Kodjo Alain Victor Claude v Republic of Cote D’Ivoire (Application No. ECW/CCJ/APP/01/21)

A selection of key paragraphs can be found below the judgement.


80. In a criminal matter, in so far as a competent court has not pronounced on the guilt of a suspect, a presumption of innocence is attributed to that individual. The public prosecutor has the burden of proving guilt of the accused in order for the accused to be convicted of the crime he is charged with. The prosecution must in most cases prove that the accused is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This principle is so sacred to the right of the accused that if reasonable doubt remains, the accused must be acquitted.

83. The Court recognizes that the Respondent has not provided any legitimate reasons to justify the continuous detention of the Applicant for over eighteen months even after a lawful order of release by a Court of law. Therefore the conduct of the Prosecuting Authority is indicative of a presumption of guilt of the Applicant without a Court having found him guilty of the alleged crime.

84. In light of this analysis, the Court holds that the Respondent violated the Applicant’s right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty by a competent court or tribunal contrary to of the Article 7 (1) (b) African Charter.


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