Good cooperation in the fight against cross-border crime was discussed by the Prosecutors General of Bulgaria and Spain Borislav Sarafov and Alvaro García Ortiz

13 December 2023

During the official visit of a delegation of the Prosecutor's Office of the Republic of Bulgaria to the Spanish capital, Madrid, the Prosecutors General of the Republic of Bulgaria and the Kingdom of Spain, Borislav Sarafov and Alvaro García Ortiz discussed good practices in investigations of various types of crimes

At the meeting with his Spanish counterpart Acting Prosecutor General Borislav Sarafov was acquainted with the organization of allocation of cases among the Spanish prosecutors. A guiding principle in Spain is to allocate cases in accordance with the special professional competence of the magistrates, as well as to create special investigation teams. There are three specialized units within the Spanish Prosecutor's Office, each of them having specific competence - countering drugs, fighting corruption and fighting terrorism. There are also special sectors dealing with cases against women and children violence, crimes against the environment and money laundering.

Acting Prosecutor General Borislav Sarafov extended an invitation to his Spanish colleague Alvaro García Ortiz to visit Bulgaria next year.

Borislav Sarafov called for urgent legal amendments allowing the launch of a special forensic examinations unit. Speaking to Bulgarian journalists in Madrid he explained that the delay in some cases is mainly due to the time taken by the expertise. Acting Prosecutor General pointed out that preliminary talks have already been held with representatives of the other state authorities and looked forward to quick decisions to speed up criminal justice in our country.

Exchange of experience in countering Internet crimes was among the highlights of the visit of the delegation of Bulgarian Prosecutor's Office to the Kingdom of Spain, in which the Deputy Prosecutor General at the Supreme Administrative Prosecutor's Office, Elena Karakasheva, and the Head of the "Cyber ​​Crimes" Department at the National Investigation Service, Svetoslav Vassilev, also participated. In this regard, the Spanish counterparts shared that there has been a 300% increase in cases against computer crimes in the country. According to Borislav Sarafov, this clearly shows that modern world digitalisation will inevitably lead to an increase in online crimes, which requires timely action from the institutions. In this context were discussed the opportunities for strengthening cooperation between the Bulgarian and Spanish prosecutor's offices in combating cybercrime, as well as cross-border organized crime in general.

We discussed the level of interaction between the Prosecutor's Office of Spain and Bulgaria. The balance is very positive because we are European Union countries. We use the European Arrest Warrant, European Investigation Order and Freezing orders in our work. We are pleased to have a direct connection with our colleagues from Bulgaria, said Francisco Fernandez, Head of the International Cooperation Department at the General Prosecutor's Office in Spain.

Speaking to Bulgarian journalists in the Spanish capital, Acting Prosecutor General Borislav Sarafov emphasized that the Spanish Prosecutor's Office enjoys a very high level of public trust, achieved after long-standing efforts over the years. "In our country, the Prosecutor's Office has exhausted its limit of mistakes and has no longer the right to make mistakes. I am ambitious to achieve the standards that the society is expecting from us. To work like a normal institution, in defense of the public interest," stressed Borislav Sarafov and called for the institution to be judged "not by past, but by present and future actions".