CJEU C-377/18 Judgment

REQUEST for a preliminary ruling under Article 267 TFEU, from the Spetsializiran nakazatelen sad (Specialised Criminal Court, Bulgaria)
Policy area
Justice, freedom and security
Deciding body type
Court of Justice of the European Union
Deciding body
Court (Second Chamber)
Decision date
ECLI (European case law identifier)
  • CJEU C-377/18 Judgment

    Key facts of the case:

    Reference for a preliminary ruling — Judicial cooperation in criminal matters — Directive (EU) 2016/343 — Article 4(1) — Presumption of innocence — Public references to guilt — Agreement concluded between the prosecutor and the perpetrator of an offence — National case-law providing for the identification of accused persons who have not concluded such an agreement — Charter of Fundamental Rights — Article 48

    Outcome of the case:

    On those grounds, the Court (Second Chamber) hereby rules:

    Article 4(1) of Directive (EU) 2016/343 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 2016 on the strengthening of certain aspects of the presumption of innocence and of the right to be present at the trial in criminal proceedings must be interpreted as meaning that it does not preclude that an agreement in which the accused person recognises his guilt in exchange for a reduction in sentencing, which must be approved by a national court, expressly mentions as joint perpetrators of the criminal offence in question not only that person but also other accused persons, who have not recognised their guilt and are being prosecuted in separate criminal proceedings, on the condition that that reference is necessary for the categorisation of the legal liability of the person who entered into the agreement and, second, that that same agreement makes it clear that those other persons are being prosecuted in separate criminal proceedings and that their guilt has not been legally established.