Sofia District Prosecutor’s Office initiated criminal proceedings for a publicly actionable case involving violence between a husband and his wife.

Animus Association Foundation’s client had a significant breakthrough in the Prosecution’s practice. On October 30, 2018 a prosecutor of Sofia District Prosecutor’s Office issued a ruling for the initiation of pre-trial proceedings on a signal for battery and verbal attacks to a woman by her husband.

The ruling is a major success in the fight against domestic violence as the acting Criminal code does not oblige the Prosecutor’s Office to work on a number of crimes occurring between husbands and their wives as they are defined as privately actionable cases. This is how the Metropolitan Police defined the case before sending it to the Prosecutor’s Office despite the established personal injury – a broken nose. The victim filed in turn an opinion underlining the publicly harmful nature of the offence. Naturally, this action was performed by the Legal Programme of AAF providing protection against the intensive physical domestic violence.

The Prosecutor used the verbal attacks as grounds for initiating a publicly actionable case by qualifying the offence as a threat to kill which causes reasonable fear for its realization (Art. 144 (3) in relation to art. 144 (1) of the Criminal Code). The crime is punishable by up to 6 years of imprisonment. After 22 cases of murdered women in Bulgaria, the Prosecutor’s Office finally tookinto account the threat to kill as a serious account. Attorney Natasha Dobreva is working on the case.