Selmouni v. France [GC] (Application no. 25803/94)

A selection of key paragraph(s) can be found below the document.


87. The Court considers that where an individual is taken into police custody in good health but is found to be injured at the time of release, it is incumbent on the State to provide a plausible explanation of how those injuries were caused, failing which a clear issue arises under Article 3 of the Convention (see the Tomasi v. France judgment of 27 August 1992, Series A no. 241-A, pp. 40-41, §§ 108-11, and the Ribitsch v. Austria judgment of 4 December 1995, Series A no. 336, pp. 25-26, § 34). It also points out that in his criminal complaint and application to join the proceedings as a civil party, Mr Selmouni directed his allegations against the police officers in question (see paragraph 28 above) and that the issue of their guilt is a matter for the jurisdiction of the French courts, in particular the criminal courts, alone. Whatever the outcome of the domestic proceedings, the police officers’ conviction or acquittal does not absolve the respondent State from its responsibility under the Convention (see the Ribitsch judgment cited above). It is accordingly under an obligation to provide a plausible explanation of how Mr Selmouni’s injuries were caused.


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