Judgement Katritsch v. France (22575/08) condemned without being assisted by a lawyer at trial : violations of articles 6-3-b),-c)
On October 13th 2000, Mr. Vladlen Katritsch was charged with theft, document forgery and illegal stay in France. He was assisted by a Russian/French interpreter and an appointed lawyer during part of the investigation.
The applicant was then condemned in absentia at the tribunal of first instance of Compiegne and then at the appeal court of Amiens. He requested a retrial and to be assisted by a lawyer and a Russian/French interpreter. On October 23th 2006, the appeal court rejected his requests and refused to postpone the hearing. On October 24th 2007, his appeal to the supreme court (Cour de cassation) failed.
On April 23th 2008, the applicant filed an application with the E.C.H.R arguing that the lack of assistance by a lawyer and an interpreter was a violation of articles 6-1 and 6-3 of the Convention. On July 10th 2009, the application was communicated to the agent of the French government with questions to be answered before 16 weeks. The applicant is represented by Me Ruben Garcia (Paris) who didn’t return our email for comments.
On November 4th 2010, the Court found a violation of articles 6-3-b) and 6-3 -c) of the Convention. The court found no violation of article 6-1-e) because the applicant could speak basic French. The court ordered the French Republic to pay €3,000 of damages and €0 for legal fees.
Under article 626-1 of the code of penal procedure, the applicant can ask for a new trial to a special commission, to redress the violation of article 6 found by the E.C.H.R.
On August 5th 2010, the applicant filed an application with the E.C.H.R arguing that the mandatory membership to Interloire was a violation of article 11-2 of the Convention. The applicant is represented by Ms. Marie-Ange Hegron of the N.G.O CDVI.
On March 7th 2004, Mr. Michel Malon was arrested following his deportation from the Dominican Republic. On March 11th 2004, he was charged for complicity to murder and placed in detention at the local jail of Luynes pending investigation.
On August 5th 2008, the request to be release of the applicant of July 21th 2008 was rejected by the investigation court. On September 26th 2008, the applicant was acquitted of complicity to murder. He was released from the local jail of Luynes the same night. The district attorney appealed his acquittal and a new trial will be taken place in November 2010.
On September 2th 2009, his lawyer was notified that his appeal of the investigation court ruling was rejected by the supreme court.
On March 1st 2010, the applicant filed an application with the E.C.H.R arguing that his detention of 4 years and 6 months pending investigation and awaiting trial was a violation of article 5-3 of the Convention. On June 21th 2010, the application was communicated to the agent for the French Republic with questions to be answered before September 15th 2010. The agent was granted an extension up to November 20th 2010 to answer. The applicant is represented by Me Bruno Rebstock.
In March 2010, a report was published by the general inspector of detention facilities (the national preventive mechanism of OPCAT) on his visit of the local jail of Luynes in January 2009 .
On 7th June 1999, the applicant was arrested for attempted murder and placed in police custody. The next day, he was interrogated before he could meet his lawyer and after being put under oath. On 9th June 1999, he was charged with complicity to commit murder and detained in jail pending investigation. On December 8th 2001, he was released on his own recognizance. On March 1st 2002, the charge was changed to aggravated assault.
On October 31th 2002, he was condemned for aggravated assault by the tribunal of Paris to 5 years in jail. On October 26th 2004, his appeal to the court of appeal of Paris failed. The court motivated its ruling with the judgment of the tribunal of Paris. On June 27th 2006, the supreme court (Cour de cassation) rejected his appeal.
On December 26th 2006, the applicant filed an application with the E.C.H.R arguing that to be put under oath was a violation of articles 6-1 and 6-3 of the Convention, that the lack of new motivation of the court of appeal of Paris was a violation of article 6-1 and that his detention of 2 years and 6 months pending investigation was a violation of article 5-3. On March 24th 2009, the application was communicated to the agent for the French Republic. On September 29th 2009, the applicant requested the Court to organize a public hearing on the case. It was rejected by the Court.
On October 14th 2010, the Court ruled that the fact for a suspect to be put under oath in police custody was a violation of the right to remain silent and the right against self-incrimination, so there were violations of articles 6-1 and 6-3. The Court found the other allegations of violation of the Convention to be inadmissible. The applicant was represented by Me Patrice Spinosi who didn’t return our emails for comment.
The Court also reminded that the rights to meet his lawyer prior to any police interrogation, and then to be assisted by his lawyer during these interrogations were both guaranteed by article 6 of the Convention.
Under article 626-1 of the code of criminal procedure, the applicant can now request from a special commission of the judicial supreme court, the organization of a new criminal trial to redress the violations found by the E.C.H.R.
French Polynesia is an overseas country of the French Republic. The coutry has its own president, ministers, national assembly, flag, currency, phone area code and is home to many local languages (Tahitian, Marquisian, Paumotu, Mangarevian) widely spoken by the population and authorized to be used in legal contract and business transaction (art. 57 law 2004-192). French is the language of the French Republic (art. 2 of the Constitution) and the official language of French Polynesia (art. 57 law 2004-192).
On May 13th 2005th a resolution 2005/559 was passed by the national assembly allowing any of his members to use French or any Polynesian languages in their speech. On March 29th 2006, the administrative supreme court (conseil d’etat) ruled that the resolution was canceled.
On September 28th 2006, the applicant filed an application with the E.C.H.R arguing that the forbidden use of Tahitian in the national assembly was a violation of articles 10,11 and 14 of the Convention.
On September 21th 2010, the court confirmed case-law Georges Clerfayt and others v. Belgium (10650/83) of May 17th 1985 and ruled the application inadmissible ratione materiae. The applicant was represented by Me Philippe Temauiarii Neuffer.
On January 20th 2009, a parking ticket was issued for the car parked by the applicant at Montigny-le-Bretonneux. A fine notice was sent to the applicant son’s who registered the car. On March 5th 2009, the applicant requested the district attorney to dismiss the proceeding against his son and open proceeding against him under art. 529-10 1-b) of code of criminal procedure . He also requested to be prosecuted to challenge the legality of the parking ordinance in court.
On June 15th 2009, the district attorney rejected the applicant request. But after a new request was made by the applicant, the district attorney informed him on July 31th 2009 that the case was sent to the court and that he will be served. Surprisingly a notice for repossession for 33 Euros was served for his son on October 28th 2009. On May 21th 2010, a final notice for 40,5 Euros was served. On May 27th 2010, the fine was paid by the applicant for his son.
On July 9th 2010, the applicant and his son filed an application with the E.C.H.R arguing that the refusal of the district attorney to prosecute him in a court was a violation of articles 6-1 and 13 of the Convention and that the condemnation by a district attorney and not a court was a violation of article 6-2. The applicants are advised by Me Philippe Yllouz.
On the same day, the agency Conseil Constitutionnel ruled in the application 2010-38 QPC that the lack of judicial review of the decision taken by the district attorney was a violation of the Constitution.
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