World

France refutes Duterte's claim on its criminal law

MANILA France yesterday rejected claims by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte that people were guilty until proven innocent in its legal system.

The statement released by the French embassy followed Mr Duterte's assessment of the judicial system in France on Monday, as he defended his controversial war on drugs that has claimed thousands of lives.

"We have to point out that - as in the Philippines - the presumption of innocence until proven guilty is at the core of the French judicial system, based on the principles enshrined in the French Declaration of Human and Civic Rights of Aug 26, 1789," the statement said.

Mr Duterte had reacted angrily to comments by the United Nations' special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, Ms Agnes Callamard, about the alleged murder by police of a 17-year-old boy as part of the drug war.

Ms Callamard condemned the killing as "murder" and called for an investigation, saying the boy's death should be "the last".

Mr Duterte said: "Don't she dare scare me, daughter of a whore. She's an idiot. Where is that crazy person from?"

Upon learning she was French, he said: "They can detain a person almost indefinitely under French law. And the French law says you are guilty and you have to prove your innocence." - AFP

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