Bulgarian Supreme Judicial Council Asked Bivol to Disclose Source of Scandalous Recordings of Senior Magistrates

Instead of disciplinary proceedings against magistrates implicated in the recordings, the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) is looking to find who leaked them

In a letter to Bivol’s editorial office, dated November 10, 2015, the Chairman of the SJC’s Ethics Committee, Yassen Todorov, asked us to provide all recordings of conversations between magistrates that our media has in its possession, information about their source and guarantee that they are authentic.

In response with a letter ref. No. 1 /”PIG-SJC” / 2015 Bivol provided a link for downloading the published to date recordings (see here, here and here).

Referring to a rule of the European Court for Human Rights (ECHR) on the secrecy of sources in the case of Sanoma Uitgevers BV vs Netherlands, we refused to provide information about the source. We do not have such information anyway as the recordings were received through the platform for anonymous sharing Balkanleaks that makes it impossible to track back the sender.

SJC has also been informed that the original recordings have been diligently analyzed with acoustic software for traces of manipulations, tempering, additions or deletions, but none were found. It should be noted that while listening to the recordings, one cannot find a trace of the special markers characteristic for official Special Surveillance Devices used by the services, of which Bivol wrote as early as at the time of the leaking of recordings in the affair “Hello Vanio” (see here).

Periodic beeps in the range of approximately 3250 Hz. with an average frequency of 2.56 seconds, observed in the case of official SSD, are missing in the recordings of Yaneva and Chenalova

Over the past year, the institutions made several attempts to seek information from media on their sources. This unacceptable practice has been repeatedly condemned by both international human rights organizations and journalists in Bulgaria.

Bulgaria continues to occupy an unenviable place in the world rankings for freedom of speech and is last among European Union members.


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