The ne bis in idem principle applies in respect of a decision of a court of a Contracting State, made after criminal proceedings have been brought, by which the accused is acquitted finally because prosecution of the offence is time-barred.
That principle does not apply to persons other than those whose trial has been finally disposed of in a Contracting State.
A criminal court of a Contracting State cannot hold goods to be in free circulation in national territory solely because a criminal court of another Contracting State has found, in relation to the same goods, that prosecution for the offence of smuggling is time-barred.
The marketing of goods in another Member State, after their importation into the Member State where the accused was acquitted, constitutes conduct which may form part of the ‘same acts’ within the meaning of Article 54 of the Convention.
Case Number C-467/04
Name of the parties Criminal proceedings against Giuseppe Francesco Gasparini and Others.
Date of the judgement 2006-09-28
Court Court of Justice of the European Communities (ECEJ)