0010 3 e - ::'- procedure, within which the right to defence may be guaranteed. This lapidary conclusion of the Court is quite questioning. 6. lt is same with the allegation made by the Applicant according to which his right to presumption of innocence was violated. ln paragraph 194, the Court declares as follows: statements made by iome high potiticat and administrative officials on the issue of international drug trafficking, before and afier the acquittaljudgment on the benefit of the doubt of 4 November 2016, could raise suspicion of guilt of the Applicant in the minds of individuals or even a survivor of the sald susplclon of guilt" fitalics added. See also paragraph 198]. "ln the instant case, the pubtic 7. On the one hand however, the Court did not indicate the relevant excerpts of declarations made by political and administrative authorities in support of its position. The only declarations referred to by the Court are those of the Brigade Commander of the Gendarmerie of the Port of Cotonou, and former senior officials of the Port of Cotonou [paragraph 193], who are neither political nor adniinistrative authorities. ln particular, the Brigade Commander of the Gendarmerie in Cotonou may have made his declaration simply to explain to the media and to public the reasons for the Applicant's arrest, which in itself should not necessarily constitute a violation of the right to presumption of innocence. As regards the former senior officials of the port of Cotonou, the Court failed to state whether or not they were still in active service, or else why should their statements be attributed to the Respondent State. ln that regard, to be more convincing, the Court ought to have clearly indicated the excerpts of the incriminating public declarations of "some senior and administrative officials" of the Respondent State. 8. On the other, in the same paragraph 194 above, the Court finds that even the public declarations of political and administrative authorities made after lhe acquittal judgement on the benefit of the doubt could constitute a violation of the presumption of innocence. Article 7(1) (b) of the Charter however is clear and refers to the presumption of innocence "until his guilt is proven by a competent court". The Court cannot even rely on the appeal of the Prosecutor General against the acquittal judgment of 4 November 2016 to consider that the issue of the guilt of the Applicant had not been determined, because, it considers elsewhere that this appeal cannot be opposed to the Applicant [paragraph 139]. On this issue, the Court ought to have limited itself to the declarations eventually made before the judgment of 4 November 2016. 9. There is a similar problem concerning the alleged violation of the right to a two{ier jurisdiction. ln that regard, the Applicant complains that the establishment of "the Court for the repression of Economic Crimes and Terrorism" (CRIET) whose judgements are not subject to appeal "deprive him of the right to make use of the rule of the two-tier jurisdiction" [paragraph 207. ltalics added], and that "the law establishing 2 xG

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