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Supreme Court of Denmark

Prohibition of double jeopardy 

Case no. 127/2018

Judgment delivered on 21 January 2019

The Prosecution Service

Prosecution of an offence for which the accused was previously acquitted by final judgment was in contravention of the prohibition against double jeopardy

On 5 August 2016, T posted surveillance video from a supermarket on Facebook in order to aid in the apprehension of a man who had flashed her daughter and her daughter’s friend the previous day.

The Prosecution Service charged T with violation of Section 26a of the Danish Data Protection Act by having made pictures of an identifiable person recorded using surveillance equipment public without that person’s consent. By judgment of 10 March 2017, T was acquitted on the grounds that the provision only applied to the party responsible for the surveillance recording.

In a new indictment of 26 May 2017, T was charged with violation of Section 8 of the Data Protection Act by having unlawfully disclosed information about a criminal offence without the data subject’s consent.

The Supreme Court found that the new charge essentially concerned the same questions of fact that T was charged for in the previous case, and that she was acquitted after a review of the merits of the conditions for imposing criminal liability. The judgment was final when the new charge was brought. Prosecuting the offence again was therefore in breach of the prohibition of double jeopardy under Article 50 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and Article 4 of the seventh protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights.

The Supreme Court therefore dismissed the case.

The High Court had reached a different conclusion.

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