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Bulgarian Magistrates Scorn 'Most Corrupt' Colleague.

The Ethics Commission at the Regional Court in the Danube City of Ruse, had officially censured judge Petar Balkov.

The information was announced by the Chair of the Court, Darinka Aleksieva. The copy of her order and documentation on the case will be sent to the Supreme Judicial Council (VSS).

Judges, involved in unethical behavior, can be sanctioned with reprimand, censure, demotion and salary reduction to the most serious - dismissal from the judicial system.

VSS must confirm or reject the decision of the Ruse Court within a month.

Last Friday, a video clip released on the Internet, showing the Ruse district judge drunk in a night club, spurred a public scandal.

The 2-minute video in question (available HERE) was filmed in the public restroom in the Moulin Rouge club in the city, where the judge celebrated April 16, which is the professional lawyers' day in Bulgaria. It shows Balkov talking to one of club's guards.

"And who am I? Read the Press! I am the most corruptible judge in Bulgaria," the wasted magistrate says in the video, apparently, shot without his knowledge.

Balkov has confirmed that he is the man in the video, but said that it is aimed at hurting his image. The video was uploaded on the Bulgarian video sharing website in April, with a comment reading "The Ruse District Judge Petar Balkov drunk, ruining the authority of the judiciary! How is Tsvetan Tsvetanov (i.e. the Interior Minister) going to comment on that, or why doesn't he ask the American Ambassador for a comment?"
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Publication:Sofia News Agency
Date:Jun 8, 2010
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