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.