Cooperation to reinforce presumption of innocence

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Cooperation to reinforce presumption of innocence

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Brussels has proposed stepping up justice cooperation between EU Member States in order to avoid citizens being jailed away from home, in cases of minor offences for which they are awaiting trial. Concerning some 8,000 people currently, the proposal could help ease pressure in over-crowded prisons and reduce discrimination. A European Commission justice spokesman explained that the onus of supervision would be home-based:

“Such a supervision order would allow Member States to mutually recognise pre-trial supervision measures. The suspect involved, which will have to be a national from a Member State, will therefore be subject to such a measure in his or her habitual Member State of residence instead of being in pre-trial detention or subject to a less severe coersive measure in the trial Member State concerned.”

Friso Roscam Abbing added that non-residents are more often placed in custody rather than given an alternative, for example being required simply to report at police stations periodically. He estimated that keeping someone in pre-trial detention generally costs around 300 to 600 euros per month.