Fiches Belges
Measure Implementation
Measure possibility

Legal Framework
Applicable Framework

Competent authority
Execute/recognise measure

Accepted Languages

Execution Deadline

Legal info
Special requirements
Other information

Fiches Belges: Bulgaria

Cross-border observation (801)



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

The measure cross-border observation is possible by virtue of an international agreement /bilateral or multilateral/, to which the Republic of Bulgaria is a party. The measure represents an operative method /special means of intelligence/, which the Bulgarian authorities may use with regard to investigation of serious intentional crimes, explicitly envisaged under the Criminal Procedure Code when the respective circumstances may not be established by other means or their establishment is extremely difficult /art. 172 and the following of Criminal Procedure Code/. The internal legal regulation relevant to the scope and application of the measure is envisaged under ar. 476 of Criminal Procedure Code and the Law on Special Means of Intelligence.



International legal framework applicable for this measure in your Member State

Second Additional Protocol to European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters of 1959 – art. 17 as well as other international agreements /bilateral or multilateral/, to which the Republic of Bulgaria is a party.



* receive the request/decision for judicial cooperation

According to the Bulgarian legislation The Supreme Prosecutor`s Office of Cassation shall send requests for cross-border observation to other states and shall rule on such requests of other states /art. 476, paragraph 4 of Criminal Procedure Code/.

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

See item 6 /а/ below.



Accepted languages for the request/decision

The request and enclosed documents shall be accompanied by translation in Bulgarian language and in case of lack of such translation – by translation in one of the official languages of the Council of Europe. However with regard to the character of the measure and the prompt fulfilment of the request it is recommended the request to be accompanies by translation in Bulgarian language.



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

Court permission is issued for a term of 60 days and it may be prolonged with another 120 days in exceptional cases.



a. Special requirements

As an operative method the cross-border observation may be used for prevention and investigation of crimes explicitly envisaged under the international agreement, by virtue of which the application of measure us permitted. After receiving of a request for legal assistance from a foreign state that contains demand for prolongation of cross-border observation from the territory of other state in the territory of Republic of Bulgaria by officials of the requesting state, the Supreme Prosecutor`s Office of Cassation shall rule on the request and if it admits the fulfilment of request it shall send a motivated request for issuing of permission to the Chairperson of Sofia City Court or to a deputy chairperson authorized by him. The request shall contain: 1. Information about the crime for investigation of which the performance of cross-border observation is necessary; 2. Data about the persons who will be subject to cross-border observation; 3. Which officials will perform the cross-border observation; 4. Conditions, under which the cross-border observation will be performed; 5. The term for performance of the cross-border observation. The Chairperson of Sofia City Court or to a deputy chairperson authorized by him shall immediately issue a written permission for performance of cross-border observation or shall refuse to issue such permission by a motivated refusal. The permission shall be send via the Supreme Prosecutor`s Office of Cassation to the competent authorities of the requesting state, of which the competent Bulgarian authorities shall be informed.

b. Other useful information

When performing cross-border observation in conformity to the Bulgarian laws the officials of the competent authorities of the foreign state shall be obliged: 1. To observe the legislation of Republic of Bulgaria; 2. To follow the instructions of the competent Bulgarian authorities; 3. To present a document evidencing that the respective permission is issued, except of cases of urgent cross-border observation; 4. To be able at any moment to prove that they act in capacity of officials. At application of the special means of intelligence the entrance in homes and in places, which are not publicly accessible is not admitted. The officials who perform the observation are not entitled to detain the person under observation. Officials of the competent authorities of the foreign state shall elaborate a report on their actions performed on the territory of Bulgaria immediately after completion of these actions. The report shall be sent to the Supreme Prosecutor`s Office of Cassation, which shall present it to the Chairperson of Sofia City Court or to a deputy chairperson authorized by him who issued the permission for performance of the actions and he may require the respective officials to appear in person. Authorities conducting the pre-trial proceedings and the court may require the competent authorities of the foreign state, whose officials performed actions relevant to application of special means of intelligence on the territory of Republic of Bulgaria, to render assistance in criminal proceedings, when such proceedings is initiated as a result of the actions performed with their participation. The provisions of an agreement on protection and exchange of classified information, if such is signed between Republic of Bulgaria and the respective foreign state or international organization, shall be observed.

Last reviewed on 25 August 2016 by EJN Secretariat
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