Court of Second Instance | Defendants must pay court costs, legal fees in cases of crime expiration

Defendants in criminal cases continue to be responsible for paying court costs and legal fees even if the crime they were accused of lapses, the judges of the Court of Second Instance (TSI) ruled.
The decision comes in response to an appeal to the TSI by two defendants who were being tried in a case on the unlawful use of identification documents belonging to deceased relatives and signature forgery to use government health vouchers.
According to the judges of the TSI, “In the light of our legal system, in both civil and criminal proceedings, the payment of courts costs always follows the principle of the cause which is based on [the idea that] ‘the person responsible is the one who causes the action’,” the ruling states.
The TSI explained that such a principle comes from Article 489 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which provides that in the case of a conviction, the defendant is responsible for the payment of court costs.
According to the judges, what happened in this case was not an acquittal of the defendants, but, instead, a consequence of the limitations of the system. In this case, the Court of First Instance (TJB) had tried the defendants for a different crime with a more lenient penal framework, resulting in the expiration of the case.
The court also noted that this appeal occurred after the sentence had been provided by the TJB and not in a pre-trial stage. For this reason, although the defendants will not be accountable for the sentence, they will still need to pay the court costs and fees.

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