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14 employees of Sofia Central Prison to be subjected to disciplinary proceedings over recent prison break

14 employees of Sofia Central Prison to be subjected to disciplinary proceedings over recent prison break

13 April 2018 | 16:41 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. 14 employees of Sofia Central Prison, two of whom occupying senior positions, should be subjected to disciplinary proceedings. This is one of the proposals made by the commission that had been looking into the facts and circumstances surrounding the escape of two inmates on 3 April this year, Deputy Minister of Justice Prof. Nikolay Prodanov said, announcing the results of the investigation, the press office of the Ministry of Justice said.
“There had been a number of violations by the officers, notably not performing personal and baggage searches of the inmates,” Prof. Prodanov said. According to him, it was also found that the respective officials were aware of the high risk the two prisoners were posing to the public.
Regarding the smuggled weapons carried by the two prisoners during their escape, the investigation did not unequivocally establish how they were brought into the prison.
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Justice minister held talks with trade union leaders

Justice minister held talks with trade union leaders

10 April 2018 | 13:34 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. Minister of Justice Tsetska Tsacheva has held talks with the leaders of the prison and court guard trade unions, Hristo Ilkov and Petko Chalakov. The working meetings will continue, a meeting is scheduled for tomorrow. The negotiations should lead to the final distribution of the additional BGN 15 million provided by the government for staff remuneration at General Directorate of Enforcement of Penalties and General Directorate of Security, the ministry said.
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Valentin Martinov, prisons trade union: If problems in security sector remain unsolved, trade union members will resume protests

Valentin Martinov, prisons trade union: If problems in security sector remain unsolved, trade union members will resume protests

10 April 2018 | 10:19 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. If there is no solution to the problems in the security sector, the trade union members will resume their protests, Valentin Martinov, board member of the Trade Union of Prison Employees in Bulgaria, told Focus Radio with regard to today’s meeting called by Minister of Justice Tsetska Tsacheva. The union wants a complete change in the policy towards prison staff and equal benefits with the staff of the Ministry of Interior. Before the meeting today, prison employees from across the country will gather to show support for their colleagues from the Sofia prison after the escape of two recidivists and the recent assault on a prison officer. According to Valentin Martinov, the escape of the two prisoners was the result of problems on which the unions repeatedly alerted in the last 10 years.
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Justice minister calls meeting with prison directors and directorate

Justice minister calls meeting with prison directors and directorate

6 April 2018 | 13:08 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. Minister of Justice Tsetska Tsacheva has called a meeting with the directors of all prisons in the country and the management of General Directorate of Enforcement of Penalties, the ministry said. At the meeting on April 10, they will discuss the tension in the sector and possible solutions to topical issues.
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Minister Tsetska Tsacheva: Recordings show criminal negligence in Sofia prison

Minister Tsetska Tsacheva: Recordings show criminal negligence in Sofia prison

5 April 2018 | 17:01 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. The camera recordings from Sofia’s central prison show criminal negligence that must be specified during the investigation after the escape of two prisoners, Minister of Justice Tsetska Tsacheva told reporters in the parliament, Focus News Agency reports. “It is unexplicable how, despite the regime, rules, orders on allowed items, the prisoners turned out to be armed. Especially Pelov, who has a firearm,” she said. The interim head of General Directorate Enforcement of Penalties and the director of the prison were asked to resign. The escape happened after the two prisoners received some items they had ordered. Asked if security in the prison would be tightened, the minister said she expects the responsible officials to say what should be done with regard to the human factor and the surveillance-security equipment.
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Police say checking every tip on escaped prisoners, all partner services were notified

Police say checking every tip on escaped prisoners, all partner services were notified

5 April 2018 | 14:42 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. The police are checking every tip from citizens in the country about the two escapees from the Sofia prison, Ivaylo Ivanov, head of the Ministry of Interior’s Sofia department said at a briefing, Focus News Agency reports. The police are on a large-scale search, many people are questioned and any reported addresses are checked, Ivanov said. A European arrest warrant was issued, Interpol was also informed. All partner services were notified.
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Tihomir Bezlov, Center for the Study of Democracy: If there are no consequences for escaped prisoners, this will be a bad signal to inmates

Tihomir Bezlov, Center for the Study of Democracy: If there are no consequences for escaped prisoners, this will be a bad signal to inmates

5 April 2018 | 12:41 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. If there are no consequences for the escaped prisoners, this will send a bad signal to all other inmates, Tihomir Bezlov, senior fellow in the security programme at the Center for the Study of Democracy, told Focus Radio. He said there are many factors for the recent escape that are directly related to the organisation of prisons and the high level of corruption. According to him, part of the prison management is linked to criminal circles. This case will show if the services have the capacity to find the escapees, he added. Asked about the system that should re-educate prisoners, Bezlov replied that prisons do “educate” but in criminality. “They acquire criminal skills. You may hear about courses, they call them “cooking”, but if you are interested, you will find out that in a cooking course for several hundred leva you get the skills to prepare amphetamines, for example. So, despite the different education courses provided by the state, different social workers working to reintegrate, educate prisoners, what has happened in the prisons is very sad,” Tihomir Bezlov said. The main problems are underfunding and poor control of the human factor. There must be public control. The role of the media is also important, Bezlov said.
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Minister Tsetska Tsacheva: If the prime minister asks for my resignation over the escaped prisoners, I will submit it

Minister Tsetska Tsacheva: If the prime minister asks for my resignation over the escaped prisoners, I will submit it

4 April 2018 | 16:26 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. If the prime minister asks for my resignation, I will submit it, Minister of Justice Tsetska Tsacheva told reporters, referring to the escape of two inmates from the Central Sofia Prison yesterday, Focus News Agency reports.
“For this major criminal incident to occur, there was a breach of the rules and regulations. Undoubtedly, it was human error. This is confirmed by the fact that the two prisoners were armed with a gun and a knife, which had been smuggled into the prison," she said.
"In every prison there are officials of the Ministry of the Interior, but their number is insufficient. That is why we are considering creating an internal security unit within the structure of the General Directorate of Execution of Penalties to coordinate the activities of the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Justice and the Prosecutor’s Office,” Minister Tsacheva commented.
Earlier today, Interior Minister Valentin Radev warned the public not to approach the escapees, as they are extremely dangerous and armed, but to alert the police.
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Sofia: Two inmates on the run after attacking prison guards

Sofia: Two inmates on the run after attacking prison guards

3 April 2018 | 18:07 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. Two inmates have escaped Sofia Prison after overpowering their guards, said the press office of the Ministry of Justice. The prison officials reported about the escape around 3:45 pm today, when the two inmates carried out an armed attack on the prison staff and fled.
The investigation is ongoing.
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French far-right activists block a mountain pass in protest against migrant influx. April 23, 2018;
French far-right activists block a mountain pass in protest against migrant infl...

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