CAS, Hukuka Aykırı Delilleri Dikkate Alabilir

UEFA’nın BJK ve Fenerbahçe ile ilgili soruşturması ilginç hukuki tartışmalara sebep veriyor.

Fenerbahçe, UEFA’ya sunulan rapora dayanak oluşturan telefon konuşmalarının hukuka aykırı delil olduğunu iddia etti. Fenerbahçe’ye göre, söz konusu telefon kayıtları soruşturmaya dayanak olamaz.

Söz konusu telefon kayıtlarının hukuka aykırı delil olup olmadığı tartışılır. Mahkeme kararıyla yapılan dinlemelerin hukuka aykırılığını iddia edenler elbette bu iddialarını esaslı gerekçelerle ileri sürmüşlerdir.

Türkiye’de hiç bahsi açılmamış bir hukuki sorun yakın zamanda Türk kamuoyunu meşgul edecek: Söz konusu telefon kayıtlarının hukuka aykırı olmasının UEFA ve CAS yargısı açısından önemi var mı?

Cevabı hemen verelim. UEFA ve itiraz halinde CAS, şike gibi bir konunun önemi ve iddiaların ciddiyetini dikkate alarak hukuka aykırı elde edilip edilmediğine bakmaksızın telefon kayıtlarını değerlendirecektir.

CAS, Ahongalu Fusimalohi v/ FIFA Kararı‘nda hukuka aykırı telefon kayıtlarını söz konusu davaya temel aldı. CAS, bir delinin hukuka uygun veya aykırı olarak değerlendirilmesinde ceza hukuku prensiplerini göz önüne almayacağını açıkladı.

CAS’ın söz konusu gerekçesi ceza hukukçularının tepkisini çekebilir. Bununla birlikte, tahkim uzmanları bu gerekçeyi eleştirmediler.

 Zamanım olmadığı için CAS’ın kararının ilgili bölümlerini orijinal dilinde paylaşıyorum:

 CAS panels have always endeavoured to ensure that fundamental principles of procedural fairness are respected in sports disciplinary proceedings, in accordance with the notion of procedural public policy as determined by the Swiss Federal Tribunal:

«Procedural public policy guarantees the parties the right to an independent ruling on the conclusions and facts submitted to the tribunal in compliance with the applicable procedural law; procedural public policy is violated when fundamental, commonly recognized principles are infringed, resulting in an intolerable contradiction with the sentiment of justice, to the effect that the decision appears incompatible with the values recognized in a State governed by the rule of law». 

In view of the above, the Panel will not be guided by criminal law standards, and will not resort to rules of criminal procedure in order to assess the admissibility or inadmissibility of the Recordings relied on as evidence in this arbitration. However, the Panel will follow principles of procedural fairness and will endeavour to comply with all facets of Swiss procedural public policy. 

(…) 

The Panel notes that the Sunday Times did not look for sensational or lurid aspects of the Appellant’s strictly private life to lure the curiosity of the public. Rather, the Sunday Times tried to expose possible cases of corruption in the FIFA World Cup bidding process, thus acting as “public watchdogs” (to use the European Court’s terminology). The Panel finds it difficult to maintain that the exposure of illegal conduct in relation to important sports events – be it corruption, doping or matchfixing – would not be in the interest of the public. Taking into account the above recent jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights, it is not self evident that the Reporter’s conduct, albeit sneaky, was unlawful; if it were, the Appellant would be entitled to seek justice on that count by filing a criminal complaint and/or a civil action against the Sunday Times or its journalists. The fact that at the time of the hearing – about one year after the relevant facts – the Appellant had not started any lawsuit certainly does not lend support to the argument that the journalists illegally obtained the Recordings. 

In any event, the Panel deems it unnecessary to assess whether or not the Recordings were illegally procured and whether or not the evidence remained illegal when it arrived in the hands of FIFA. The Panel is even prepared to assume in the Appellant’s favour that the evidence was illegally obtained, given that an international arbitral tribunal sitting in Switzerland is not necessarily precluded from admitting illegally procured evidence into the proceedings and from taking it into account for its award (see B. BERGER, F. KELLERHALS, op. cit., p. 343). Indeed, an international arbitral tribunal sitting in Switzerland is not bound to follow the rules of procedure, and thus the rules of evidence, applicable before Swiss civil courts, or even less before Swiss criminal courts. As emphasized in the Swiss legal literature on international arbitration: «Arbitral proceedings are not subject to the rules applicable before State tribunals. This is, after all, an often mentioned benefit of arbitration»

 

Accordingly, with regard to the admissibility of evidence, the Panel endorses the position articulated by a CAS panel in the recent matter CAS 2009/A/1879 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte v. CONI paras. 134 ff (hereinafter “the Valverde case”):

 

«The internal Swiss legal order does not set forth a general principle according to which illicit evidence would be generally inadmissible in civil proceedings before State courts. On the contrary and according to the longstanding jurisprudence of the Federal Tribunal, whether the evidence is admissible or inadmissible depends on the evaluation of various aspects and legal interests. For example, the nature of the infringement, the interest in getting at the truth, the evidentiary difficulties for the interested party, the behaviour of the victim, the parties’ legitimate interests and the possibility to obtain the (same) evidence in a lawful manner are relevant in this context. The prevailing scholarly writings agree with the jurisprudence of the Swiss Federal Tribunal. The approach taken by the Federal Tribunal and by most of the scholars has actually been codified in the new Swiss Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) (Article 152 paragraph 2), which will come into force on 1 January 2011 […]. 

The above described principles are only a feeble source of inspiration for arbitral tribunals. […] In particular, the prohibition to rely on illegal evidence in State court proceedings is not binding per se upon an arbitral tribunal. According to international arbitration law, an arbitral tribunal is not bound by the rules of evidence applicable before the civil State courts of the seat of the arbitral tribunal. As seen above, the discretion of the arbitrator to decide on the admissibility of evidence is exclusively limited by procedural public policy. In this respect, the use of illegal evidence does not automatically concern Swiss public policy, which is violated only in the presence of an intolerable contradiction with the sentiment of justice, to the effect that the decision appears incompatible with the values recognized in a State governed by the rule of law. 

(…) 

The Panel remarks that, in the case at hand, not only has there been no judicial court finding that the evidence was unlawfully obtained and prohibiting its use but, as observed (supra at 78), it is open to debate whether the Sunday Times Reporter acted illegally. In light of the foregoing considerations the Panel finds that, even assuming in the Appellant’s favour the illegal acquisition of the Recordings, this does not prevent their use as evidence in disciplinary proceedings conducted within a private association or in related appeal proceedings before an arbitral institution, in this case the CAS.”

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