ПОСТАНОВЛЕНИЕ Европейского суда по правам человека от 10.02.1995"АЛЛЕНЕ ДЕ РИБЕМОН (allenet de ribemont) ПРОТИВ ФРАНЦИИ" [рус.(извлечение), англ.]

as opposed to theoretical and illusory (see, among other authorities, the Artico v. Italy judgment of 13 May 1980, Series A no. 37, p. 16, para. 33; the Soering v. the United Kingdom judgment of 7 July 1989, Series A no. 161, p. 34, para. 87; and the Cruz Varas and Others v. Sweden judgment of 20 March 1991, Series A no. 201, p. 36, para. 99). That also applies to the right enshrined in Article 6 para. 2 (art. 6-2).
36. The Court considers that the presumption of innocence may be infringed not only by a judge or court but also by other public authorities.
37. At the time of the press conference of 29 December 1976 Mr Allenet de Ribemont had just been arrested by the police (see paragraph 9 above). Although he had not yet been charged with aiding and abetting intentional homicide (see paragraph 12 above), his arrest and detention in police custody formed part of the judicial investigation begun a few days earlier by a Paris investigating judge and made him a person "charged with a criminal offence" within the meaning of Article 6 para. 2 (art. 6-2). The two senior police officers present were conducting the inquiries in the case. Their remarks, made in parallel with the judicial investigation and supported by the Minister of the Interior, were explained by the existence of that investigation and had a direct link with it. Article 6 para. 2 (art. 6-2) therefore applies in this case.
B. Compliance with Article 6 para. 2 (art. 6-2)
1. Reference to the case at the press conference
38. Freedom of expression, guaranteed by Article 10 (art. 10) of the Convention, includes the freedom to receive and impart information. Article 6 para. 2 (art. 6-2) cannot therefore prevent the authorities from informing the public about criminal investigations in progress, but it requires that they do so with all the discretion and circumspection necessary if the presumption of innocence is to be respected.
2. Content of the statements complained of
39. Like the applicant, the Commission considered that the remarks made by the Minister of the Interior and, in his presence and under his authority, by the police superintendent in charge of the inquiry and the Director of the Criminal Investigation Department, were incompatible with the presumption of innocence. It noted that in them Mr Allenet de Ribemont was held up as one of the instigators of Mr de Broglie"s murder.
40. The Government maintained that such remarks came under the head of information about criminal proceedings in progress and were not such as to infringe the presumption of innocence, since they did not bind the courts and could be proved false by subsequent investigations. The facts of the case bore this out, as the applicant had not been formally charged until two weeks after the press conference and the investigating judge had eventually decided that there was no case to answer.
41. The Court notes that in the instant case some of the highest-ranking officers in the French police referred to Mr Allenet de Ribemont, without any qualification or reservation, as one of the instigators of a murder and thus an accomplice in that murder (see paragraph 11 above). This was clearly a declaration of the applicant"s guilt which, firstly, encouraged the public to believe him guilty and, secondly, prejudged the assessment of the facts by the competent judicial authority. There has therefore been a breach of Article 6 para. 2 (art. 6-2).
II. Alleged violation of Article 6 para. 1 (art. 6-1)
of the Convention
42. Mr Allenet de Ribemont also complained of the length of the compensation proceedings he brought in the administrative and then in the ordinary courts. He relied on Article 6 para. 1 (art. 6-1) of the Convention, which provides:
"In the determination of his civil rights and obligations ..., everyone is entitled to a ... hearing within a reasonable time by [a] ... tribunal ..."
43. The applicability of Article 6 para. 1 (art. 6-1) was not contested. Like the Commission, the Court notes that the proceedings in question concerned claims for compensation for the injury to his reputation which the applicant asserted he had sustained as a result of the statements complained of. Their purpose was thus to determine a civil right within the meaning of Article 6 para. 1 (art. 6-1).
A. Period to be taken into consideration
44. The end of the period to be taken into consideration was not disputed; the proceedings ended on 30 November 1988, when the Court of Cassation dismissed the applicant"s appeal on points of law against the Paris Court of Appeal"s judgment of 21 October 1987 (see paragraph 26 above).
45. The same is not true of the starting-point of the period.
In the Government"s submission the proceedings in the administrative courts were not to be taken into account. Those courts had given no decision on the merits and had relinquished jurisdiction pursuant to the principle of the separation of administrative and judicial authorities, which obliged the administrative courts to reject arguments which they could not entertain without interfering in the working of the ordinary courts. Mr Allenet de Ribemont"s lawyers could not have been unaware of this principle.
The applicant, on the other hand, maintained that the proceedings began with the application to the Paris Administrative Court, and that because of the dispute over jurisdiction the proceedings in the ordinary courts

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