Decision of the Court of Cassation, III Criminal Section, No. 35156 of 1 March 2017

With this judgment, the Court of Cassation excluded that there was a breach of the ne bis in idem principle in the case at stake. This because, as a first step, the criminal sanction for taxes offenses and the administrative sanction substantially amounting to a criminal one had been imposed upon two different subjects (the first one was the CEO of the company involved, and the second one was the company itself). Moreover, the prohibition of bis in idem under the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and the ECHR is not absolute. According to the ECHR Court jurisprudence, there is no violation if there is “sufficiently close connection in substance and time” between the two sanctions, and the criteria of foreseeability and proportionality are respected.