France / Court of Cassation, Criminal Chamber / 7049 (12-83.579) Antoine X v State

Key facts of the case:

On 20 December 2007 Antoine X was sanctioned by the French Financial Markets Authority (FMA) and paid a fine of €250,000 for a breach of the provisions of Article 631-1-1E of the FMA general regulations. The President of the FMA reported the case to the prosecutor, a preliminary investigation was conducted, and the case was filed before the Criminal Court (Tribunal correctionnel). Antoine X was charged with interfering with the proper functioning of the share market on the basis of Article L. 465-2 of the monetary and financial code. The Court of Appeal dismissed the challenge to the validity of the proceedings, which was based on the violation of the ‘non bis in idem’ principle, and found the accused guilty of the above-mentioned offence and sentenced him to three months imprisonment (suspended sentence).

Paragraphs referring to EU Charter: 

 

In fact, Article 50 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union does not preclude a person who is punished for a violation under the jurisdiction of the FMA from being prosecuted and sentenced for the same offence when, on the one hand, this combination ensures effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanction within the meaning of Article 14-1 of Directive 2003/6 / EC of 28 January 2003, on which depends the fulfilment of the objective of general interest recognized by the European Union covered by the provisions of Article 52 of the Charter to help to ensure the integrity of Community financial markets and strengthen the confidence of investors, on the other hand, the total amount of fines that may be imposed can not exceed the amount of the highest penalty incurred.

Paragraphs referring to EU Charter (original language): 

 

Qu'en effet, l'article 50 de la Charte des droits fondamentaux de l'Union européenne ne s'oppose pas à ce qu'une personne sanctionnée pour un manquement relevant de la compétence de l'AMF puisse, en raison des mêmes faits, être poursuivie et condamnée pour un délit dès lors que, d'une part, ce cumul garantit la sanction effective, proportionnée et dissuasive, au sens de l'article 14-1 de la directive No. 2003/6/CE du 28 janvier 2003, dont dépend la réalisation de l'objectif d'intérêt général reconnu par l'Union européenne, entrant dans les prévisions de l'article 52 de la Charte et tendant à assurer l'intégrité des marchés financiers communautaires et à renforcer la confiance des investisseurs, d'autre part, le montant global des amendes susceptibles d'être prononcées ne peut dépasser le plafond de la sanction encourue la plus élevée.

Language: 
French
Deciding body (original language): 
Cour de cassation, Chambre criminelle
Language: 
French