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(2005-01-25) Council of Europe Questions - Replies of the Committee of Ministers

Mise en ligne : 9 juillet 2005

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 (First part)
Fourth sitting

Wednesday 26 January 2005 at 10 a.m.


The following questions were not reached and have therefore been answered in written form (questions and replies not delivered and therefore unavailable to the Assembly during the debate).

Question No.11 :

Mr Jurgens,

Referring to his previous question concerning the case of Hakkar v. France, to which the Chairperson of the Committee of Ministers replied on 22 June 2004 ;

Recalling that in his reply, the Chairperson of the Committee of Ministers said he was confident that the appeal hearing would clearly establish Mr Hakkar’s situation under criminal law and that the Committee of Ministers had a duty to follow this case,

To ask the Chairperson of the Committee of Ministers,

Whether he has taken note of the judgment given on 14 January 2005 by the Assize Court of Appeal of Yvelines whereby this court took the exceptional decision to reduce the unconditional period accompanying the life sentence, from 18 to 16 years, and whether he can tell the Assembly what practical implications this decision will have for Mr Hakkar, and in particular when can he be released, once the judgment of 14 January 2005 has become final.”

Reply by Mr Jan Truszcz ?ski on behalf of the Committee of Ministers :

Mr President, it might be helpful to recall that Mr Hakkar was among the first to benefit from the French law on the presumption of innocence. This makes it possible for persons who have been condemned at a trial found to be in contravention of the European Convention on Human Rights to apply for a new trial. At retrial, in a judgment of 26 February 2003, the applicant was convicted anew and his prison sentence unchanged.

This brought about a situation in which the applicant appeared to be serving two consecutive sentences for the same offence. But you will recall, Mr President, that a predecessor of mine made it clear to the Assembly that the original sentence would disappear once the new one became final. This was delayed by the fact that the applicant appealed against the judgment given at retrial. As the honourable member points out, the appeal court, in a judgment this month, reduced the punitive part of Mr Hakkar’s sentence from 18 to 16 years.

Following this judgment, it might have been possible to confirm that Mr Hakkar could possibly be eligible for parole. That assumes that he was not serving any other sentence and that he did nothing further to delay the finalisation of the sentence. However, we know that Mr Hakkar is facing other sentences and also that he has appealed on points of law against the recent confirmation of his conviction. I will inform Mr Jurgens once I have been able to form a clearer idea of Mr Hakkar’s situation in the light of his appeal on points of law.