An accused person who cannot be located may be tried or convicted in absentia but has the right, subsequently, to secure the reopening of the proceedings on the merits of the case in his or her presence

(Source: Court of Justice of the European Union)

However, that person may be denied that right if he or she deliberately evaded the judicial proceedings by preventing the authorities from informing him or her of the trial.

Criminal proceedings were brought in Bulgaria against IR, who was accused of having participated in a criminal organisation with a view to committing tax offences punishable by custodial sentences. A first indictment was served on IR in person and he indicated an address at which he could be contacted. When the judicial stage of the proceedings commenced, he could not, however, be found there, with the result that the Spetsializiran nakazatelen sad (Specialised Criminal Court, Bulgaria) could not summon him to the hearing. Nor did the lawyer appointed by
that court of its own motion enter into contact with him. Furthermore, as the indictment that had been served on IR was vitiated by an irregularity, it was declared void and the proceedings were closed. After a new indictment had been drawn up and the proceedings had been reopened, IR, once again, was sought but could not be located. The referring court finally inferred from this that IR had absconded and that, in those circumstances, the case could be heard in his absence.

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