Roundtable on Joint Investigation Teams supported by Swiss-funded Project

02 Jul 2018

Bulgarian and Swiss judicial experts jointly developed a standardized common procedure (template) for setting up joint investigating teams, which is at disposal of prosecutors from both countries. Besides, Bulgarian officials involved in international crime prosecution also have at their disposal new practical guidelines for the formation and operation of such teams with different countries.

At today’s roundtable in Sofia, experts from the Swiss Federal Office of Justice and Bulgarian Prosecutor’s Office, as well as Eurojust presented and discussed these two new tools to investigate cross-border organized crime and improve the cooperation in international crime prosecution. It is expected that they will facilitate and further support an already ongoing cooperation between Switzerland and Bulgaria in crime prosecution, one key component in the fight against impunity. The two new instruments have been developed with financial support by the Swiss-Bulgarian cooperation project for increasing the capacity of the Prosecutor’s Office to fight with the new challenges in the organized crime.

“In our experience, an independent, non-partisan, responsible and effective judiciary is key to prosperity and stability. Such superior goals are our main motivation for engaging with countries, such as Bulgaria, in helping strengthen prosecution capacities”, said Swiss Chargée d'affaires a.i. Nicole Wyrsch at the opening of the event.

Addressing the roundtable, Deputy Chief Prosecutor Asya Petrova expressed her special gratitude to the Swiss Confederation for funding this specific project, as well as the other projects under the Thematic Fund Security of the Bulgarian-Swiss Cooperation Programme.

Started back in 2014, the four-year project aims to increase the capacity and efficiency of the Prosecutor’s Office in Bulgaria in investigating and prosecuting organized crime. In this project, the Prosecutor’s Office is working in partnership with the State Agency for National Security, Ministry of Interior, National Revenue Agency, Commission for Illegal Assets Forfeiture and others. The Federal Office of Justice, Switzerland and Basel Institute on Governance are the project partners from the Swiss side. The total budget of the project is CHF 1,024,632.00 of which CHF 878,437.00 is the Swiss co-financing.

The project is part of the Thematic Fund Security of the Bulgarian-Swiss Cooperation Programme. With a total of about 10 million Swiss francs, the Fund supports projects that relate to combatting human trafficking, prevention of juvenile delinquency, juvenile justice, tracing stolen vehicles, fight against environmental crimes, training of forensic experts etc. The projects are executed by the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Justice, National Commission on Combating Trafficking of Human Beings, Association of the Prosecutors in Bulgaria and non-governmental organizations.

See more about the project’s achievements: