Controversial Judge Quits Bulgaria’s Constitutional Court

Veneta Markovska has decided to retire from the Court following accusations of corruption and conflicts of interest that had already caught Brussels’ eye.Judge Veneta Markovska on Tuesday filed an application for retirement from the Court. She reiterated that she had not committed any violations and was only quitting to end speculation about her work and about state institutions.

Markovska, a deputy chairperson of the Supreme Administrative Court, was elected to the Constitutional Court by parliament on October 31.

But she has been accused of corruption and a conflict of interest.

Media reports claimed Markovska put pressure to have two police officers fired for having arrested a business partner of her son’s in 2010. The police officers were later re-instated.

As a judge in the Administrative Court, she is also alleged to have heard a case in which one side was represented by a lawyer who is a family friend with whom she jointly owns property.

Markovska denied having attempted to illicitly use her influence, albeit without failing to produce a coherent alternative narrative regarding the events in question.

On November 15, the Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, called upon Markovska to withdraw. He reiterated that his ruling centrist-right GERB party was only responsible for the election of Judge Anastas Anastasov, who was officially endorsed by the party.

The Markovska case prompted the European Commission to warn that it could publish an emergency report about Bulgaria as part of the so-called Cooperation and Verification Mechanism for Corruption and Organized Crime.

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