Key facts of the case:
(Convention implementing the Schengen Agreement — Article 54 — ‘Ne bis in idem’ principle — Scope — Order made by a court of a Contracting State finding that there is no ground to refer a case to a trial court because of insufficient evidence — Possibility of reopening the criminal investigation in the case where new facts and/or evidence come to light — Concept of person whose trial has been ‘finally disposed of’ — Criminal prosecution in another Contracting State of the same person in respect of the same acts — Preclusion of further prosecution and application of the ne bis in idem principle)
Results (sanctions) and key consequences of the case:
Since these proceedings are, for the parties to the main proceedings, a step in the action pending before the referring court, the decision on costs is a matter for that court. Costs incurred in submitting observations to the Court, other than the costs of those parties, are not recoverable.
On those grounds, the Court (Fourth Chamber) hereby rules:
Article 54 of the Convention implementing the Schengen Agreement of 14 June 1985 between the Governments of the States of the Benelux Economic Union, the Federal Republic of Germany and the French Republic on the gradual abolition of checks at their common borders, signed in Schengen (Luxembourg) on 19 June 1990, must be interpreted as meaning that an order making a finding that there is no ground to refer a case to a trial court which precludes, in the Contracting State in which that order was made, the bringing of new criminal proceedings in respect of the same acts against the person to whom that finding applies, unless new facts and/or evidence against that person come to light, must be considered to be a final judgment, for the purposes of that article, precluding new proceedings against the same person in respect of the same acts in another Contracting State.