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On January 23rd 2002, an investigation judge delivered a warrant for the arrest of Mr. Ahmed Bouhajla in an investigation on drug trafficking. On September 27th 2002, the applicant was condemned in absentia to 10 years in prison and to a lifelong ban of France by the tribunal of Paris.

In 2005, he was arrested in the Netherlands and extradited to France. On May 27th 2005, he appealed the judgment.

On September 30th 2005, he was condemned to the same sentence by the tribunal of Paris. The tribunal relied on testimonies of 4 witnesses (A. B. L. Z.) during the police investigation. These witnesses for the prosecution were not summoned by the prosecutor and were absent at the hearing.

The applicant summoned at his own cost the 4 prosecution witnesses for the appeal court hearing on March 14th 2006 but none of them shown up at the hearing. The prosecutor didn’t request a later hearing to summon them himself and didn’t request that a warrant for their immediate arrest be issued by the judges (art.439 of the code of penal procedure). The judges didn’t issue an immediate arrest warrant for the 4 prosecution witnesses but used their testimonies during the investigation to condemn the applicant.

On September 5th 2007, the supreme court rejected the appeal of the applicant based on article 6-3-d) of the Convention on the ground that…the judgment didn’t mention that the applicant made oral observations regarding the absence of the 4 witnesses for the prosecution or requested orally to postpone the hearing to summon them again.

On April 15th 2008, the applicant submitted his case to the European Court of Human Rights arguing that the conviction based on testimonies of prosecution witnesses absent at trial was a violation of article 6-3-d) of the Convention. The applicant is represented by Me Thomas Bidnic (Paris). On September 2nd 2009, the application was communicated to the agent of the French government with questions to be answered within 16 weeks. On April 16th 2010, the applicant submitted his observation.

On June 7th 2011, the Court found the application inadmissible on the ground that the applicant didn’t exhaust internal remedies and should have have submitted at the hearing written conclusions (art. 459 of the code of penal procedure) to “request” the judges to order a warrant for the immediate arrest of the prosecution witnesses or to postpone the hearing, under article 439 of the code of penal procedure. The applicant allegation that he made oral observations on the respect of article 6-3-d) of the Convention were dismissed by the Court because… it was found that the registrar of the judges of the appeal court of Paris didn’t record any transcript for the hearing of March 16th 2008.

This decision seems ludicrous because only the prosecutor and not the defendant have the right under article 439 to request from the judge the immediate arrest of the witnesses and only the prosecutor have the resources to summon effectively the witnesses (art.560 of the code of penal procedure). In Judgment Mayali v. France (69116/01), the Court found it was the responsibility of the prosecutor to make every effort for the witness for the prosecution to be at the hearing.

Moreover, it was the decision of the judges of the appeal court of Paris to use the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses despite their absence at the hearing, to convict the applicant, that violate article 6-3-d) of the Convention and the only remedy available for the applicant was the appeal to the supreme court (Cour de cassation).

Finally, if the registrar of the appeal court of Paris don’t record any transcript of the hearings, the examination by the defense lawyer of the prosecution witnesses become powerless.

Update :

According to Me Thomas Bidnic, this decision of the Court is going to force defense lawyers to write conclusions to request the arrest of witnesses absent at trial and to dismiss the written testimony of absent witness.

On April 29th 1999, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights found in judgment Chassagnou and others v. France (25088/94 ; 28331/95 ; 28443/95) a violation of articles 1 of protocol 1 and article 11 in conjunction with article 14 of the Convention because the applicants were forced to belong to a hunting association (ACCA) and to let armed hunters and hunting dogs from this association enter their land.

The Court ruled a violation of article 14 because large land owners could be exempt to belong to the ACCA of their county and in the county with no ACCA, any landowner could refuse armed hunters to enter his property.

On April 25th 2005, the Committee of Ministers adopted resolution (2005)26 after being informed by the agent of the French Republic that the new article L422-10 of the code of environment will prevent new violation of the Convention as a general measure and satisfy the applicants as an individual measure.

On August 9th 2001, Ms. Simone Lasgrezas who was an applicant in judgment Chassagnou and others v. France (25088/94), requested to withdraw from the ACCA. On October 18th 2001, she was informed by the prefect that she won’t be authorized to withdraw from the ACCA before March 8th 2005 under article L422-18 of the code of environment. On October 31th 2002, the administrative tribunal of Bordeaux rejected her appeal. On June 27th 2006, the administrative appeal court of Bordeaux confirmed the judgment. On November 9th 2007, she lost her appeal (296858) to the administrative supreme court (conseil d’état).

On May 29th 2008, N.G.O ASPAS and the applicant filed an application with the E.C.H.R arguing a violation of article 1 of protocol 1, article 11 in conjunction with article 14 under the same ground as in 1994. On September 23th 2009, the application was communicated to the agent of the French government with questions to be answered with 16 weeks. On January 26th 2010, the agent submitted his answers to which the applicants answered (see below). ASPAS and the applicant are advised by Me Gregory Delhomme (Montelimar).

This application raised serious concern not only about the respect by France of article 46-1 of the Convention in the execution of judgment Chassagnou and others v. France but also on the ability of the department for the execution of judgments to verify the truthfulness of statement made by the agent of the French Republic to the Committee of Ministers.

Update :

On September 22th 2011, the Court found no violation of article 1P1, 11, 14 of the Convention on the ground the applicant could have withdraw her property from the ACCA…. if she had applied earlier in the year.

In 1998, Ms. Marie-Claude Patoux was detained in a psychiatric ward following a personal conflict with her ex-doctor T. She became a fugitive after a temporary release at an unknown date. On December 17th 2002, she was condemned for a “premeditated assault  with no bodily injury” (art.222-13 of penal code) on T. to 3 years of probation. In 2005, she was arrested again for “premeditated assault  with no bodily injury“.

On March 29th 2006, she was arrested and detained in police custody being suspect of “premeditated assault  with no bodily injury” on T. on the same day.  On March 30th 2006, she was detained by an order of the mayor of Villiers-Saint-Paul under article L3213-2 of the code of public health. This order allows the detention for up to 48h, of patient suffering from mental illness who are “an imminent threat to public safety“. She was transferred to the notorious mental health center “CHI Clermont Oise” . On March 31th 2006, the prefect of Oise ordered her detention for one month in this health center, despite the lack of an eligible medical certificate, in violation of article L3213-1 of the code of public health.

On April 3rd 2006, the husband of the applicant filed a motion at the tribunal of Beauvais to have his wife immediately released . On April 26th 2006, the prefect of Oise ordered the detention of the applicant for 3 months. On May 14th 2006, the applicant became a fugitive for failing to return to the health center after an authorization of the prefect for a 2 days temporary release. On May 19th 2006, the judge denied the habeas corpus motion for release 46 days after the application.

On June 26th 2006, the applicant was condemned by the tribunal of Senlis to 12 months in jail for a “premeditated assault  with no bodily injury” in 2005 and a warrant was issued for her arrest. On 30th July 2006, the prefect of Oise ordered the detention of the fugitive applicant for 6 months.  On September 13th 2006, the applicant was arrested and detained at the jail of Beauvais pending trial at the appeal court of Amiens.

On January 31th 2007, the appeal court of Amiens ruled on the appeal. On February 5th 2007, the applicant was  condemned by the tribunal of Senlis to 9 months in jail for a “premeditated assault  with no bodily injury” on March 29th 2006. On October 17th 2007, the appeal court of Amiens condemned the applicant to a lesser sentence of 4 months in jail.

On May 19th 2008, the applicant was released from jail.

On August 21th 2006, the couple Patoux filed an application with the E.C.H.R arguing that the detention in the health center was a violation of articles 5-1-e) and 5-2, that the ruling on the motion for release from the ward was a violation of article 5-4, that the forced medication was a violation of article 8, that the applicant was not brought to a judge after her arrest in violation of article 5-3, and that the detention of the applicant in the jail of Beauvais  with no access to health care, was in violation of article 3. They also complained that the rulings on the motion for release from jail pending trial was a violation of article 5-4. On June 30th 2009, the application was communicated to the agent of the French government with questions to be answered before 16 weeks. The applicants were not yet represented.

In June 2009, the national regulatory body for health centers (Haute Autorite de Sante) issued a report on the CHI Clermont Oise. It states that the condition of detention are degrading (21b) and that the patient consent into taking medications is not recorded (20a). A review was announced before November 2010. The mental health center didn’t answer our email for comments.

Update :

On April 14th 2011, the Court ruled that the wait of the applicant for 46 days before the judge rule on its habeas corpus was a violation of article 5-4 of the Convention. It condemned the French Republic to pay the applicant €5,000 of damages for n and €2,500 for the legal fees.

Surprisingly, the Court found the allegation of violations of article 3 due to the lack of health care in the jail of Beauvais to be inadmissible (art.35-1) because the applicant should have invoke these allegations in her motion to be release from jail pending trial (§58).  The 5th section of the Court seems to ignore that there is no provision in the code of penal procedure to be released from detention pending trial, for health reasons or violations of article 3 of the Convention.

On April 1st 2011, the bill 400 was filed at the Senate to introduce a provision allowing judges to suspend detention pending trial on health ground.

The applicant was represented by Me Raphael Mayet (Versailles).

On October 19th 2009, Mr. Tisset was arrested for a narcotic offense, by order of an investigating judge. The applicant was not informed of his right to remain silent, and requested immediately to talk to a lawyer. But he was denied any legal assistance during his police custody of 2 days and 17 hours, under a special derogation for all narcotic offenses investigations (art. 63-4 of the code of penal procedure). During this police custody, he made self incriminating statement.

Under art. 63-4 of the code of penal procedure, the suspects of narcotic offenses detained in police custody are not allowed to receive any legal assistance for the first 3 days of their detention. Under the articles 706-88 and 803-2, 803-3 of the code of penal procedure, these suspects can be detained for up to 5 days before being interrogated by a district attorney or an investigating judge.

The applicant filed a motion to dismiss his statement in police custody arguing that the lack of notice of the right to remain silent and of access to legal assistance while in police custody was a violation of articles 6-1 and 6-3 of the Convention. On April 1st 2010, the investigation chamber of the appeal court of Aix-en-Provence rejected the motion to dismiss, on the ground that the E.C.H.R case law regarding other countries was not binding for French courts. The applicant appealed the ruling to the supreme court (Cour de cassation).

On October 19th 2010, the supreme court ruled that the arguments of the appeal court were erroneous, but that the articles 6-1 and 6-3 of the Convention were suspended until July 1st 2011 for a “good administration of justice. On October 20th 2010, the applicant filed an application with the E.C.H.R. He is represented by Me Patrice Spinosi who didn´t reply our emails for comments.

Update :

On January 121 2011, the applicant was found guilty by the tribunal of Paris. He appealed the verdict. On April 12th 2011, the Court found the application inadmissible on the ground that an appeal was pending and that the applicant could still be acquitted by appeal court. The Court refused to rule on the suspension of the articles 6-1 and 6-3 of the Convention, alleged by the applicant to be a violation of article 1 of the Convention.

It is unclear why the E.C.H.R ruled in less than 5 months on the case and if another application to the E.C.H.R will be admissible as the national remedy has already been exhausted on October 19th 2010.

On April 24th 1983, Mr. Pierre Atallah a Lebanese lawyer, is shot dead by several French soldiers of the FINUL in unclear circumstances. An investigation is done by the French military police and another one by the Lebanese military police.

In 1999, the family discovered evidence contained in the Lebanese military police report which contradicts the findings of self-defense made in the French  military police investigation.

In March 2001, the family filed at the tribunal of Paris, a civil lawsuit against the French minister of defense. On July 31th 2003, the court dismissed the case, claiming to be incompetent. On December 16th 2005, the appeal court of Paris dismissed the appeal. On May 10th 2007, the supreme court (Cour de cassation) rejected their claim (case 06-12532).

On November 9th 2007, the applicants filed their case with the E.C.H.R arguing a violation of article 2 and 6-1 of the Convention. .On November 4th 2009, the case was communicated to the French government. The applicants are represented by Me Bertrand Favreau (Bordeaux).

Update :

On August 31st 2011, the Court ruled the application inadmissible on the ludicrous ground that the applicants should have filed their application with the Court within 6 months of…a meeting with the Lebanese military police on April 24th 1983. The Court also concluded that the applicants couldn’t hope that the civil lawsuit in French courts the death will bring a “new light to the case“.

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