Fiches Belges
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Fiches Belges: Bulgaria

Sequestration of assets (501)



Is this measure possible in your Member State under International Judicial Cooperation?

The application of the measure is possible in the framework of international legal assistance. Sequestration of available assets is one of the punishment envisaged under the Bulgarian Criminal Code. The sequestration is compulsory appropriation without compensation of property in favour of the state, of assets belonging to the convict or of part thereof, of specified pieces of property of the culprit, or of parts of such pieces of property. Sequestration shall not be imposed if the culprit does not have any available assets that may be subject to such punishment. Subject to sequestration may not be the objects needed by the convict and his family for personal and family use, the objects necessary for the exercise of his vocation specified in a list approved by the Council of Ministers, as well as means for support of his family for one year. Notwithstanding of penal liability the following assets shall be sequestrated in favour of the state: - objects belonging to the convict, which were intended or have served for the perpetration of intentional crime; - objects belonging to the culprit, which were subject of intentional crime - in the cases expressly envisaged in the Special Part of the Criminal Code - articles that have been subject or means of the crime, the possession of which is forbidden, and - objects acquired through the crime, if they do not have to be returned or restored. Where the acquired objects are not available or have been disposed of, an equivalent amount shall be adjudged. When there are enough reasons to presume that objects, papers or computer information systems containing information of significance for the case remain in some premises or are in possession of a person search for their finding and seizing is performed. In the pre-trial stage of proceedings search and seizure are performed after permission of a judge from the respective first instance court or of the first instance court in the region of which the action shall be performed upon request of the prosecutor. In cases of emergency, when this is the only opportunity for collection and preservation of evidence, the authorities conducting the pre-trial proceedings may perform search and seizure without permission under the preceding paragraph, but in this case the statement on the performed action shall be immediately presented by the supervising prosecutor to the judge for approval, but not later than 24 hours. In the court proceedings search and seizure shall be performed by virtue of decision of the court that is trying the case. Alternative measure is sequestration of illegally acquired assets from criminal activity under the rules of the Law on Sequestration in Favor of the State of Illegally Acquired Assets. As such shall be considered assets for the acquisition of which a legal source may not be established. When specific separate assets may not be sequestrated their money equivalent, defined according to the market price towards the moment of filing of the claim for sequestration, shall be sequestrated. Such assets include: 1. Personal assets of the inspected person; 2. Assets acquired jointly by the two spouses or by person who live in concubinage; 3. Assets of children who have not reached full legal age; and 4. Assets of the spouse of the inspected person regardless of property relations regime chosen by the spouses; 5. Assets of the person with whom the inspected person lives in concubinage.



International legal framework applicable for this measure in your Member State

Council Framework Decision 2006/783/JHA of 6 October 2006 on the application of the principle of mutual recognition to confiscation orders 2005/212/JHA: Confiscation of Crime-Related Proceeds, Instrumentalities and Property of 24 February 2005



* receive the request/decision for judicial cooperation

Under the pre-trial proceedings – the respective competent prosecutor`s office. Under the court proceedings – the respective competent court.

* execute/recognise the measure (if other than the receiving authority)

Upon request of the prosecutor the respective first instance court sitting in one man panel in a closed session adopts measures for assuring of sequestration under the rules of the Civil Procedure Code. In the court stage of proceedings the court adopts this measure upon request of the prosecutor. In case of termination of criminal proceedings the prosecutor shall rule on sequestration of assets by virtue of art. 53 of Criminal Code and art. 243 and 112 of Criminal Procedure Code.



Accepted languages for the request/decision

Bulgarian and English language.



Deadlines for the execution of the request/decision (where applicable)




a. Special requirements

The sequestration of assets under the pre-trial proceedings shall be performed by the investigating authorities with preliminary permission of the court or with the approval of the court granted in term of 24 hours as from performance of sequestration. When sequestration of certain assets or sequestration of assets by virtue of art. 53 of Criminal Code is imposed by the verdict, the court shall send a copy of the verdict to the National Revenue Agency for fulfilment. The National Revenue Agency shall inform the court in term of seven days for the performed seizure of sequestrated and confiscated of assets.

b. Other useful information

It is possible, when admitted, agents from the requesting state to be present in the course of fulfilment of the request for legal assistance.

Last reviewed on 25 August 2016 by EJN Secretariat
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