On July 5th 1950, Mr. Raymond Mis and Mr. Gabriel Thiennot were sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for the murder of an employee of a wealthy landowner. They claimed to have been tortured by military police officers (gendarmes) during 6 days until they signed a written “confession“.
In 1954, the French president pardoned them and they were released from prison. They both served more than 7 years in prison.
On November 1st 1988, the protocol no 7 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedom entered into force. Article 3 of the protocol no 7 states :
When a person has by a final decision been convicted of a criminal offence and when subsequently his conviction has been reversed, or he has been pardoned, on the ground that a new or newly discovered fact shows conclusively that there has been a miscarriage of justice, the person who has suffered punishment as a result of such conviction shall be compensated according to the law or the practice of the State concerned, unless it is proved that the non-disclosure of the unknown fact in time is wholly or partly attributable to him.
The applicants made 5 unsuccessful attempts to have their conviction reversed. Each time, they were not authorized by a commission to bring their case to the supreme court (Cour de cassation) competent under articles 625 and 626 of the code of penal procedure to reverse the conviction and award damages.
On September 12th 2007, the applicants submitted their case to the E.C.H.R arguing of the violations of articles 6 and 13. Me Jean-Paul Thibault represented both applicants.
On May 12th 2009, Judge Jungwiert (Czech Republic), Judge Berro-Lefevre (Monaco) and Judge Villiger (Liechtenstein) ruled their application inadmissible under article 35-3 of the Convention on the ground that the application was “manifestly ill-founded“.
According to the Court, the proceeding before the commission was not related to the determination of any of the civil rights and obligations of the applicants or of any criminal charge against them.