Sayadi and Vinck v Belgium, UN Human Rights Committee (2006) (excerpts)

Sayadi and Vinck v Belgium, UN Human Rights Committee Communication 1472/2006 (excerpts)

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10.10 With regard to the allegation of a violation of article 14, paragraph 3, of the Covenant,
and to the authors’ arguments that the application of sanctions was marked by the lack of a
reasonable time frame for the proceedings and, more particularly, for the investigation into
allegations of criminal association and money-laundering, the Committee notes that the criminal
investigation was initiated on 3 September 2002 and that the dismissal order was issued by the
Brussels Court of First Instance on 19 December 2005. The State party points out that the
authors give no reasons for claiming a violation of the reasonable time limit for the investigation.
It contends that the three and a half years of investigation were justified by the complexity of the
dossier and the fact that several investigative measures had been carried out abroad. The
Committee recalls that what constitutes an excessive and a reasonable length of time is a matter
that must be assessed on a case-by-case basis, taking account, inter alia, of the complexity of
each case. In the present case, the Committee finds that the facts before it do not disclose any
violation of article 14, paragraph 3, of the Covenant with respect to the duration of the
investigation.