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HFHR concerned with court proceedings

Defence lawyer of XY approached the HFHR and reported significant irregularities in the way the court applied pre-trial detention against his client.

XY was accused of using a forged identification document. A difficulty in unambiguous determination of the identity of the suspect was one of the reasons for the application of the pre-trial detention. In the interlocutory appeal against the pre-trial detention order the defence lawyer made a number of procedural objections. The appeal was rejected and in its statement of reasons the court stated that “the suspect committed at least the deed which was described in the decision to present charges which was announced to him and with regard to which he submitted his statements.” The defence lawyer appealed against the above decision. However, before it was examined, the court extended the pre-trial detention of XY for another two months.

“Both the inclusion of a statement clearly stating that XY committed an offence in the pre-trial detention order and as the court’s failure to examine a properly filed appellate measure raises serious doubts from the point of view of the rights guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights”, said Piotr Kubaszewski, a lawyer working with the HFHR. “Violation of the principle of the presumption of innocence is unacceptable during pending proceedings. Person with regard to which final judgment has not yet been issued must be treated as innocent”, adds Mr Kubaszewski.

In a letter to the court, the HFHR expressed concerns over the failure to examine the interlocutory appeal before the pre-trial detention was yet again extended. “One of the basic guarantees included in the Convention is the opportunity to file an effective appellate measure against a decision depriving a person of their liberty. Such a measure must be available and effective”, Piotr Kubaszewski points out.

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