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Criminal proceedings against lawyer Noureddine Ahmine

Criminal proceedings against lawyer Noureddine Ahmine

Geneva, May 29th 2018,

The International Observatory for Lawyers in Danger (OIAD) welcomes the acquittal on May 28, 2018 by the Criminal Court of Ghardaïa of Me Noureddine Ahmine sued for contempt and constitution of false evidence, offenses for which he had been acquitted at first instance.

A group of defense of 37 Algerian lawyers representing various Bars pleaded during more than four hours for the defense of the interests of Me Noureddine Ahmine. The Prosecutor, meanwhile, had asked for one year of imprisonment. This momentum of solidarity in order for the fundamental principles of the role of the lawyer and an unhindered defense to be respected, have paid.

As a reminder, Noureddine Ahmine on 19 January 2014 filed a complaint against X for assault resulting in the death of Mr Hadj Said Khaled, the brother of Mr Hadj Said Mustapha, his mandator. Before falling into a coma, Mr. Hadj Said Khaled told his brother that the police had taken part in his assault instead of defending him from his attackers.

Summoned to the police on October 21, 2015, Mr. Ahmine was informed that Mr. Hadj Said Mustapha has withdrawn the complaint, and that he was therefore being prosecuted for contempt of court – for mentioning the police force in his complaint – and for producing false evidences.

Me Noureddine Ahmine was auditioned by the investigating judge of the Ghardaia Court on May 19, 2016 and on October 24, 2017. He was acquitted at first instance for lack of evidence. The prosecution appealed this decision.

Following the adjournments of the hearings of February 5, 2018 and March 5, 2018, decided by the judge and criticized by the defense lawyers, the hearing of the criminal proceedings of Me Ahmine took place on May 28, 2018.

The OIAD is pleased that the Algerian judicial authorities have respected the Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, adopted by the United Nations in Havana, Cuba, in 1990, which provides that:

Governments shall ensure that lawyers (a) are able to perform all of their professional functions without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference; (b) are able to travel and to consult with their clients freely both within their own country and abroad; and (c) shall not suffer, or be threatened with, prosecution or administrative, economic or other sanctions for any action taken in accordance with recognized professional duties, standards and ethics.” (Principle 16)

where the security of lawyers is threatened as a result of discharging their functions, they shall be adequately safeguarded by the authorities”. (Principle 17)

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