European court: Al Jazeera’s Alluni trial illegal

European court: Al Jazeera’s Alluni trial illegal

European Court for Human Rights ruled that the sentence passed by a Spanish Judge against Aljazeera Correspondent is no legal.
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Taysser Allouni 2001-photo AFP-

A European court decided on Tuesday 17 January that a sentence of seven- year jail term handed down by Spanish Court against Alluni over charges of collusion with a terror organisation is not legal.

European Court for Human Rights ruling says Spain must give financial compensations for Alluni.  

The European court's decision came after an appeal submitted by Alluni's lawyers, accusing Spanish judiciary of violating their client's basic rights. The court considered only one out of seven counts presented by the defence team and decided it is enough to rule out the Spanish court's verdict.

The European court ruling stipulates that Spanish judiciary violated article 6.1 of the European Convention for Human Rights, which guarantees the inalienable right of citizens to have a fair and independent trial. The ruling also fines Spain 16 thousands euros.

Media sources said Alluni's attorney, Jose Louis Galan, is requesting 350 thousand euros in compensations for moral damage incurred by his client and 12 thousand euros more for the lawyers' fees.

Credibility of Spanish Judiciary Questioned

The ruling of the European court raises questions about the credibility of Spanish judiciary as the court urged Spain to restructure its judicial system in order to safeguard human rights defined by article 6 of the European Convention for Human Rights.

Legal expert, Saad Jabar said in a statement to Aljazeera that the European court's verdict seriously damages the credibility of justice system of Spain, and is a major blow to its judiciary, given that Alluni was tried in a police court and not by a regular European civil court.

Jabar added that the investigation judge who chaired the court, Baltazar Garcon, is himself subject to legal pursuit in Spain.

Aljazeera quoted Francisco Muniuth, professor at Granada university, as saying that the Spanish court ruling was unfair to Alluni and that the European court's decision is "a good news because it rules out all previous verdicts on this case" and will change certain behaviours and procedures endemic to Spanish legal system.

Analysts expected Spanish government to appeal the decision at the European Supreme Court, doubting its capacity to annul the European court's verdict.

A Trial without Corroborated Evidence

Spanish authorities arrested Tayseer Alluni, Aljazeera correspondent, who holds a Spanish citizenship, in Granada in 2003 while he was on vacation with his family.

He was tried over an interview he conducted for Aljazeera channel with Al-Qaida leader, Ousama Bin Laden.
Though Spanish court acquitted him of belonging to Al-Qaida, it sentenced him to seven years in jail in 2005 over charges of cooperation with a terror network.

Alluni has adamantly denied the charge and said in a letter he addressed to Aljazeera from his prison that the conviction was based on interpretation and was "random" and "uncorroborated".

Several rights groups condemned the verdict back then, qualifying it as unfair and adopted because of his journalistic work. Scores of Human rights organizations set up a committee in charge of following up Alluni's case, including International Justice Organisation in The Hague, Arab Committee for Human Rights and French Observatory for Human Rights in Paris.

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