Pre-trial detention should be used “only exceptionally, as a last resort”, according to PACE’s Legal Affairs and Human Rights Committee.
Approving a report by Pedro Agramunt (Spain, EPP/CD), the committee recalled that around 25 per cent of all prisoners in Europe in 2013 were thought to be in pre-trial detention.
Citing cases from Russia, Georgia, Turkey and Azerbaijan, the committee said it had observed “abusive” use of pre-trial detention, such as to extort confessions or bribes, discredit political competitors or silence critical voices.
“Permissible grounds for pre-trial detention, notably to prevent a suspect from absconding, or interfering with witnesses and other evidence, are generally interpreted too widely,” the committee said in a draft resolution.
There was a dissenting opinion to the report by Eka Beselia (Georgia, SOC).