Dr Justyna Holocher
English abstract: The subject of the present paper is the evaluation of application of the rule in dubio pro reo in one of the so-called Border Guard Cases (Mauerschützenprozesse), known as the case of Peter Fechter. The question posed in the paper is, whether under circumstances of the lack of sufficient evidence, the application of the rule in dubio pro reo to some of the accused ones can result in assuming the rule in dubio contra reo (which is contradictory to the principles of criminal justice) against other accused in the same process. The main thesis of the paper is that the assumption of the rule in dubio contra reo is unacceptable on the ground of the principles of fair judicial proceeding. Such a rule violates principles of procedural and substantive justice and in consequence it also violates personal rights. In the analyzed case, under circumstances of the death of one of the accused border guards, the application of the rule damaged unlawfully the good name of the deceased.
Keywords: Berlin Wall, Petera Fechtera case, in dubio pro reo, in dubio contra reo
Published: Number 2(15)/2012, pp. 67-76.
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