After his involvement in the coup d’état on January 12, 1992, X., of Algerian nationality, held important positions in the Algerian government until 1994. In that period, people suspected of being Islamist supporters or activists were the victims of violent repression (torture, enforced disappearance, etc.).
On November 10, 2004, TRIAL filed a report of torture allegedly committed by X. before the Canton of Geneva’s Attorney General. The Attorney General closed the case in February 2005, arguing that it was Algerian law, and not Swiss law, that should be applied in this case, based on the principle of applying the law most favorable to the accused. The Attorney General concluded that, according to Algerian law, criminal proceedings were already time-barred at the time the complaint was filed.