Defamation Laws In Bulgaria

Articles 108,146, 147 and 148 of the Bulgarian Criminal Code govern defamation. The country has both civil and criminal defamation laws, but imprisonment was eliminated as a punishment in 1999. The statute of limitations for defamation in Bulgaria is two years.

If an individual is found guilty of slander or libel, they are fined between 1,000 BGN to 20,000 BGN.
Both natural and legal persons can file lawsuits for insult, slander and libel. Natural persons can claim moral as well as material damages; legal persons, however, can only claim material damages. The defendant in Bulgarian defamation cases is saddled with the burden of truth.

A foreigner may be found guilty for libel and slander under the laws of Bulgaria if the act was committed under the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria. A Bulgarian citizen is also liable for libel and slander even if the crime is committed outside the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria.

Lastly, Articles 3, 4 and 5 of the Criminal Code of Bulgaria applies to foreign citizens who have committed crimes of a general nature abroad, whereby the interests of the Republic of Bulgaria or of Bulgarian citizens have been affected

As of January, 2011, there are moves by the Republic of Bulgaria to amend its defamation laws. Many critics, however, believe the changes will actually curtail free speech in the country.