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Decree of Absence and European Arrest Warrant: Release of the Assisted Person

The Initial Situation: A person legally assisted was subject to a precautionary order for inducing and facilitating prostitution, but this order was never notified to the individual, who was unreachable at her home address and not reachable by phone. Consequently, the authorities issued a decree of absence against her.

Legal Proceedings

Despite the absence of the defendant, the trial continued until she was arrested in France, during a transfer to Italy, based on a European Arrest Warrant.

Explanation of the Decree of Absence

Definition and Prerequisites: The decree of absence is issued when an individual voluntarily evades a restrictive order on personal freedom. However, it must be issued only after rigorous investigations to avoid injustices.

Searches for the Absentee

Use of Phone Number: It is mandatory to attempt contacting the absentee through the known phone number before declaring the searches futile.

International Searches: Searches must halt within national borders unless there are indications suggesting the presence of the absentee abroad.

Voluntariness of Evasion: It must be proven that the absentee is aware of the pending order and voluntarily evades it.

Consequences of Erroneously Issued Decree of Absence

Nullification of Subsequent Acts: If the decree of absence is issued without proper grounds, all subsequent acts are null, and the trial must start anew.

Trial of the Assisted Person

New Evidence: In the case of the assisted person, evidence was presented demonstrating that the evasion from the order was involuntary, and she was returning to Italy.

Judge’s Decision: The judge, acknowledging the objections, declared the decree of absence null and ordered the trial to start afresh, leading to the release of the assisted person.

Lesson Learned: This case underscores the importance of conducting thorough checks from the outset to avoid injustices and uphold legal guarantees for individuals involved in criminal proceedings.

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