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EU Judgment in Case C-205/21 Bulgarian Interior Ministry on registration of biometric and genetic data by the police)
Thursday 26th January 2023
Judgment in Case C-205/21 Ministerstvo na vatreshnite raboti ((Registration of biometric and genetic data by the police)
(Area of Freedom, Security and Justice)
In the context of criminal proceedings for tax evasion initiated by the Bulgarian authorities, V.S. was indicted for her alleged participation in an organised criminal group, formed for the purpose of enrichment, with a view to committing crimes on Bulgarian territory in a concerted manner. Following the indictment, the Bulgarian police invited V.S. to submit to police registration. However, V.S. objected to the collection of her fingerprint and photographic data for registration and to the taking of her DNA profile.
On the basis of national legislation providing for police registration of persons indicted for an intentional criminal offence prosecuted ex officio, the police authorities applied to the Spetsializiran nakazatelen sad (Specialised Criminal Court, Bulgaria) for authorisation to enforce the collection of V.S.’s DNA and biometric data. Only copies of his indictment and the statement of his refusal to collect his data accompanied the police authorities’ request.
The court had doubts about the compatibility of the Bulgarian legislation on police registration with Directive 2016/680 , read in the light of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, and therefore referred the matter to the Court for a preliminary ruling.