Fiches Belges
Measure Implementation
Measure possibility

Legal Framework
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Execute/recognise measure

Accepted Languages

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Fiches Belges: Bulgaria

Hearing experts (708)



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

Method for collecting of evidence, when some circumstances under the criminal proceedings have to be clarified, but for this clarification special knowledge in the field of science, art or technique is necessary a written expert assessment shall be drawn. The using of this method is mandatory when there are doubts about: the cause of death; the character of the bodily injury; the mental capacity of the accused/defendant; the ability of the accused, defendant or witness with regard to their physical or psychic status correctly to perceive facts of significance for the case and to reproduce them when interrogated. There is an alternative measure with the same purpose – if the expert does not appear in the court proceedings and the parties express their consent the opinion of the expert shall be read and accepted.



International legal framework applicable for this measure in your Member State

Art. 144 – art. 154 /Chapter XIV, Section III/, art. 282, paragraph 1 – paragraph 3, art. 474, paragraph 1, sentence 1 of Criminal Procedure Code and art. 4 of the European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters.



* receive the request/decision for judicial cooperation

In fulfilment of requests for legal assistance referring to interrogation of experts the request shall be fulfilled by the court in the court stage of proceedings. In the pre-trial proceedings the assigning and acceptance of expert assessment shall be performed by the prosecutor or the investigation authority by virtue of an order of the prosecutor.

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

ASSIGNING of elaboration of expert assessment: the competent authority shall assign to the expert to elaborate and present in due term under the criminal proceedings an expert assessment relevant to specific objects and tasks and the necessary materials shall be provided to the expert. The expert shall present his/her expert assessment in the defined term. The assignment of elaboration of second or additional expert assessment is possible. HEARING/INTERROGATION of experts: it shall be performed in the court proceedings. After the court reads the expert assessment, he/she shall answer to question of the parties and of the court. Interrogation of an expert who remains outside the territory of the country may be performed through video or telephone conference. The expert shall give his/her consent for interrogation through telephone conference. The measure may be performed in conformity to the procedure of the requesting state by virtue of art. 4, item 1 of the Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters between the Member States of the European Union of 29.05.2000 when this is explicitly requested by the requesting state.



Accepted languages for the request/decision

Bulgarian language or one of the official languages of the Council of Europe. With regard to promptness and efficiency it is recommended the requests/decisions/ to be accompanied by translation in Bulgarian language.



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

Specific deadline is not envisaged. The practice shows that the fulfillment of requests/decisions usually takes between two and four months.



a. Special requirements

The following persons may not be experts: 1. persons with regard to which some of the grounds under art. 29, paragraph 1, items 1 -5 and items 7-8 and paragraph 2 of Criminal Procedure Code exist; 2. witnesses under the case; 3. persons of official or other dependence upon the accused or the defence counsel thereof, upon the victim, the private plaintiff, the civil claimant, the civil respondent or upon their attorneys; 4. persons who have conducted an audit, of which the materials have served as grounds for the institution of investigation; 5. persons who do not possess the required professional competence, if such competence is required. In the above hypotheses the expert shall be obligated to recuse him/herself. The interested persons shall present recuse before the authority that assigned the expert assessment. The expert witness shall be obligated to appear before the respective authority where summonsed and to submit an opinion on the issues of expert assessment. An expert may refuse to submit a conclusion only where the questions asked fall beyond the framework of his/her specialty or where the available materials are not sufficient for him/her to form an informed view on the matters in question. The expert shall submit his/her opinion in pre-trial proceedings within the time limit set by the authority conducting the pre-trial proceedings, whereas during court proceedings - no later than seven days before the date of the court session. The expert shall submit his/her expert assessment in court with copies for the parties. For failure to appear or refusal to submit an opinion without valid reasons, the expert shall be punished by fine of up to BGN five hundred. If the expert indicates valid reasons for his/her failure to appear, the fine shall be withdrawn. Interrogation of an expert who remains outside the country may be performed through video or telephone conference, when this is necessitated by the circumstances under the case. The expert may not be interrogated in the court proceedings if he/she does not appear and the parties agree with that.

b. Other useful information

By virtue of art. 4 of the European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters the participation of officials from the requesting state in the performance of the measure is possible when explicit demand in this regard was made and duly admitted by the requested state and if this does not contradict to main principles of the law of Republic of Bulgaria.

Last reviewed on 25 August 2016 by EJN Secretariat
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