Bulgarian President Rumen Radev has dismissed the country’s chief prosecutor amid public anger over his inability to fight high-level corruption.
Radev signed a decree dismissing Ivan Geshev from his post after the Supreme Judicial Council voted earlier this week to dismiss him for “undermining the prestige of the judiciary”.
The decision refers to his remarks during a press conference demanding the removal of “political garbage” from parliament. AP reported this.
Geshev, 52, halfway through his seven-year term, had broad powers to oversee the work of all prosecutors. But since his appointment, he has faced protests from people who accused him of protecting corrupt politicians and businessmen instead of bringing them to justice.
His appointment in 2019, when he was the only candidate for the post, was seen as the result of political support from the then-ruling GERB party. His dismissal followed an agreement between GERB and its main political rival, the reformist party “We Continue to Change”, which had vehemently opposed Geshev’s actions.
Geshev became the first prosecutor general in Bulgaria’s post-communist history to be officially dismissed from an influential position, and some analysts consider this a success for civil society.
Last December, US House of Representatives member Warren Davidson, a Republican, called on the US Treasury Department to take action against Bulgaria’s prosecutor general for “corrupt practices” that threaten “the stability and security of NATO allies in Europe”.
The situation escalated against the backdrop of the formation of a new, pro-European government in Bulgaria, after which Geshev began to disclose unknown details of high-profile cases publicly.
The most illustrative case was the so-called Barcelonagate, an investigation launched against the long-time prime minister and leader of the GERB party, Boyko Borissov, in connection with his real estate in Barcelona.