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On December 17th 2008, the Portuguese-language newspaper Contacto owned by the media conglomerate Saint-Paul Luxembourg, published an article on children custody rights in Luxembourg. In the article, the citizens interviewed, named 2 teenagers in cases handled by Mr. Kapitene of the office of the general prosecutor (SCAS).

On January 5th 2009, Mr. Kapitene filed a criminal complain. On January 30th 2009, an investigative judge opened at the request of the prosecutor of Luxembourg, an investigation for “slander” (art.443 of the penal code) and for revealing the name of the 2 teenagers (art.38 Law August 10th 1992).

On March 30th 2009, the investigative judge Scheer ordered the police to search* the Contacto office (art. 65 of the code of criminal procedure) “to identify the offender” described as the “journalist of Contacto who wrote the article“. On May 7th 2009, 3 police officers searched the office of Contacto and seized documents and computer files on CD and USB flash drive. According to the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the police officers didn’t inform the Council of Press in violation of the directive of March 28th 2006 on article 7-a) of the Code of ethics.

On May 20th 2009, the tribunal rejected secretly the motion of Saint-Paul Luxembourg to suppress the search*. On October 27th 2009, the appeal court confirmed the secret ruling*.

On April 26th 2010, Saint-Paul Luxembourg filed an application with the ECHR on the ground that the police search of Contacto office was a violation of articles 8 and 10 of the Convention. On December 5th 2011, the application was communicated to the agent of Grand Duchy of Luxembourg with questions to be answered within 16 weeks. The applicant is represented by Me Patrick Kinsch (Luxembourg).

* : On January 10th 2012, Ms. Catherine Fabeck of the office of the prosecutor general (CREDOC) informed us that the order of the investigative judge and the rulings of the tribunal and appeal court were all “secret” and couldn’t be communicated to ECHR News.

From June 13th 1997 to May 30th 1998, some Renault employees on strike occupied one of the branch of the company in Beziers.

On June 20th 1997 and June 27th 1997 Renault obtained judge orders to expel the strikers. On August 1st 1997, Renault sold the branch to Bda whose main shareholder is Sofiran. On August 29th 1997 and on January 27th 1998, Bda obtained again judge orders to expel the strikers. But the local police constantly refused to comply with any of the judge orders.

On October 11th 1999, Bda and Sofiran filed at the administrative tribunal of Montpellier, a lawsuit to obtain damages following the refusals of the local police to execute the judge orders. On March 29th 2005, the tribunal rejected their claim. On February 27th 2007, the administrative appeal court of Marseilles confirmed the ruling (05MA01397, 05MA01426). On May 18th 2009, the administrative supreme court (conseil d’etat) rejected the appeals of the applicants (305135, 302090).

On November 17th 2009, the applicants lodged their case to the European Court of Human Rights arguing that refusal of the police to comply with the judge orders were a violation of articles 6-1 and 1P1 of the Convention. The applicants are represented by Me Sandrine Serpentier-Linares (Montpellier).

On June 22th 2011, the application was communicated to the agent of the French government with questions to be answered within 16 weeks. Me Sandrine Serpentier-Linares (Montpellier) communicated us the following comments on the questions of the Court :

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.


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