BULGARIA - PENAL PROCEDURE CODE
Part one. GENERAL RULES
Chapter one. TASKS AND LIMITS OF EFFECT
Art 2. (2) The Penal Procedure Code shall also apply in the cases of performing court orders of another country, placed by virtue of an agreement or under the terms of reciprocity.
BULGARIA - PENAL PROCEDURE CODE
Part two. EVIDENCING
Chapter thirty six. PROCEDURES IN CONNECTION WITH INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION ON PENAL CASES
Section III. International Legal Assistance in Penal Cases
International Legal Assistance in Penal Cases
Art. 471. (1) International legal assistance in penal cases of another state shall be rendered on the terms of a concluded international treaty to which the Republic of Bulgaria is a party, or on the principle of mutuality. International legal assistance in penal cases shall also be rendered to an international court of justice whose jurisdiction has been recognised by the Republic of Bulgaria.
(2) The international legal assistance shall include:
1. submission of documents;
2. investigation actions;
3. collection of evidence;
4. providing information;
5. other forms of legal assistance if they are stipulated in an international treaty to which the Republic
of Bulgaria is a party, or are imposed on the terms of mutuality .
Art. 472. The international legal assistance may be refused if the granting of the request could endanger the sovereignty, national security, public order or other interests protected by law.
Art. 473. (1) The appearance of a witness and an expert before foreign court authorities shall only be allowed if assurance is given that the summoned persons, irrespective of their citizenship, would not bear criminal liability for acts committed prior to summoning them. In the event of a refusal to appear, no coercive measures may be applied to them.
(2) Turning over persons detained in custody, in order to be interrogated as witnesses or experts, shall only be allowed in exceptional cases at the discretion of the respective district court on the grounds of papers submitted by the other state or the international court of justice, provided that the person gives his/her consent for being turned over and provided that his/her stay in the other state will not extend the term of his/her detention in custody .
Art. 474. (1) A court authority of another state may carry out through a video conference or a telephone conference the interrogation of a person who is a witness or an expert in penal procedure and is in the Republic of Bulgaria, when this is stipulated in an international treaty to which the Republic of Bulgaria is a party. An interrogation through video conference with the participation of a defendant may only be carried out with his/her consent and after the participating Bulgarian court authorities and the court authorities of the other state have agreed on the manner of holding the video conference. An interrogation through video conference or telephone conference may only be carried out if this does not contradict basic principles of the Bulgarian law.
(2) The request for interrogation from the court authority of the other state shall contain:
1. the reason for which the appearance of the person himself/herself is undesirable or impossible;
2. the name of the court authority of the other state;
3. the data of the persons who will carry out the interrogation;
4. the consent of the person who will be interrogated as a witness or an expert through a telephone conference;
5. the consent of the defendant who will participate in a hearing for interrogation through a video conference.
(3) The Bulgarian competent authorities in penal procedure shall execute requests for interrogation through video conference or telephone conference. For the needs of a pre-trial procedure, a request for interrogation through video conference or telephone conference shall be executed by the National Investigation Service. For the needs of a court procedure, a request for interrogation through telephone conference shall be executed by a court of equal degree at the place of residence of the person, and for interrogation through video conference – by the court of appeal at the place of residence of the person. The competent Bulgarian authority may require the requesting state to ensure the technical means of interrogation.
(4) The interrogation shall be held directly by the court authority of the requesting state or under its direction in accordance with its legislation.
(5) Prior to the interrogation, the Bulgarian competent authority shall establish the identity of the person who is to be interrogated. After the interrogation, a protocol shall be drawn up, reflecting:
1. the date and place of holding it;
2. the data of the interrogated person and his/her consent, should this be required;
3. the data of the persons participating from the Bulgarian side;
4. the fulfillment of other terms accepted by the Bulgarian side.
(6) A person who is abroad may be interrogated by a competent Bulgarian authority or under its direction through video conference or telephone conference, when the legislation of the other state allows this. The interrogation shall be carried out in accordance with the Bulgarian legislation and the provisions of the international treaties to which the Republic of Bulgaria is a party, regulating the said means of interrogation.
(7) Interrogation through video conference or telephone conference under Para 6 in the pre-trial procedure shall be carried out by an investigator from the National Investigation Service, and in the court procedure – by the court.
(8) The provisions of Paras 1 - 5 shall also be applied respectively to the interrogation of the persons under Para 6.
Art. 475. (1) The order for international legal assistance shall contain data of: the authority addressing it; the subject and motive of the request; the names and citizenship of the person to whom the request refers; the name and address of the person to whom the papers are to be handed over; if necessary – the indictment and a brief statement of the its facts.
(2) The order for international legal assistance shall be sent to the Ministry of Justice unless an international treaty to which Bulgaria is a party stipulates another procedure.
Art. 476. (1) The order for international legal assistance shall be executed under the procedure stipulated in the Bulgarian laws, or under a procedure stipulated in an international treaty to which the Republic of Bulgaria is a party. The order may also be executed under the procedure stipulated in the law of the other state or the statutes of the international court of justice, provided that this has been requested and does not contradict the Bulgarian laws. The other state or the international court of justice shall be informed about the time and place of execution of the order, if this is requested.
(2) The request for legal assistance and all the other notices from the competent authorities of another state, sent and received by facsimile and electronic mail, shall be received and executed by the Bulgarian competent authorities under the same procedure as those sent by ordinary mail. The Bulgarian authorities may ask for verification of the authenticity of the sent materials and may receive the originals by express mail.
(3) The Supreme Cassation Prosecution shall establish together with other states joint investigation teams in which Bulgarian prosecutors and investigation authorities shall participate. An agreement shall be concluded with the competent authorities of the participating states about the activities, term and composition of the joint investigation team. In the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria the joint investigation team shall observe the provisions of the international treaties, the terms of the agreement and the Bulgarian legislation.
(4) The Supreme Cassation Prosecution shall file requests to other states for investigation through an undercover officer, through controlled delivery and cross-boundary observation, and shall pronounce itself on such requests from other states.
(5) On the terms of mutuality, the foreign authority carrying out an investigation through an undercover officer in the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria may collect evidence in accordance with its national legislation.
(6) In urgent cases of crossing the state boundary for cross-boundary observation in the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria, the Supreme Cassation Prosecution shall be informed immediately. It shall adopt a decision for the continuation or termination of the cross-boundary observation on the terms and under the procedure of the Special Intelligence Devices Act.
(7) The execution of requests from other states for controlled delivery and cross-boundary observation shall be carried out by the competent investigating authority. It may ask for assistance the police, customs and other administrative authorities.
Art. 477. The expenses for the execution of the order shall be distributed between the countries in accordance with the international treaties to which the Republic of Bulgaria is a party, or on the principle of mutuality.