BULGARIA - PENAL PROCEDURE CODE
Part two. EVIDENCING
Chapter fourteen. METHODS OF EVIDENCING
Section V. Search and Seizure
Art. 159. On a request of the court or of the bodies of the pre-trial procedures, all establishments, juridical persons, officials and citizens shall be obliged to preserve and deliver the objects, papers, computer information data, the carriers of such data and data about the subscriber, which are in their possession and may be of importance for the case.
Art. 160. (1) Where there is sufficient grounds to presume that in a room or person there are objects, papers or computer information systems, containing computer information data, which may be of importance to the case, a search shall be made for finding and seizing them.
(2) A search may also be made with the purpose of tracing down a person or a dead body.
Art. 161. (1) Search and seizure in the pre-trial procedures shall be carried out with the permission of a judge of the respective court of first instance or of a judge of the court of first instance where the action shall be performed, upon request of the prosecutor.
(2) In urgent cases, where this is the only possibility for the gathering and preservation of the evidence, the bodies of the pre-trial procedures may carry out a search and seizure even without a permission of a judge of the respective court of first instance or of a judge of the nearest court of equal rank. The record of the carried out investigation proceeding shall be presented for approval to the judge without delay but not later than 24 hours.
(3) Search and seizure in the pre-trial procedures shall be carried out on a decision of the court, which is trying the case.
Art. 162. (1) Search and seizure shall be conducted in the presence of witnesses of the act and of the person using the premises or of an adult member of his/her family.
(2) Where the person using the premises or a member of his/her family is unable to attend, the search and seizure shall be conducted in the presence of the chief of the block of flats or a representative of the municipality or the town hall.
(3) The search and seizure in premises, which are used by state or public services, shall be conducted in the presence of a representative of the service.
(4) Search and seizure in premises used by a legal person, shall be carried out in the presence of its representative. Where a representative of the legal person is not able to present, the search and seizure shall be carried out of a representative of the municipality or of the town hall.
(5) Search and seizure in premises of foreign representations of international organisations and in houses of their employees, which enjoy immunity with regard to the criminal jurisdiction of the Republic of Bulgaria shall be conducted with the consent of the chief of the representation office and in the presence of a representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs .
(6) Whereas the search and seizure are related to computer information systems and software products, the actions shall be carried out in the presence of an expert- technical assistant.
Art. 163. (1) Search and seizure shall be performed during the day, except if they brook no delay.
(2) Before commencement of search and seizure, the respective body shall submit the warrant thereof and shall propose to be shown the searched objects, papers and computer information systems, where are kept computer information data.
(3) The body conducting the search shall be entitled to prohibit the persons present to come into contact with other persons or between or among themselves and to leave the premises until the search is over.
(4) During search and seizure shall not be carried out any actions, which are not necessary for the purpose thereof. Premises and depositories shall be opened by force only in case of refusal to be opened avoiding unnecessary damages.
(5) When circumstances regarding the private life of the citizens have been disclosed during the search, the necessary measures shall be taken that they are not made public .
(6) The seized objects, papers and computer information systems which contain computer information data shall be submitted to the witnesses of the procedural actions and the other persons present. Whereas necessary, they shall be packed and sealed at the place of seizure.
(7) The seizure of computer information data shall be carried out by record on a paper carrier and another carrier. Whereas the carrier is a paper one, each of the pages shall be signed by the persons under Art. 132, Para 1. In the rest of the cases the carrier shall be sealed by a note, where shall be stated: the case, the body which has carried out the seizure, the place, the date and the names of all of the persons presented as per Art. 132, Para 1 and who shall sign it.
(8) Printing of the carrier, made out under the order of Para 7, shall be admitted for the necessities of the investigation only and with the permission of the prosecutor and shall be performed in the presence of witnesses of procedural actions and of an expert-technical assistant.
Art. 164. (1) Search of a person in the pre-trial procedure without a warrant by a judge of the respective court of firs instance shall be admitted:
1. upon detention;
2. where there are sufficient grounds to consider that persons attending the search have screened objects or papers of significance for the case.
(2) The search shall be conducted by a person of the same sex in the presence of witnesses of the same sex.
(3)The record of the conducted investigation action shall be produced to the judge for approval without delay but not later than within 24 hours.
Art. 165. (1) Interception and seizure of correspondence shall be allowed only when it is necessary for the detection and prevention of serious crimes.
(2) Interception and seizure of correspondence in the pre-trial procedure shall be performed upon request of the prosecutor and with the permission of a judge of the respective court of first instance or of the first-instance court in the district where the action shall be performed.
(3) Interception and seizure of correspondence in the court proceeding shall be performed on a decision of the court trying the case.
(4) Interception and seizure of correspondence shall be performed under the order of Art. 162. Para 1- 4.
(5) The provisions of Para 1 – 4 shall be also applied to interception and seizure of electronic mail.
1. States Parties shall, in accordance with the provisions of this Part and under procedures of national law, comply with requests by the Court to provide the following assistance in relation to investigations or prosecutions: