Saturday, April 6, 2019

The hearing of Maurice Kamto is not open to the public, says Nagnigni

In recent times, there is more and more talk of a procedure called Habeas Corpus. What is it really about?

The so-called Habeas Corpus procedure is instituted in Cameroon by two recent texts. It is the law n ° 2006/015 of December 29, 2006 modified by that n ° 2001/027 relating to the judicial organization and the code of penal procedure Cameroon adopted in 2006. Of the Latin expression which means "That you have the "body", this procedure is of Anglo-Saxon origin. Cameroon owes its introduction to its legal arsenal at its initiative to harmonize the two legal systems, one from the Common Law and the other from French law.

How does this procedure work?

The procedure is described in article 18 paragraph 2 of the law n ° 2006/015 of 29 December 2006 modified by that n ° 2001/027 relating to the judicial organization and articles 584 and following of the code of penal procedure. The request is made either by the person arrested or detained, or by his agent. It is sent to the president of the High Court, which seized, sends a copy of the file to the prosecutor for the requisitions. Then the judge rules after the observations of the applicant and the public prosecutor. And if he considers that the request is well founded, he orders the immediate release of the applicant. The info clear and sharp. His decision is likely to appeal within 05 days. And the court of appeal is also the president of the Court of Appeal or any magistrate delegated by him.

In this process, are the hearings public or in camera?

To answer this question, it is necessary to distinguish between the jurisdiction of the court and that of its president. In the first case, the court seized rules in the public hearing room. In the second case, the president of the court rules in his cabinet.With regard specifically to the habeas corpus procedure, the competent court is the president of the High Court ruling in his cabinet, in a council chamber. This means in practice that each applicant goes to the judge's house; and participate in this hearing only the applicant himself, his or her counsel, the prosecutor, the clerk and the judge. Even the complainant or the victim of the offense, as part of this procedure, is not entitled to attend this hearing. The requests are not collective, but individual. If the president has several requests, each file is called in turn and each case treated alone. As we commonly say, it's everyone's turn.

The news reveals cases of treatment of these procedures where the applicants denounce the absence of the public at the hearing, what is it exactly?

It is difficult for anyone not in a file to know what is going on in the process; and for good reason ; do not participate in the trial as said before the applicant, his or her councils and members of the jurisdiction.Perhaps you want to know if the hearing is public or in camera. The hearing takes place in the judge's office, in a council chamber. It is public only for the actors I have just named. This is so on appeal and on appeal. This is not an audience open to the public. And for her to stand in a council chamber does not mean that it is a closed door.

Is it permissible to try an accused under these conditions?

The habeas corpus hearing is not the one in which the accused is tried. It is a hearing that is meant to rule only on the arrest or detention, illegal or otherwise, of the accused. It aims for a detainee, to get the opportunity to follow the rest of his trial in freedom. When the person is released under this procedure, that does not mean that the procedure is over. The competent court must then judge the accused, to say whether the facts alleged against him are justified or not, to say whether he is guilty or not. That hearing, the one in which the accused is judged on the facts, that hearing is public.

Why can not habeas corpus cases be heard in open court?

The law is so made that it must be respected. And its application should not vary according to the applicants or records. The habeas corpus proceedings are tried by the presidents of the courts, and as far as this matter is concerned, the judges have always ruled in their chambers, in a council chamber, and not in the courtroom.

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