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MADAGASCAR
CASE N° MAG/01 - JEAN EUGENE VONINAHITSY
Resolution adopted unanimously by the Governing Council
at its 173rd session (Geneva, 3 October 2003)


The Governing Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,

Referring to the outline of the case of Mr. Jean Eugène Voninahitsy of Madagascar, as contained in the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians (CL/173/11(b)?R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 171st session (September 2002),

Recalling that on 23 December 2000 Mr. Voninahitsy was arrested without his parliamentary immunity having been lifted on a charge of insulting the Head of State; on 26 December he was also charged with issuing uncovered cheques and subsequently found guilty on both counts; while the Court of Appeal annulled the procedure in the first case, it upheld the conviction as regards the issuing of uncovered cheques; on 21 June 2001, the Supreme Court upheld that judgment and as a result Mr. Voninahitsy was stripped of his parliamentary mandate and unable to stand in the December 2001 presidential elections,

Considering that the Supreme Court, acting on an appeal lodged by the Attorney General on the orders of the Minister of Justice, by its ruling N 100 of 1 August 2002 quashed the judgments handed down by the Criminal Chamber of the Antananarivo Appeal Court on 26 January 2001 against Mr. Voninahitsy in the case of the cheques, and terminated all the legal proceedings against him without any further action,

Considering that Mr. Voninahitsy was thus entitled to stand in the legislative elections of 15 December 2002,

  1. Notes with satisfaction the decision of the Supreme Court, which has led to the restoration of Mr. Voninahitsy's political rights, particularly his right to stand for election;

  2. Decides therefore to close the case; nevertheless deplores the fact that Mr. Voninahitsy was arrested and endured a six-month sentence as a result of legal proceedings brought against him in breach of his parliamentary immunity;

  3. Requests the Secretary General to inform the parliamentary authorities and the source accordingly.

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