By the ruling 10-83204 of November 9th 2010, the French supreme court (Cour de cassation) released officially the information that Mr. H, a French scientist was arrested on October 8th 2009 at 6:05  at his home in Vienne (France). He was interrogated by police officers in the absence of his lawyer during a police custody which lasted 91h25.  He was then detained under an arrest warrant  issued by an investigating judge (art.122 of the code of penal procedure).

According to one of his family member, Mr. H was detained ever since in the notorious prison of Fresnes pending further investigation (visit report of CPT in 2006). His police interrogation is described by the same source as “very very harsh” and from October 2009 to February 2010, Mr. H was placed in the infirmary of the prison (“national public health center of Fresnes“). Since then, he has limited access to health care and has to walk with a cane. Moreover, in January 2011, he was violently attacked by another inmate in the yard. In a letter, Mr. H describes the detention condition in the prison of Fresnes as a “permanent  and multiple violations of [the] human rights [of the detainees]” and complains of the cold and humidity of his cell.

The investigation file on Mr. H and the charges he is facing 16 months after his arrest are still secret (art.11 of the code of penal procedure) as the district attorney of the tribunal of Paris, Mr. Jean-Claude Marin never released officially any information on the case. There is no indication that this secret investigation will lead to a trial.

According to his lawyer Me Dominique Beyreuther-Minkov (Paris), the attorney general of the appeal court of Paris, Mr. Francois Falletti even obtained that all the detention hearings of Mr. H are held in secret by an investigation chamber of the appeal court of Paris. This in derogation with article 199 of the code of penal procedure. She added that the rulings by the appeal court of Paris, on the detention of Mr. H, were also secret.  This appears to be a violation  of article R156 of the code of penal procedure.

The attorney general office of the appeal court of Paris didn’t return our email requesting official information on the cause of the arrest and detention of Mr. H, the charges he is facing, and a copy of the rulings of the appeal court of Paris on his detention pending investigation.

Following the ruling 10-83204 of November 9th 2010,  his lawyer stated that she will file an application with the ECHR invoking the violation of article 6 due to the absence of his lawyer during the police interrogation.

Mr. H is also determined to file an application with the ECHR for violations of articles 5-3 and 5-4 of the Convention if his appeals of the detention rulings are rejected by the supreme court.

Update May 3rd 2011 :

On March 15th 2011, the French supreme court rejected his appeal 10-88750 on the decision of the appeal court of Paris of November 19th 2010 to reject his motion to be released pending investigation. Mr. H complained that his detention at the prison of Fresnes amounted to a violation of article 3 of the Convention due to his poor health and the lack of proper health care.

On April 5th 2011, Mr. H filed an application (21489/11) with the ECHR.

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