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To what extent did the fall of socialism contribute to the rise in organized crime in Bulgaria during the 1990’s?

Updated on January 4, 2015

Abstract

Crime has surged in the context of transition. Its nature has changed dramatically. There appeared organised crime (illicit trafficking in drugs, weapons, and persons; largescale financial fraud; money laundering, corruption) and terrorism.

The organised criminal world impacts on all spheres of public life the economy and political decision-making alike. At the same time socio-legal controls have lagged behind the growth of crime. Criminal justice is in crisis. The procedure to prosecute offenders is slow and cumbersome. Corrupt pressures on law enforcement are growing. The big bosses of the criminal world remain untouchable for justice.

Source

Table of contents

Introduction.

1. Positive and Negative aspects of the transition towards a market economy and democracy.

1.1. Social changes in result of the fall of socialism.

1.2. The notion of organized crime.

1.3. Causes of organized crime.

2. Characteristics of organized crime during the transition.

2.1. Forms of organized crime.

2.2 Historical stages of organized crime during the transition in Bulgaria.

3. Measures against organized crime.

Conclusion.

Appendix.

Bibliography.

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Introduction

Socialism in Eastern Europe fell during the 1990’s. Eastern European states went from a centralized national economy and single party political rule to a market economy based on privately owned property and democracy. Unfortunately this positive transition gave birth to the following negative consequences: cooperation between government control organs aggravated and, law considerably fell behind the rate of social development. As a result government-law control weakened and organized crime increased. The current essay addresses the negative phenomenon of organized crime.

My research question is:

To what extent did the fall of socialism contribute to the rise in organized crime in Bulgaria during the 1990’s?

This research question is of great significance since the fall of socialism and the phenomenon of organized crime both played a major role in forming the current Bulgarian society. Through investigating how this has occurred more information about previous governments and the type of crime that took place at the time will be revealed.

In order to provide a full and balanced answer to the above stated research question the following three themes (concerning Bulgaria) will be discussed: Positive and Negative aspects of the transition towards a market economy and democracy; Characteristics of organized crime during the transition and Measures against organized crime.

1. Positive and Negative aspects of the transition towards a market economy and democracy

From 1946-1990 the socialist state “The People's Republic of Bulgaria” existed with slightly more moderate policies than other countries in the soviet union, governed for the greatest period of time (33 years) and almost until the very end by Todor Zhivkov. Say what he was like… Due to a general demand for a change of regime by the people Todor Zhivkov stepped down in 1989 and was replaced by the minister of foreign affairs Petar Mladenov who announced on national television on the 11th of December 1989 that the Communist Party had abandoned power. On the 15th of January 1990 the National Assembly officially abolished the Communist Party’s leading role.

National Assembly officially abolished the Communist Party’s leading role. It is this change in government that I wish to focus on, in particular the way in which this change impacted organised crime. [1]

1.1. Social changes in result of the fall of socialism

In order to evaluate the extent to which the fall of socialism led to a rise in crime, it is important to summarise the social changes that were brought about as a result of the change in 1989. The time period referred to as “the transition” in Bulgaria, was right after the fall of socialism in 1989. Bulgarian socialism was characterized with the following features:

1. Property was state owned. There was virtually no private owned property.

2. There was no unemployment. All citizens were socially insured to a great extent.[2]

3. Some basic human rights were limited by the state. There was no freedom of speech/ expression, the media was controlled by the state (headed by the Communist Party). Travel outside the country was greatly restricted.


[1] History of the People's Republic of Bulgaria, http://minaloto.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&catid=26%3Aperiodicals-reviews-and-media&id=337%3Aqhistory-of-the-peoples-republic-of-bulgariaq&Itemid=37&lang=en (accessed 3/11/12)

[2] Лунеев, В. Преступность ХХ века. Мировые, региональные и российские тенденции. Москва, 1997 p.132-p158

Luneev, V. Crime ХХ century World, Regional and Russian tendencies. Moscow 1997, p.132-p158 (Translated from Russian)


The transition that took place in Bulgaria consisted of both economic and political alterations. The most important economic change being that state-owned property became private-owned property. This process underwent two stages:

1. Siphoning of the banks 1993-1996, where a dozen or so individuals took over seven billion German marks.[1]

2. Privatization of state-owned assets 1997-2001, where assets worth 30 billion dollars were privatized, the state receiving only 3 billion dollars.[2]

Overall, despite the various cases of law-breaking, a free- market economy was established.

When it comes to politics the main change was the democratization of social life. The principal of separation of powers was introduced where the legislative, executive and judicial branches came into being. Multiple parties were created. Individual freedom grew and clear citizen rights were defined. Legislation was adapted according to European standards. In particular; judicial control over administrative decisions was introduced,[3] the individual’s right of defence

[1] Съвета за криминологически изследвания при Главния прокурор на Република България. Годишни анализи на състоянието, структурата и динамиката на престъпността в България. (p.5-9)

Council for criminological research with the Prosecutor General of the Republic of Bulgaria, Yearly analysis of the condition, structure and dynamics of crime in Bulgaria p.5-9 (Translated from Bulgarian)

Centre for the study of democracy /CSD/: Tendencies of crime in Bulgaria. Collective. Sofia .2006 p.18-24

[2] Ibid

[3] Лунеев, В. Преступность ХХ века. Мировые, ррегиональные и российские тенденции. Москва, 1997 p.132-p158

Luneev, V. Crime ХХ century World, Regional and Russian tendencies. Moscow 1997, p.132-p158 (Translated from Russian)

grew during the penal process[1] and judicial control over police arrests was introduced.

The transition from a centralized state-run economy and authoritarian political rule to a market economy and democracy is essentially a social revolution. It is characterized by a change of production relations based on public ownership of the means of production. During the transition, public (state and co-operative) ownership in Bulgaria was replaced by private ownership. State assets were privatized, passing into the hands of a small group of people. Society was split into rich and poor.[2] At the time Bulgaria was a multiparty democracy dominated by the Bulgarian Socialist Party, the prime-minister of the time Dimitar Iliev Popov belonged to no particular party.

In the transition period the single state property was parcelled out among a number of physical and legal persons. This has entailed a redistribution of political power among a number of subjects. By virtue of the principle of separation of powers, state power in this country was divided into legislative, executive and judicial (Art. 8 of the Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria). Further down the line, the ruling parties continue to redistribute power among the government

[1] Ibid

[2] Ibid

authorities depending on their temporary interest, by changes in the legislation ([1]see also[2]).

The transition in Bulgaria had a number of positive impacts: more effective management of assets, greater economic initiative, democratization of public and political life and greater personal liberties. Alongside this, there have been some negative aspects of the transition: weakening of public and legal control and proliferation of crime.


[1] Лунеев В. ,Преступность ХХ века. Мировые, ррегиональные и российские тенденции. Москва, 1997. p.26-37

Luneev V., Crime of the ХХ century World, Regional and Russian tendencies. Moscow 1997 (Translated from Russian) p.26-37

[2] Центъра за изследване на демокрацията /СSD/: Тенденции на престъпността в България. Колектив. София. 2006.

Centre for the Study of Democracy /CSD/:Tendencies for crime in Bulgaria. Collective. Sofia. 2006 (Translated from Bulgarian) (http://www.csd.bg/artShow.php?id=15991, 14/04/2012 )

1.2. The notion of organized crime

Organized crime has grown into a most dangerous factor in Bulgarian society. It inflicts enormous damage on the state and on its citizens. In occurs mainly as: illegal produce and contraband of cigarettes, tax fraud, drug trade, illegal human trafficking and prostitution. The total income from illegal actions accumulates to approximately 2 billion euro annually.[1] In the beginning of the 90’s powerful criminal syndicates emerged in Bulgaria called “power groups” such as VIS, SIK, 777 and others.[2] They made mass use of violence, murder and explosives for personal enrichment and the attainment of their criminal goals. The high number of ordered murders in this time period is an indicating factor.

The included graph (appendix 1) portrays the dynamics of the murders during the “transition” in Bulgaria. In the last year of authoritarian rule in Bulgaria (1989), the number of murders was only 188.[3] Only two year from the beginning of the transition the number of murders doubles. Their number is greatest in 1993 and 1994 where a total of 500 annually is

[1] CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF DEMOCRACY Serious and Organised Crime Threat Assessment, (http://www.csd.bg/artShow.php?id=15991, 14/04/2012 )

[2] Центъра за изследване на демокрацията /СSD/: Тенденции на престъпността в България. Колектив. София. 2006.

Centre for the Study of Democracy /CSD/:Tendencies of crime in Bulgaria. Collective. Sofia. 2006 (Translated from Bulgarian) (http://www.csd.bg/artShow.php?id=15991, 14/04/2012

[3] CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF DEMOCRACY Serious and Organised Crime Threat Assessment, (http://www.csd.bg/artShow.php?id=15991, 14/04/2012 )

reached.[1] After the strengthening of government control the number of murders gradually decreases to 282 in 2001.[2] After Bulgaria entered the E.U. in 2007, the number of murders significantly decreased reaching 123 in 2011.[3]

In order to determine the credibility of certain sources and the facts they present two will be evaluated. In the Serious and Organized Crime Threat Assessment (found online) put together by the centre for the study of democracy many statistics are presented. This particular source seems like it is aimed to be as balanced and truthful as possible since it is a government independent organization that was granted permission to collect information. A limitation could be that the source doesn’t portray any form of analysis or explanation of how and such circumstances came into being. Another source the book Organized Crime and Corruption published in Moscow in 2000 is quite valuable to this investigation in the sense that it contains a lot of generalized analysis which grants better understanding of the dynamics of organized crime and its origins in ex-soviet states. A major limitation to this particular source is that it contains very few statistics and most of them aren’t relevant to Bulgaria and its transition in any way. It is worth pointing out that there are many difficulties for historians studying changes in crime between two governments because…


[1] Ibid

[2] Ibid

[3] Ibid

The organized criminal world began influencing the making of political decisions. In such a manner were formed oligarchical business groups which influenced politics. They developed connections with major politicians where they began using corruption instead of violence in order to reach their criminal goals. Violence within the society decreased but there was a significant increase in corruption. The organised criminal world affects all domains of public life, including political decision-making.

Organised crime is a system of criminal offences perpetrated mainly in the areas of business and economy. The main objective of organised offenders is to obtain material benefits. Organised offences are committed by sustainable crime syndicates built to

engage in continued economic operations with the aim of illicit enrichment and typified by a hierarchy and role distribution among their members. In crime the concerted efforts of a group of individuals are much more productive than isolated endeavours ([1]see also[2]).

1.3. Causes of organized crime

Organized crime, like banditry in the past, is the offspring of the modern civilized world of


[1] Колектив, Криминология.. Москва, 1999, стр. 596 – 618

Collective, Criminology. Moscow, 1999, p. 596-618 (Translated from Russian)

[2] Годунов И., Организованная преступность. Москва, 2008, стр. 10 – 85.

Godunov I., Organized Crime, Moscow, 2008, p.10-85

urbanization, technical progress and globalization. However, the main reason for the rampant growth of organized crime in Bulgaria is the change of the system of government or, rather, the weakening of public and legal controls during the transition from centralized state economy and authoritarian political rule to a free market based on private ownership and democracy.

In particular the reasons for the increase in organized crime during the “transition” are:

a) Criminal privatization of state owned property, during which 27 billion dollars[1] were attained by separate private individuals. In order to reach a greater criminal efficiency within their activities they formed various criminal groups. Some still influence Bulgarian society nowadays.

b) The second reason being the weakness of the state and its incapability to control financial, privatization-related, and commercial processes in the country.

c) In third place comes the morale deterioration within the community. In result citizens mass broke the law, and corruption took threatening parameters.[2]


[1] Центъра за изследване на демокрацията /СSD/: Тенденции на престъпността в България. Колектив. София. 2006.

Centre for the Study of Democracy /CSD/:Tendencies of crime in Bulgaria. Collective. Sofia. 2006 (Translated from Bulgarian) (http://www.csd.bg/artShow.php?id=15991, 14/04/2012

[2] Кудрявцев, В.Н., Лунеев, В.В., Наумов, А.В. Организованная преступность и коррупция. Москва, 2000. p.143-172

Kudriacev, V.N., Luneev, V.V., Naumov, A.V. Organized crime and corruption. Moscow 200 p.143-172 (Translated from Russian)

These deductions concerning the “transition” in Bulgaria are based on the actual historical facts. The most significant criminogenic factors being:

a) Bank bankruptcies. Up until the end of 1988, there were only four state-owned banks in Bulgaria. By 1991 the number of banks had grown to 82.[1] The first private banks came into being as well. The central bank of Bulgaria was uncontrollably granting licenses to private banks which functioned mainly due to state capital. Many banks lend insecure credit and therefore went bankrupt. That is how the “credit millionaires” came into being. Most other banks turned out to be simply fraud, where most bankers fled overseas with the money. In such a manner individuals succeeded in syphoning billions of German marks of state money and citizen savings. They established an own oligarchical group G-13. [2]

The fact that such phenomena took place in the banking sphere emphasizes the existence and magnitude of organized crime in Bulgaria at the time.

b) Criminal privatization of state owned property. The privatization in the 90’s occurred under unclear rules and in some cases even without rules. Often state assets were sold at extremely diminished prices from which both the seller and buyer benefited. Privatization turned into a practice of uncontrollable seizing of state property. For example the largest metallurgical plant on the Balkans “Kremikovtci” was sold for 1 dollar. The national airline “Balkan” was sold for 150,000 dollars, while the actual price was a hundred million.[3] The telecommunications company BTK was sold to an offshore company for approximately 200 million euros, when its actual value was over 2 billion.[4] In the same manner were sold over 1,100 assests: metallurgical, machine, chemical, arms and petroleum factories and electrical power

[1] Центъра за изследване на демокрацията /СSD/: Тенденции на престъпността в България. Колектив. София. 2006.

Centre for the Study of Democracy /CSD/:Tendencies of crime in Bulgaria. Collective. Sofia. 2006 (Translated from Bulgarian) (http://www.csd.bg/artShow.php?id=15991, 14/04/2012

[2] М. Мирчев 20 години преход http://www.assa-m.com/npechat01.php (accessed 16/04/12)

M. Mirchev, 20 years transition http://www.assa-m.com/npechat01.php (accessed 16/04/12) (Translated from Bulgarian)

[3] Колектив. Организираната престъпност в България: пазари и тенденции. София, 2007 p.84-117

Collective. Organized crime in Bulgaria: markets and tendencies. Sofia, 2007 p.84-117 (translated from Bulgarian)

[4] Ibid

plants, harbors, airports, tourist complexes etc. The municipal resources that organized criminal groups appropriated in such manner enabled them to expand their criminal horizons and/or work on cleaning their money.

c) In result of the transition the population was impoverished. Only 10% of the Bulgarian population had accounts with over 10,000 euros.[1] The minimal wage nowadays is 148 euros.[2] Bulgaria turned into one of the poorest European countries. The division of poor and rich increased. Such circumstances in some cases have acted as great motivation for people to participate in profitable organized criminal activities. On the other hand such

[1] Ibid

[2] Ibid

circumstances are also proof that organized crime had taken place at a large scale already and had succeeded to either directly or indirectly plunder the people’s purse.

Essentially, the transition towards a market economy is not criminal. Conversely, it is useful and necessary for the public. None the less, the transition in Bulgaria was ill-conceived and was miscarried: no prior strategy existed for its forms and substance or its negative corollaries and the measures to resist them. The state abdicated abruptly and definitely from the management of production (industry and agriculture), without having created conditions for

promoting free enterprise, for the small and medium private businesses. There was no control (production or financial, banking or tax, customs, border or privatisation) adequate to the new realities. The command administrative control exercised by the state was dying out, and no new system of checks and balances consistent with the requirements of the market was there to replace it. Moreover, in a number of areas there was no legal framework for the economic

activity in transition[1]. Therefore it is clear that the fall of socialism led to a direct raise in organized crime in Bulgaria.

As a result of transition unemployment soared, the population sank into poverty and the gap between rich and poor

[1] Кудрявцев, В., Лунеев, В., Наумов, А. Организованная преступность и коррупция. Москва, 2000, стр. 49 – 79.

Kudriacev V., Luneev V., Naumov A., Organized crime and corruption. Moscow, 2000, p. 49-79

deepened. Criminal and other offences (primarily illicit profit-making) became widespread.

2. Characteristics of organized crime during the transition

2.1. Forms of organized crime

In order to assess the extent to which organised crime rose in this period, it is important to identify the forms of organised crime that occurred. Organised crime may be divided conditionally into economic (“white-collar”)

crime and violent (“street”) crime. On the one hand, organised crime may involve grievous offences against the person, such as murder, racketeering, robberies, bodily harm. On the other hand, it tends to develop primarily in the economy. Criminological data for the period of transition in Bulgaria suggest that the organised criminal world has been involved in the following major occupations: smuggling (illicit cross-border trafficking in narcotic drugs, arms, oil, cigarettes, etc.); channels for cross-border transfers of persons; illegal privatisation of state assets (tourist sites, banks, weaponry factories, telecommunications or energy supply facilities, etc.); large-scale financial fraud; prostitution; gambling; theft and robbery of motor vehicles and high-way robberies; extortion in the form of “agreements” for security services or insurance (or forcing

lower purchase prices for agricultural produce); money laundering, etc.[1]

The criminal groups in Bulgaria were established mainly by ex-sportsmen, ex-policemen and members of the special forces. These groups gathered capital through illegal methods and with the “dirty” money corrupted politicians and others in government posts. From open violence they moved on to forced security activities. Afterwards they began establishing forced insurance companies. Finally once they had “cleaned” their money, the new “business companies” began getting involved in legal commerce i.e. trade, energetics, banking etc.[2]

2.2 Historical stages of organized crime during the transition in Bulgaria.

It is important to follow the changes in crime that took place throughout the 1990’s in order to determine the extent to which the fall of socialism caused a raise in organized crime. The transition in Bulgaria was accompanied by several waves of economic crime.


[1] Centre for the Study of Democracy Organised Crime Threat Assessment. (http://www.csd.bg/artShow.php?id=15991, 14/04/2012 )

[2] Колектив. Организираната престъпност в България: пазари и тенденции. София, 2007 p.84-117

Collective. Organized crime in Bulgaria: markets and tendencies. Sofia, 2007 p.84-117 (translated from Bulgarian)

Firstly, by violating the UN imposed embargo on Yugoslavia, or, rather, by illicit cross-border sales of oil (1993-1994) newly hatched criminal groups (assisted by Interior Ministry personnel) made huge profits.

Secondly the bank drainages. Some government steps prior to 1996, notably scores of bank authorizations (the so called „bank boom”), enabled a close circle of people to embezzle vast state funds by fraud and abuse of office in the banking sphere. This led to a concentration

of money masses in the hands of a small number of people. A few dozens of individuals embezzled nearly seven billion DM[1]. The draining of finances from the state amounted to an under-the-counter privatization of Bulgaria's financial capital. This was a precondition for

the next step − the privatisation of material assets, of state property. The state appeared to have laid itself the financial foundations of organised crime right at the outset of economic reforms.

Thirdly a wave of economic crime concurred with the privatization of state assets that started in 1997. Unfettered

[1] ведомственото издание на Съвета за криминологически изследвания при Главния прокурор на България: Годишни анализи на състоянието, структурата и динамиката на престъпността в България.

Administrative issue of the council for criminological investigations by the General Prosecutor of Bulgaria: Yearly analysis of the condition, structure and dynamics of crime in Bulgaria. (translated from Bulgarian)

privatization created fertile soil for the organized criminal world. The transfer of public property into private hands took place in the context of a severe depreciation of the state assets that were up for privatisation. Between 1997 and 2001 state assets worth USD 20 billion were privatised while the state only obtained two billion dollars in revenue[1]. Public enterprises fell into the hands of self-styled nouveaux riches unable to manage them properly. The initial privatization thus failed to bring about the longed-for efficient asset management. The reason for all this was the lack of adequate control on privatisation. Even worse, privatisation rules were occasionally transgressed by design to derive illicit profits. In 2002 alone, 1577 criminal cases were instituted for privatisation-related official malfeasance.[2] The fourth wave of economic crime occurred in the form of fraud and with financial means provided by the European commission. To combat such fraud the organization OLAF was established during 1999.[3] Therefore, it is clear that organised crime in this period both developed and increased.


[1] ведомственото издание на Съвета за криминологически изследвания при Главния прокурор на България: Годишни анализи на състоянието, структурата и динамиката на престъпността в България. 2001-2002

Administrative issue of the council for criminological investigations by the General Prosecutor of Bulgaria: Yearly analysis of the condition, structure and dynamics of crime in Bulgaria. 2001-2002 (translated from Bulgarian)

[2]Главния прокурор на Република България, Годишен доклад на Главния прокурор на Република България за 2 002 г. p.4-11

Prosecutor General of the republic of Bulgaria, Yearly report of the Prosecutor General of the Republic of Bulgaria year 2002 p.4-11 (translated from Bulgarian)

[3]OLAF http://ec.europa.eu/anti_fraud/policy/preventing-fraud/index_en.htm (accessed 19/04/12)

Corruption is an essential attribute of organised crime. It has acquired large proportions. Latent (unregistered) corruption saw a particular boost. Organised crime, that is, the coalescence of government bodies and the criminal world, emerges when criminals realise that the state machinery needs resources to operate (and repays with impunity). Corruption is the language whereby the organised criminal world talks to the government authorities. The system of law enforcement is infused with corruption and lacks the required efficiency. Society, on the other hand, is short of efficient supervisory instruments to police its watchdogs – the executive bodies and law enforcement.

According to data gathered through the non-government organization, the “Centre for the Study of Democracy” on average organized crime in Bulgaria generates a profit of approximately 2 billion euro.[1] The number of individuals who actively participate in criminal organizations fluctuates between 4000 and 5000.[2] During the nineties the so called “power groups” carried out a large number of murders of members of the criminal underworld. Statistical data shows a decrease in violence over time (Appendix 1). Nevertheless corruption is in the raise as an instrument of influence over judicial and administrative institutions.

Graph[3].

3. Measures against organized crime

Organised crime is a complex social phenomenon engendered by the interplay of a number of factors: economic, socio-political, criminological, and legal.

Organised crime often goes beyond state borders. In recent years the organised criminal world has taken a course of an all-out confrontation with the international community. Illicit

[1] Колектив. Организираната престъпност в България: пазари и тенденции. София, 2007 p.84-117

Collective. Organized crime in Bulgaria: markets and tendencies. Sofia, 2007 p.84-117 (translated from Bulgarian)

[2] Главния прокурор на Република България, Годишен доклад на Главния прокурор на Република България за 2 002 г. p.4-11

Prosecutor General of the republic of Bulgaria, Yearly report of the Prosecutor General of the Republic of Bulgaria year 2002 p.4-11 (translated from Bulgarian)

[3] See Apendix 1 CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF DEMOCRACY Serious and Organised Crime Threat Assessment, (http://www.csd.bg/artShow.php?id=15991, 14/04/2012 )

drugs trafficking is the main criminal “business”. It brings the underworld billions-of-dollars-worth of dirty money. Today, domestic criminal groups combine into powerful international

syndicates. They make enormous profit on drugs trafficking and perpetually refuel organised crime and terrorism. The criminal world thus devastates people’s lives. The international community is therefore pressed to give a concerted response to organised crime and terrorism.

Most of the forms of organised criminal activity and terrorism are covered by the Criminal Code of Bulgaria.

Organised criminal activity and terrorism are usually pursued by a group of individuals covertly, in a conspiracy. Their

investigation should therefore be covert in order to match the substance and forms of the relevant criminal acts. Hence, the investigation of organised crime and terrorism entails the employment of technical devices for personal control (wiretapping, surveillance, etc.); undercover agents should be infiltrated in criminal groups; bank secrecy

should be lifted more easily; incentive rules should be created on informants; the law enforcement community should step up its interagency information exchange, etc.

Consequently, the legal measures to combat organised crime and terrorism belong primarily to the realm of criminal procedure and involve among other things the employment of special investigative techniques (known as “electronic surveillance”) to ensure evidence gathering in the process of criminal justice; the use of agents-provocateurs who are not held liable for their involvement in crime; the protection of witnesses at threat; tighter control on the circulation of “dirty money”; the freezing and upfront forfeiture of criminal assets; the

introduction of special, fast-track investigation procedures for organized crime and terrorism, etc.[1],[2]

c. Any stronger control over crime entails some restrictions on individual human rights. The lawmaker thus faces two

[1] Годунов, И. Организованная преступность, стр. 168 – 238

Godunov I. , Organized crime, p. 168-238

[2] CSD Justice sector institutional Indicators for criminal case Management,. (http://www.csd.bg 14/04/2012 )

discordant requirements: to develop efficient means to suppress organised crime and terrorism while avoiding encroachments upon human rights.

The legislative temptation to enact stringent measures taints the operation of other government bodies down the line – those called upon to enforce the laws. In the combat against organised crime and terrorism, they are tempted in turn to abuse their power in the name of public interests. Almost any of the above measures against organized crime and terrorism is open to misuse. Human rights may be unduly transgressed by surveillance, wiretapping and recording; by arrest and protracted detention to extort a confession; by disclosing the sources of personal income or forfeiting private assets without sufficient evidence of involvement in crime; or by opening secret personal files without any control, etc.

The above said is confirmed by various cases of the violation of human rights throughout the transition. In 2000 the prosecution conducted a check on how MVR (Ministry of Internal affairs) conducts the tapping of citizen phone calls.[1] It was concluded that in the course of just one year MVR wiretapped 10,000 individuals, formally with a legal reason.[2] Only 3% of these cases were presented to the prosecution.[3] Only in a 100 cases, 1% the persecution decided that the

[1] Главния прокурор на Република България, Годишен доклад на Главния прокурор на Република България за 2 000 г. p. 32-38

Prosecutor General of the republic of Bulgaria, Yearly report of the Prosecutor General of the Republic of Bulgaria year 2000 p.32-38 (translated from Bulgarian)

[2] Ibid

[3] Ibid

information gathered can be used as evidence for a committed crime and has presented materials from the wiretapping to court.[1] The other 9,900 cases are a violation of the individual’s right of privacy in their personal life.[2]

Research conducted by the European court on human rights shows that Bulgaria is on second place for violating the human rights code – mostly the right of freedom and the right of a fair court trial.[3]

The efforts to crack down on organized crime and corruption therefore always threaten the creation of uncontrolled bodies that wield unlimited power. Internationally, this danger is becoming even greater.

Conclusion

By way of conclusion: crime has surged in the context of transition. Its nature has changed dramatically. There appeared organised crime (illicit trafficking in drugs, weapons, and persons; largescale financial fraud; money laundering, corruption) and terrorism.

The organised criminal world impacts on all spheres of public life the economy and political decision-making alike. At the same time socio-legal controls have lagged behind the growth

[1] Ibid

[2] Ibid

[3] България в челото по нарушаване на човешките права в съда http://www.dnes.bg/politika/2012/10/10/bylgariia-v-cheloto-po-narushavane-na-choveshkite-prava-v-syda.170199 (accessed 27/10/12)

Bulgaria leading in breaking the human rights code in court, http://www.dnes.bg/politika/2012/10/10/bylgariia-v-cheloto-po-narushavane-na-choveshkite-prava-v-syda.170199 (accessed 27/10/12) (translated from Bulgarian)

of crime. Criminal justice is in crisis. The procedure to prosecute offenders is slow and cumbersome. Corrupt pressures on law enforcement are growing. The big bosses of the criminal world remain untouchable for justice.


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