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On January 12th 2003 at 01:15am, Mr. Yves Trévalec unarmed was shot 7 times at close range by 2 police officers of a patrol unit and a dog unit in Liege . The applicant is a journalist and was embedded with a special anti-gang police unit at the time of the shooting. An investigation was opened by an investigation judge for “assault” and carried out by the local police unit.
On March 15th 2005, the prosecutor of the king asked the investigation judge not to charge the 2 shooters on the ground that they acted in self-defense. On May 16th 2006, the tribunal of Liege refused to charge the 2 shooters. The ruling was confirmed by the appeal court of Liege. On April 18th 2007, the supreme court rejected the appeal of the applicant.
On July 16th 2007, the applicant submitted his case to the European Court of Human Rights arguing that the close range shooting was a violation of article 2 of the Convention. He added that the 3 years investigation was not effective in violation of article 2 and that the court didn’t answer his observations in violation of article 6-1. The applicant was represented by Me Jean Gonthier (Bordeaux). On April 28th 2008, the application was communicated to the agent of the Belgium government with questions to be answered within 16 weeks.
On June 14th 2011, the Court found a violation of article 2 of the Convention on the ground that the police of Liege was careless in setting up the embedment of the journalist. The Court found no violation of article 2 in regards with the investigation. It awarded the applicant €0 for his legal fees. The amount of damages will be evaluated at a later date.
On March 13th 2010, S.C is placed in police custody in Liege and interrogated by police officers on a murder charge. She is not allowed to receive any legal assistance from a lawyer. On March 14th 2010, the applicant is interrogated by an investigating judge of the tribunal without any legal assistance. Belgium law didn’t authorize suspect in custody to receive any legal assistance at this stage of the investigation.
On June 3rd 2010, the investigation chamber of the appeal court of Liege refused to suppress transcripts of these interrogations.
On December 3rd 2010, the applicant submitted his case to the European Court of Human Rights arguing that lack of legal assistance in custody was a violation of articles 5-1, 6-1 and 6-3 of the Convention. The applicant is represented by 3 lawyers of Defenso, Mr. Marc Neve, Ms. Sandra Berbuto and Ms. Estelle Berthe. On May 4th 2011, the application was communicated to the agent of the Belgium government with questions to be answered within 16 weeks.