The Sofia Regional Court decided against Plaintiff Boyko Borisov who had sued Nikolay Barekov, a former friend, over a statement Barekov made in 2013 that Boyko was "stupid." The court ruled that calling someone stupid is an offence as long as it is perceived personally.
Boyko was not in the TV studio when Barekov called him stupid and did not watch the broadcast as he was on an airplane. Witnesses claim that he got angry later when he was told he had been called stupid. To express that, he took off his jacket and tossed it. Borisov's close aides claim that whenever he takes off his jacket and tosses it, he is usually quite angry.
Defendant Nikolay Barekov, now the leader of the Bulgaria Without Censorship political party and an EMP, demanded at the beginning of the court proceedings to have a court expert interpret the definitions of the word "stupid." In Bulgarian, tap usually means stupid, but it can also mean blunt, uncouth, with limited intellectual capacity, slow to respond, muted, desperate and, in sound recordings, lacking treble. The court overruled the request.
Borisov now has to pay 355 leva, or 175 euros, in court expenses. He had demanded 10,000 leva in damages.
Barekov and Borisov were close friends for several years, a situation which Barekov changed abruptly just ahead of the May 2013 election. He explained his move with "tossing the pancake the other way round." From that time on he became one of Borisov's most outspoken critics.
The court ruling now comes at a time when Barekov may be "tossing the pancake" once more. The Bulgaria Without Censorship leader offered his support to Borisov's GERB in a future government. Borisov responded that Barekov, unlike the Socialist Party and the Reformist Bloc, had manifested "political high class."
Bulgarian law, unlike common law, is not based on precedent, but legal experts surmise that from now on Boyko Borisov may legally be referred to as "stupid."