8 October 1992
MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION
on the case of Andrey Loukanov,
member of parliament of the Republic of Bulgaria
presented by Mr ESPERSEN and others
1. On 9 July 1992 Mr Andrey Loukanov, member of parliament of the Republic of Bulgaria was arrested. Criminal charges were levied against him and he has been kept in detention in the premises of the Central Investigation Department in Sofia. So far no indictment has been formulated.
2. The charges against Mr Loukanov are based on the fact that as Deputy Prime Minister of Bulgaria in the period 1986-90 he participated in taking decisions for granting aid and credits to several developing countries. Charges have been raised under articles 201 and 203 of the Bulgarian Penal Code for misappropriation and embezzlement.
3. Mr Loukanov has been held in detention in pursuance of article 152 of the Code for Penal Procedure which stipulates that such a measure is taken only in cases when there is a risk that the defendant may commit another crime or evade justice. Neither of these conditions seem to be present in Mr Loukanov's case since he now has no official position to repeat his alleged crimes, and being a public figure, he can hardly evade justice.
4. Mr Loukanov's request to be released on bail has been turned down by the Supreme Court, the highest judicial authority in Bulgaria, on the grounds that his arrest is justified "by the high degree of public danger of the act and the special status of the person who has committed and is the subject of the crime - member of the National Assembly".
5. In the meantime Mr Loukanov's health has deteriorated. He has suffered a heart condition and has been hospitalised on several occasions in the prison hospital. The Chief Public Prosecutor has forbidden him to meet his family and for a certain time even his lawyers.
6. On 12 September 1992 in Stockholm the Council of the Interparliamentary Union adopted a resolution in which it:
- questioned the criminal nature of the charges against Mr Loukanov,
- expressed doubts about the sufficiency of the data in support of the charges on the basis of which Mr Loukanov's parliamentary immunity was lifted by the vote of the government majority in the National Assembly,
- expressed doubts whether his detention was justified from the point of view of Bulgarian legislation.
7. The Council of Europe has a special responsability for upholding the rule of law and for ensuring that human rights be guaranteed to everybody regardless of his or her political affiliations, or social or administrative position. Therefore the Assembly should undertake to:
i. study the case of Mr Loukanov;
ii. study the procedure for lifting parliamentary immunity in Bulgaria and the way in which immunity was lifted in the case of Mr Loukanov.
Signed: ESPERSEN, FINSBERG, HALLER, PAHTAS, SEVERINSEN, SCHIEDER, ROKOFYLLOS, DE PUIG, LOPEZ HENARES, AUKEN, WORMS, RODRIGUEZ GOMEZ, VOGEL, OEHRY, STOFFELEN, BINDIG, GALANOS, HARDY.