France - Administrative Court of Appeal, 3 April 2008, Mr. X., No 07NC01262

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Headnote: 

The interview report established by an officer of a Prefecture is admissible evidence even if it has not been signed and was conducted without the assistance of an interpreter. When an asylum applicant denies having made statements recorded in that report, he must provide evidence. In this case, the applicant did not provide evidence that he had not crossed Italy and, in a written letter addressed to the French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons, he even mentioned having crossed Italy.

Facts: 

In September 2003, the applicant applied for a temporary residence permission at the Prefecture of Moselle, in order to apply for asylum. According to a form written by an officer of the Prefecture in order to determine which country is responsible for the asylum procedure, the applicant mentioned during his interview that he had crossed Italy before arriving in France. France therefore initiated Dublin procedures and sent a request to the Italian authorities.

On 29 April 2004, the Prefect of Moselle refused the temporary residence application and notified the applicant of a transfer order to Italy. The applicant appealed to the administrative court of Strasbourg. He claimed he had not entered Italy before arriving in France and denied having made the alleged statements. On 29 March 2007, the administrative court of Strasbourg rejected the appeal. On 5th September 2007, the applicant appealed against this decision to the administrative court of appeal of Lyon.

Decision & Reasoning: 

The interview report established by an officer of the Prefecture is admissible evidence even if it has not been signed and was conducted without the assistance of an interpreter. When an asylum seeker denies having made statements that are recorded in that report, he must provide evidence.

In this case, the applicant had to prove he had not crossed Italy. The applicant did not provide any such proof. Moreover, in a written letter addressed to the French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons, the applicant mentioned having crossed Italy with his wife on 1 June 2003. His journey through Italy was, therefore, considered established.

Outcome: 

The appeal was refused.

Observations/Comments: 

 


This summary has been reproduced and adapted for inclusion in EDAL with the kind permission of Forum Réfugiés-Cosi, coordinator of Project HOME/2010/ERFX/CA/1721 "European network for technical cooperation on the application of the Dublin II regulation" which received the financial support of the European Refugee Fund.