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On March 13th 2010, S.C is placed in police custody in Liege and interrogated by police officers on a murder charge. She is not allowed to receive any legal assistance from a lawyer. On March 14th 2010, the applicant is interrogated by an investigating judge of the tribunal without any legal assistance. Belgium law didn’t authorize suspect in custody to receive any legal assistance at this stage of the investigation.
On June 3rd 2010, the investigation chamber of the appeal court of Liege refused to suppress transcripts of these interrogations.
On December 3rd 2010, the applicant submitted his case to the European Court of Human Rights arguing that lack of legal assistance in custody was a violation of articles 5-1, 6-1 and 6-3 of the Convention. The applicant is represented by 3 lawyers of Defenso, Mr. Marc Neve, Ms. Sandra Berbuto and Ms. Estelle Berthe. On May 4th 2011, the application was communicated to the agent of the Belgium government with questions to be answered within 16 weeks.
On September 22nd 2008, Mr. Philippe Creissen a lawyer, was arrested in his home of Saint-Andre (Reunion Island), following a complain of “assault” by his neighbor. He was detained in police custody for 24 hours by order of a police officer (art. 63 of the code of penal procedure). Then the prosecutor of the Republic ordered his detention for an additional 24 hours. But he was finally released without charge after more than 25 hours of police custody.
On September 11th 2009, he was formally charged with “assault” by an investigating judge. On December 24th 2009, the applicant filed a motion to dismiss at the investigation court of the appeal court of Saint-Denis (Reunion Island). On April 27th 2010, the court rejected his motion. On April 28th 2010, the applicant filed an appeal (10-83674) to the Supreme Court (see below).
He argued that his detention in police custody under the control of the prosecutor was a violation of article 5-1 of the Convention (Moulin v. France (37104/06)), that his detention in police custody without being brought before a judge was a violation of article 5-3 of the Convention and that the lack of assistance of a lawyer during his police custody (no access to the police reports and absence during police interrogations) was a violation of articles 6-1 and 6-3 of the Convention (Brusco v. France(1466/07)).
The prosecutor of the Republic submitted a lengthy 39 pages brief in response stating surprisingly that there was no violation of article 5-1 of the Convention on the ground that the prosecutor of the Republic was a “judicial authority” (pages 36,37), that there was no violation of article 5-3 of the Convention on the ground that this article didn’t apply to the first “48 hours of police custody” (pages 36,37) and that there was no violation of articles 6-1 and 6-3 (page 5) because the applicant didn’t request a private meeting of 30 minutes with his lawyer (art.63-4 of the code of penal procedure).
On December 15th 2010, the supreme court ruled that the prosecutor was not a “judicial authority“ (judgment Moulin v. France (37104/06)). Nevertheless the court failed to acknowledge the violation of article 5-1-c) on the ground that this article didn’t apply because the appellant was released after 25 hours of police custody.
Surprisingly, the supreme court also ruled that there no violation of articles 6-1 and 6-3 of the Convention on the ground that the applicant waived his rights under the Convention, to his lawyer being present during police interrogation with access to the investigation files (Brusco v. France (1466/07) §45) by… simply not asking to meet his lawyer confidentially for 30 minutes (art. 63-4 of the code of criminal procedure).
On 7th June 1999, the applicant was arrested for “attempted murder” and placed in police custody. The next day, he was put under oath and interrogated before he could meet his lawyer. On 9th June 1999, he was suspected of complicity to commit murder and detained in jail pending investigation. On December 8th 2001, he was released on his own recognizance. On March 1st 2002, the charge was changed to “aggravated assault“.
On October 31st 2002, he was condemned for “aggravated assault” by the tribunal of Paris to 5 years in jail. On October 26th 2004, his appeal to the court of appeal of Paris failed. The court motivated its ruling with the judgment of the tribunal of Paris. On June 27th 2006, the supreme court (Cour de cassation) rejected his appeal.
On December 26th 2006, the applicant lodged an application with the Court arguing that to be put under oath was a violation of articles 6-1 and 6-3 of the Convention, that the lack of new motivation of the court of appeal of Paris was a violation of article 6-1 and that his detention of 2 years and 6 months pending investigation was a violation of article 5-3. On March 24th 2009, the application was communicated to the agent for the French government. On September 29th 2009, the applicant requested the Court to organize a public hearing on the case. It was rejected by the Court.
On October 14th 2010, the Court ruled that to put a suspect under oath was a violation of the right to remain silent and the right against self-incrimination, so there were violations of articles 6-1 and 6-3. The Court found the other allegations of violation of the Convention to be inadmissible. The applicant was represented by Me Patrice Spinosi who didn’t return our emails for comment.
The Court also reminded that the right to meet his lawyer prior to any police interrogation, and then to be assisted by his lawyer during these interrogations were both guaranteed by article 6 of the Convention.
Under article 626-1 of the code of penal procedure, the applicant can now request from a special commission, a new trial to redress the violation of article 6 found by the Court.
On February 3rd 2003, an investigation was opened on an armed robbery committed in a jewelry store in Courchevel (France). On January 12th 2004, the French investigating judge requested by letters rogatory that Mr. Boban Stojkovic detained in Bruges (Belgium), be interrogated in presence of his lawyer (art. 113-3 of the code of penal instruction) on his alleged involvement in the armed robbery.
On March 11th and 12th 2004, the applicant was interrogated by Belgium police officers in the presence of the French investigating judge and a French district attorney. The applicant immediately requested the assistance of a lawyer but no lawyer was appointed to him until.. November 2th 2004.
On February 1st 2007, the applicant was formally charged for the armed robbery. On May 9th 2007, the appeal court of Chambery rejected his motion to suppress the transcript of his interrogation of 2004. On November 20th 2007, the supreme court , dismissed his appeal no 07-86503. On December 3rd 2008, the applicant was sentenced to 6 years in jail.
On May 16th 2008, the applicant filed his case with the E.C.H.R arguing a violation of article 6-3-c of the Convention., due to the lack of assistance of a lawyer during his interrogation in 2004. The applicant is represented by Me Michel Jugnet.
On December 2th 2009, the case was communicated to the French Republic with questions in reference to the judgment Salduz v. Turkey (no 36391/02). The agents for the French, Belgium and Serbian States were given the deadline of April 2th 2010 to submit their answers.
On October 27th 2011, the Court found a violation of articles 6-1 and 6-3-c) of the Convention and condemned the French Republic to pay €5,000 of damages to the applicant.