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Fiches Belges: Bulgaria

Restitution (503)



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

Criminal Procedure Code envisages the rules for compensation for damages caused to the victim of crime. It also envisages the rules for restitution of seized objects owned by the victim under the pre-trial proceedings. When the seized objects represent also material evidence, they may be returned to their owners from whom they were seized before completion of criminal proceedings by virtue of permission of the prosecutor, only if this would not impede the revealing of objective truth and the objects are not subject to administrative offence. The refusal of the prosecutor to return the objects may be appealed before the court. In case of dispute about the ownership over these objects, which shall be reviewed under the rules of civil law, they shall be kept until the decision of the civil court enters into force. The victim of crime who suffered material or non-material damages is entitled to file a civil claim before the court in order to receive indemnity. The claim may be filed before the criminal court that is trying the criminal proceedings and as a separate claim before the civil court. There is no limitations with regard to the type of crime. The limitation is related to the requirement the damages caused to the victim to be a direct result of the crime. An alternative measure exists under the rules of the Law on Support and Financial Compensation of Victims of Crimes. The field of application of this law is limited to explicitly listed serious intentional crimes, which resulted in causing of death or heavy bodily injury. The second limitation to its field of application is related to the requirement that the crime should be committed on the territory of Bulgaria or if committed abroad the victim should be a Bulgarian citizen. Third limitation – financial compensation shall be received only by victims who are Bulgarian citizens or citizens of EU member-states. The law is applicable with regard to victims who are foreign citizens only if this is envisaged under an international agreement. Financial compensation is limited, its size may be from 250 BGN to 5 000 BGN. The competent authority to review the application of the victim is the National Council on Support and Financial Compensation of Victims of Crimes. The Minister of Justice may file a counter-claim against the perpetrator of the crime or his heirs.



International legal framework applicable for this measure in your Member State

Art.8 of Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters between the Member States of the European Union signed in Brussels on 29 May 2000. Council Directive 2004/80/EC relating to compensation to crime victims.



* receive the request/decision for judicial cooperation

Regional or district prosecutor`s office depending on subject matter jurisdiction of committed crime. The territorial jurisdiction shall be defined on the basis of address of residence of accused persons, if they are Bulgarian citizens. Sofia City Prosecutor`s Office or Regional Prosecutor`s Office – Sofia if the accused persons are foreign citizens. The Specialized Prosecutor`s Office is the crime is committed in the framework of organized criminal grouping. The National Council on Support and Financial Compensation of Victims of Crimes with chairperson the Minister of Justice. The Ministry of Justice for acceptance and processing of requests for financial compensation filed by foreign citizens.

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

The same authority pointed under indent “a”



Accepted languages for the request/decision

The request for legal assistance shall be translated in Bulgarian language. It is also accepted the request to be drafted in English or in French language.



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

The request for legal assistance that contains demand for restitution is not limited by a deadline. The financial compensation shall be granted after entering into force of the verdict, the prosecutor`s or the court act, by virtue of which the criminal proceedings was terminated or suspended.



a. Special requirements

Practically the requests for legal assistance containing demand for restitution are fulfilled as soon as possible. The request for financial compensation shall be drafted under a special form, which the National Council shall provide to the victims.

b. Other useful information

It is advisable the request for legal assistance that contains demand for restitution to be accompanied by a document evidencing ownership over the object, the restitution of which is demanded, if any. If a third person is claiming to have ownership right over the object it is advisable this circumstance to be explicitly indicated in the request together with his/her personal data.

Last reviewed on 25 August 2016 by EJN Secretariat
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