Team of Newly-Elected Ukrainian President Mulls Suing Bulgarian Nationalist Party

Bulgarian pro-Russian party’s election campaign video is a gross copyright violation. The team of the new Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is considering a lawsuit against the “Vuzrazhdane” (Revival) party.

Zelensky’s production company “Kvartal 95” (Quarter 95) is examining the option of suing the political party “Vazrazhdane” because of footage from their series “Servant of the People” used in the scandalous election campaign of Bulgarian MEP candidate Kostadin Kostadinov.

This is the comment of Irina Pobedonostseva, the Ukrainian Head of State’s Press Secretary, made exclusively for the site for investigative journalism Bivol: “On behalf of the rightful owner of this content, claims will follow.”
“Because this is about illegal use of content in a gross copyright violation,” commented the Press Secretary.

“We are reacting because of attacks against media”

On May 23, the Association of European Journalists (AEJ) urged Prosecutor General Sotir Tsatsarov to order an immediate probe of “Vuzrazhdane” as its video recreates a mass shooting and murder. Kostadinov admitted before the Bulgarian section of Free Europe that the video clip is directed against media like it.

Kostadin Kostadinov further commented for Evrokom TV that AEJ, together with Free Europe, was an “anti-Bulgarian organization, receiving grants from abroad” mockingly adding that they were free to file “signals against whom they wanted, not only to the Prosecutor General but also to NATO Secretary General.” Nevertheless, the video is no longer available on YouTube.

“We are reacting because with his statement, Kostadinov is directly attacking media and journalists, and we cannot overlook this,” Ivan Radev from AEJ – Bulgaria told Bivol.


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“I would not argue with Kostadin Kostadinov about what kind of organization is AEJ-Bulgaria. It is fully registered in accordance with the Bulgarian law and fulfills all requirements. However, the issue is not about the AEJ, it is about his party and it should not be diverted.”

The journalist recalled that the AEJ’s position is in full accordance with the Constitution and the laws of Bulgaria: “A party that propagates violence cannot exist.”

“And for the actions of Kostadinov himself, he can probably be held accountable under the Penal Code. That is what we insist on – there should be no impunity for those proclaiming terrorism,” Ivan Radev said.

To the request to comment on the intention of the Ukrainian production house, founded by Zelensky to seek its rights, he noted that the author can seek their rights under copyright laws, but this issue is outside AEJ’s scope of activities.

“Mass shooting is not democracy”

According to AEJ’s official position, the Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria prohibits the existence of parties that “pursue the forcible seizure of government power”.

“In addition, the Constitution provides that the right to express an opinion cannot be exercised in order to call for or instigate a crime. Art. 2 (3) of the Political Parties Act stipulates that “political parties use democratic means and methods to achieve their political goals”.

The NGO emphasizes that “the shooting of opponents and journalists could by no means be attributed to democratic means and methods; rather, it creates the sense of aspirations for forcible seizure of government power.”

AEJ quotes the Political Parties Act, according to which, at the request of the Prosecutor’s Office, the Sofia City Court (SCC) disbands parties that “violate the Constitution or whose activity systematically violates the requirements of the law”. “We believe that both grounds exist and therefore we turn to the Prosecutor General with a call to fulfill his legal obligations,” it adds.

“The Prosecutor’s Office should check whether the leader of the “Vazrazhdane” party Kostadin Kostadinov could be facing imprisonment of one to six years and a fine from BGN 10,000 to BGN 30,000 as a “person who runs an organization that aims to use violence against another because of political convictions” under Art. 162 (3), in conjunction with Art. 162 (2) of the Penal Code.

The AEJ is adamant that “the Bulgarian institutions must firmly oppose an ideology that glorifies terrorism.” “The terrorist act against the French newspaper Charlie Hebdo, as well as the hundreds of instances of mass killings of innocent citizens in Europe, the United States, the Middle East, Asia, and New Zealand, show how seriously every threat has to be taken.”

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This post is also available in: Bulgarian

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