Rule of law and freedom in Bulgaria: - extracts from the Council and Commission statements

Type: -   Reference: 90196   Duration: 00:03:53  Lieu: Strasbourg, France - European Parliament
End production: 06/02/2013   First transmission: 06/02/2013
MEPs debated today on freedom and the rule of law in Bulgaria with the Council and the Commission. The debate focused on the assault on Ahmed Dogan, leader of Bulgaria's Movement for Rights and Freedoms party, who was attacked with a gas pistol on 19 January.

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00:00:00 TITLE : Rule of law and freedom in Bulgaria: - extracts from the Council and Commission statements 00:00:05
00:00:05 EXTERIOR SHOT of the European Parliament, Strasbourg 00:00:05
00:00:10 SOUNDBITE (English) Lucinda CREIGHTON, Council "The Council attaches particular importance to ensure that these values and principles are fully respected and I know that this House fully shares that view. All Member States are required to ensure that their legislation respects the basic values on which he EU is founded. But the rule of law and democratic values are not only to be enshrined in texts, they also have to be put into practice." 00:00:22
00:00:32 SOUNDBITE (English) Connie HEDEGAARD, Commission "While the attack is an internal matter too Bulgaria, it will be essential that the Bulgarian authorities conduct an in depth investigation and bring those responsible to Justice and do so quickly. At the same time the Commission calls on all political forces to demonstrate responsibility and restrain : criminal acts must not be allow to fuel extremist political sentiments; We need responsible political leader-ship that put the rule of law and the interest of the citizens first." 00:00:36
00:01:08 SOUNDBITE (German) Manfred WEBER (EPP, AT) : English translation: "This is domestic issue for Buylgaria, and we can't respond on behalf of them. The election whcih are soon to be held in Bulgaria will decide. We shouldn't be tempted to take on national powers at the European level." 00:00:17
00:01:25 SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Agustin DIAZ de MERA GARCIA CONSUEGRA (EPP, ES) English translation : "I'd like to ask Mister Lopez Aguilar if he knows that Bulgaria condemned the attempt against Mister Ahmed Dogan. The Ministry of Interior came on siçte and the person has now been detained, may have to face 5 to 6 years in prison, do you know that ?" 00:00:19
00:01:44 SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Juan Fernando LOPEZ AGUILAR (ES, S&D) English translation : "Yes, we'll all informed about the consequences but it is still a very serious fundamental question, and it's the principle about the criteria which qualify member states to knock on the EU door, this principle needs to be lived up to through and through and when there are serious events that fly in the face of the democratic process, pluralism and the right of people and the judiciary, this is a situation that can be brought to European Parliament and can be debated here and that's the case and it would be the case if anything as serious happened anywhere else in the EU." 00:00:43
00:02:27 SOUNDBITE (Bulgarian) Dimitar STOYANOV (NI, BG) English translation : "Mister Watson nobody specifically the minister of the Interior never put any pressure on the Bulgarian judiciary to raise charges. In this case, there was no weapon which was an assault weapon, so therefore you can't talk of a crime or of un attempted assassination, this is at least the law in Bulgaria. Would you say that if the attempt was not made at a person who was so much in the public eye, the law should be twisted ?" 00:00:39
00:03:06 SOUNDBITE (English) Graham WATSON (ALDE, UK) "You must know too that the attacker was armed with a gas-pistol, which at the range at which it was fired had it gone off might well have killed, but he was armed also with two knives. That was established immediately after the event. The Prosecutor for Sofia said that the assailer would be charged for murder; That charge was later reduced under request from the Interior Ministry to a charge of hooliganism and death threat. It seems to us that those charges are insufficient for an issue of these nature, involving as it does party representing a community which already feels under attack in your country. 00:00:44
00:03:50 CUTAWAY 00:00:03
00:03:53 END 00:00:00
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