UPDATE 14.12: Bulgarian judges have again postponed a decision on the extradition of Elena Udrea. The judges requested several documents from Udrea’s trial in Bucharest.
At the Sofia Court of Appeal, Udrea’s lawyers filed “a series of complaints and documents, based on which it was argued that her extradition should not take place, as her right to a fair trial had been violated in Romania.” According to Udrea’s defense, one of the Romanian judges ruled in her case, without taking the oath as a judge “, announced the spokesperson of the Court of Appeal from Sofia.
The lawyers of the former dignitary also claimed before the court that by a decision of the Romanian Constitutional Court, the sentence received by Udrea was annulled. “However, the Romanian authorities are pushing for her extradition, and in the meantime she has received a number of threats,” the defense argued. “Meanwhile, a few days ago, a court in Bucharest postponed a case in which it must decide to annul the conviction or retrial, and the future examination of this issue also aims at its extradition,” said Elena Udrea’s lawyer.
Bulgarian judges emphasized that, by virtue of a decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union based in Luxembourg, they were obliged to verify the detainee’s allegations and defense, as this was a violation of the right to a fair trial. In this regard, the Bulgarian court formally requested from the Romanian side all documents related to the Udrea case. Depending on when they receive these documents, the court in Sofia will decide on June 1 or 8 whether to accept the extradition request, said a spokesman for the Sofia Court of Appeal.
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According to Bulgarian law, when the European arrest warrant cannot be executed within 60 days, “the court will immediately notify the issuing body of this, stating the reasons for the delay. In that case, the time limits shall be extended by a further 30 days. If the procedure is not completed within 90 days of the person being detained by the police, the court shall immediately notify Eurojust of the delay, giving reasons. ”
Eurojust is the European Union Agency for Cooperation in Criminal Justice.
In the case of Elena Udrea, the 60-day deadline expires on June 6.
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UPDATE time 13.40: Bulgarian judges withdrew to deliberate after Elena Udrea’s lawyers filed a new request to postpone the trial. The defense invokes the need to translate documents issued by the Romanian authorities, but also the cassation appeal with which Udrea challenged the conviction in the “Gala Bute Case” and which is still being tried in the High Court.
At the last term, on Monday, Udrea refused to be present by videoconference, from Bulgaria, at the cassation appeal process.
On Wednesday, May 18, the Sofia Court of Appeal will decide whether or not to admit Elena Udrea’s appeal, after judges in Blagoevgrad decided to execute the European arrest warrant issued in her name.
At Blagoevgrad, Udrea asked not to be sent to Romania and invoked the conditions in our penitentiaries. She also tried to obtain leniency from Bulgarian judges, saying that she had rented a house in the border town, but also that she had applied for asylum in Greece. However, the magistrates of Blagoevgrad rejected all his arguments.
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Initially, at the Sofia Court of Appeal, the trial was scheduled for April 29, but at the request of Elena Udrea’s lawyers, who said they could not arrive then, it was postponed to May 10. But nothing has been decided yet. One of the Bulgarian defenders of the former dignitary could not reach the courtroom due to an incident in which he suffered a head injury. The judges then set a new deadline, May 18.
Under Bulgarian law, the Sofia Court of Appeal has to resolve the implementation of the European arrest warrant issued on behalf of Elena Udrea within 60 days of her detention, which expires on 6 June.
If the magistrates from Sofia reject his appeal today, Udrea will be sent to Romania and will reach the Târgşor Penitentiary, in order to execute the sentence of 6 years of imprisonment that remained final in the Gala Bute case.
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