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On April 19th 2010 at 12:15pm, Ms. Hoyos was placed in police custody for 24 hours in Monaco (art.60-4 of the code of penal procedure) under the control of the prosecutor general (art.60-1, 60-3). At 12:30pm, she requested to speak with a lawyer (art.60-9). Despite her request she was interrogated until her bar appointed lawyer arrived. After meeting with her lawyer, she was subject to a body search (art.60-2) and had her bag searched without her lawyer present. Then, she was further interrogated without any legal assistance.

On April 20th 2010 at 12:15pm, she was informed that a 24h warrant of further detention was granted at 11:40am by a judge at the request of the prosecutor general (art.60-4). After meeting with her counsel, she was again interrogated without any legal assistance.

On April 21st 2010 at 11:00am, she was interrogated without her lawyer by the prosecutor general (art.261) who issued an “arrest warrant” for a 4 month pretrial detention (art.162). Then, she was interrogated without her lawyer by an investigative judge (art.166).

On August 25th 2010, Me Regis Bergonzi filed a motion to dismiss to the investigative judge. On September 1st 2010, the investigative judge ruled that he was not authorized by law to rule on the lawfulness of the police custody (art.209). On September 20th 2010, the appeal court confirmed the ruling. On March 30th 2011, the supreme court (cour de revision) refused to rule on the appeal of the Ms. Hoyos.

On July 23rd 2011, she filed an application to the European Court of Human Rights arguing that the control of the police custody by the prosecutor general, and the fact that she was not brought before a judge were violations of article 5-3 of the Convention. She added that the absence of legal assistance during interrogations, of notice of the right to remain silent, the lack of access of her lawyer to her police file, and the purchase of her prosecution file, were violations of articles 6-1 and 6-3 of the Convention. Furthermore, according to her, the refusal of the supreme court to rule was a violation of article 6-1.

On January 23rd 2012, the application was communicated to the representative of Monaco with questions to be answered within 16 weeks. The applicant is represented by Me Regis Bergonzi (Monaco).

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On January 7th 2004, the minister of state Patrick Leclercq committed upon accession to the Council of Europe, to submit to the Monaco National Council a bill on police custody (Appendix 5, 1-A)in order to ensure the compatibility of Monaco legislation with the ECHR and its Protocols”. On October 5th 2004, Monaco became a member of the Council of Europe. On November 30th 2005, Monaco ratified the European Convention of Human Rights which entered into force the same day.

On December 26th 2007, the law 1.343 introduced articles 60-1 to 60-12 on police custody in the code of penal procedure. Until then, police custody was not regulated by any law. Under these articles, the detention of a suspect in police custody can only be ordered by a police officer (art.60-2) and is supervised by the prosecutor general (art.60-1) who can release the suspect (art.60-3). The suspect should be brought before the prosecutor general within 24 hours of his arrest (art.399) who can order orally his detention for up to 6 days pending trial (up to 4 days not including weekends and labor holidays).

On November 24th 2011, bill 894 on police custody was submitted to the National Council. The bill 894 introduced a new requirement for the prosecutor general to notify promptly the “freedom judge” of the detention of a suspect in police custody (art.2 of bill 894). But the bill 894 don’t allow the “freedom judge” to get access to the custody record, to control the conditions of detention, to rule on the lawfulness of the police custody and to release the suspect. Worse, the prosecutor general can still order the arrest of a suspect (art.157, art.261) and detain him without any of the legal safeguards of police custody (art.159). The lack of effective control of police and prosecutor general custody by a judge is a violation of article 5-1 of the Convention (judgment Medvedyev v. France (3394/03) §61).

Bill 894 doesn’t introduce any requirement to bring the suspect promptly before a judge to rule on the lawfulness of the police custody and if needed to order his detention pending trial, in violation of article 5-3 of the Convention. The prosecutor general shouldn’t perform these functions because he will prosecute the suspect (judgment Huber v. Switzerland (12794/87) §42).

Article 6 of the bill 894 confirmed the possibility to extend police custody up to 4 days on request of the prosecutor general (art.60-4). Moreover, Bill 894 doesn’t forbid in the same investigation several police and prosecutor general custody of a suspect.

In its visit of Monaco in March 2006, the Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) met suspect unlawfully detained (CPT/Inf (2007)20 §30).

But Bill 894 failed to introduce a “habeas corpus” for suspect in custody in violation of article 5-4 of the Convention (judgment Zervudacki v. France (73947/01) §77). It also didn’t create “an enforceable right to compensation” for the victim of an illegal detention in police or prosecutor general custody. This is a violation of article 5-5 of the Convention.

Therefore, Monaco seems to fail to honor its commitment made in 2004 to ensure the compatibility of his legislation on police custody with the Convention. Monaco National Council will vote on Bill 894 in Spring 2012 after discussion in the law committee.

On May 7th 2009 at 08:50, Mr. Mosashvili was arrested for entering Monaco despite his administrative ban of the country (art. 23 executive order 3153 1964). He was placed in police custody for up to 24 hours under the control of prosecutor general (art. 60-1 of the code of penal procedure).

He was then brought the same day at 14:30 to the prosecutor general (art. 252) who issued an “arrest warrant” for his detention at the local jail (art. 162) for up to 6 days awaiting special speedy trial (art. 399). There is no provision in the code to grant bail to suspect or to motivate the “arrest warrant” for pretrial detention.

On May 8th 2009, he was brought to the tribunal and sentenced to one month in jail. On May 18th 2009, the appeal court rejected his appeal. On November 5th 2009, the applicant lost his appeal to the supreme court.

On May 4th 2010, he filed an application to the European Court of Human Rights arguing that the control of the police custody and the issue of an “arrest warrant” by the prosecutor general were violations of article 5-3 of the Convention. According to the applicant, the prosecutor general in Monaco being under the control of the executive branch, lacks the independence needed to have any “judicial power“.

He also complained of a violation of article 6-1 of the Convention on the ground that the supreme court allows the prosecutor general to submit his brief 4 months late in violation of article 479 and the prosecutor general is responsible of transmitting the briefs to the supreme court without any deadline (art. 485). The applicant was represented by Me Regis Bergonzi (Monaco).

Update :

On March 23rd 2011, Mr Philippe Narmino head of the justice department of Monaco revealed that he has been informed by an unknown source that the application was found inadmissible by an unknown Judge of the ECHR in February 2011.

On May 30th 2011, Mr. Erik Fribergh of the registrar of the Court refused to communicate us the decision as well as the name of the Judge who took it. On July 22th 2011,  Me Regis Bergonzi refused to communicate us the decision because it was “vague“.

On October 26th 2010, the press office of the European Court of Human Rights has confirmed that all interim measures applications (art. 39 of the rules of the court) requesting a suspension of a deportation order (under Dublin regulation) of an asylum seeker to Greece  are currently granted.

This policy will be in effect until a ruling of the Court in the case M.S.S v. Belgium and Greece (30696/09)A public hearing on the case took place on September 1st 2010.

None of the French N.G.O (ASSFAM, La Cimade , Forum Réfugiés, France Terre d’Asile, Ordre de Malte France and Anafe) mandated by the French government to provide legal assistance to asylum seekers in immigration detention centers answered our e-mail for comments.

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