10, of the Police Criminal Code, while Mr. Amílcar Ascazubi Albán was acquitted. An appeal against the judgment was lodged with the CNJP. On May 4, 2005, the Court conveyed the appeal to the Police Prosecutor for his response, which was given on May 6, reiterating his ruling that there should be no indictments. 20. He adds that before the appeal could be resolved, new judges were appointed to the CNJP. On appeal, heard by the new bench, the CNJP found that there was no full evidence of the convicted defendants’ guilt and ordered the definitive dismissal of the charges against Messrs. Villarroel and Coloma and the acquittal of Mr. Vinueza in September 2005. 21. The petitioner adds that following his definitive dismissal, Mr. Villarroel sought redress for his “firm arrest” and prosecution. Thus, he filed a suit for compensation with the President of the CNJP on March 24, 2006, which was rejected on April 5 on the grounds that the matter should be dealt with by the regular civil courts. He reports that he thereupon filed an application with the President of the Republic, which was also dismissed on the grounds of incompetence. Later, he filed a suit with the civil judge of Pichincha and, subsequently, with the Supreme Court of Justice, both of which were dismissed. The petitioner offers no information on any similar remedies lodged by the other alleged victims. 22. The petitioner further claims that the judgment acquitting the alleged victims represents “irrefutable proof of the systematic violation of constitutional and legal rights” and that they were acquitted because there was a new bench of judges at the CNJP. He argues that the proceedings were brought against the alleged victims because of “personal revenge” against General Villarroel, involving President Lucio Gutiérrez, members of the CNJP, and other senior police authorities. He alleges that the former President of the CNJP assumed functions for which he did not have competence: for example, on the date the grounded deed was issued, he had not taken possession of his position as the court’s president. 23. In addition, the petitioner points to the application of a criminal offense deemed more serious under the police justice system and, in addition, to a precedent set by the former Supreme Court of Justice holding that the crime of embezzlement was not a police crime and should therefore be prosecuted by the regular courts. Finally, he claims a lack of impartiality and independence on the part of the CNJP in that, under the rules that applied, there were no other venues or chambers for hearing and ruling on the remedies lodged. Thus, he argues that all the remedies filed during the alleged victims’ criminal prosecution were resolved by the same CNJP judges. Finally, the petitioner adds that the new Constitution of the Republic of Ecuador came into force on October 20, 2008, which repealed the provisions of military and police criminal law and transferred all such matters to the regular courts. 24. The petitioner claims violations of Articles 1.1 (obligation to respect rights), 7 (personal liberty), 8 (right to a fair trial), 9 (principle of legality and freedom from ex post facto laws), 10 (compensation), 11 (privacy), 21 (property), 24 (equal protection), and 25 (judicial protection) of the American Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter “the American Convention” or “the Convention”), and of Articles I (life, liberty, and personal security), II (equality before the law), XVIII (fair trial), XXV (protection against arbitrary arrest), and XXVI (due process of law) of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man. B. Position of the State 25. The State maintains that the facts set out in the petition do not tend to establish violations of rights enshrined in the Convention and that the petitioner has not exhausted the resources available under domestic law. In addition, it holds that in accordance with the fourth instance formula, any claim that seeks to question decisions adopted by domestic venues in compliance with the terms of the Convention, as is the case with the instant petition, must be ruled groundless. 26. In response to the petitioner’s initial claim regarding the initiation of the criminal trial before the police courts without due guarantees, Ecuador first argues that when the petitioner lodged the petition with the IACHR, the domestic remedies had not yet been exhausted. Secondly, the State holds that the appeal brought by the alleged victims against the conviction “was effective, served the purpose of double confirmation, was carried out in a reasonable time, and even secured the result sought by the petitioners.” The remedies were 4

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