search is completed. Actions that are not relevant to the purpose of the search and seizure may not be performed together with the search. Premises and storehouses may be opened compulsively only in cases when their opening is refused and causing of unnecessary damages shall be avoided. When in the course of search and seizure details of personal life of citizens become known, the necessary measures shall be taken these details not to be announced. The seized searched objects, papers and computer information systems, which contain computer data shall be presented to the witnesses of search and the other persons present. When necessary they shall be packed and sealed on the place of seizure. The results of the search and seizure shall be recorded in a statement and the necessary material evidentiary materials shall be elaborated.

b. Other useful information

With regard to a request for legal assistance under Convention 2000, the Republic of Bulgaria has presented reserves – it will refuse the fulfillment of foreign requests when they refer to an actions, which does not constitute a crime under the Bulgarian Criminal Code and when against the same person for the same crime criminal proceedings is pending, a verdict has entered into force, a decree or a ruling on termination of the case have entered into force.

Last reviewed on 25 august 2016 by Secretariatul RJE

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