On September 26th 1994, Ms. Agnes Klouvi filed a complain for rape and sexual assault. She alleged that she was raped and molested several times from 1992 to 1994 by her ex-boss T.. On January 1998, an investigating judge of the tribunal of Paris refused to charge T. and closed the investigation.

On October 21th 1999, she was condemned to 6 months suspended prison sentence for “false accusation” (art.226-10 of the penal code) by the tribunal of Paris and to pay €12,195 of damages and €3,048 of legal cost to T. On December 5th 2001, the appeal court of Paris confirmed the ruling. On March 25th 2003, the supreme court (Cour de cassation) rejected her appeal (02-80569).

On September 18th 2003, the applicant lodged her case to the European Court of Human Rights arguing that article 226-10 of the penal code forced judges to condemn for “false accusation” all the plaintiffs whose allegations didn’t result in the suspect being charged, in violation of articles 6-1 and 6-2 of the Convention.

On February 2nd 2007, the application was communicated to the agent of the French government.

On June 30th 2011, the Court found a violation of articles 6-1 and 6-2 of the Convention on the ground that the article 226-10 of the penal code didn’t allow judges to examine the allegation of the plaintiff but forced them to consider the allegation as false and malicious and to condemn the plaintiff for “false accusation” if no charge were brought against the suspect. The applicant was represented by Me Christophe Pettiti (Paris). The Court awarded her €8,000 for moral damages and  €4,832 for legal fees.

Under article 626-1 of the code of penal procedure, the applicant can now request a new trial at an appeal court from a special commission of the supreme court, in order to redress the violations of article 6 found by the European Court of Human Rights.

On July 11th 2010, article 226-10 of the penal code was slightly modified by article 16 of law 2010-769. But according to Me Christophe Pettiti the change is not fully satisfying for plaintiffs in sexual crime cases. He added that it is now the responsibility of French judges to take into account judgment Klouvi v. France (30754/03) when ruling on accusations of “false accusation”.

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