US Department of State Human Rights Report: Gabon 2012

"The constitution provides for the right to a public trial and to legal counsel, and the government generally respected these rights. Trial dates were often delayed. A judge may deliver an immediate verdict of guilty at the initial hearing in a state security trial if the government presents sufficient evidence. Defendants are presumed innocent and have the right to be informed promptly and in detail of charges when booked at a police station. Defendants are tried by a panel of three judges. Defendants enjoy the right to communicate with an attorney of choice and to adequate time and facilities to prepare their defense. Indigent defendants in both civil and criminal cases have the right to an attorney provided at state expense; however, this right was seldom respected in practice. Defendants have the right to confront witnesses against them; present witnesses or evidence on their behalf; access through their lawyer government-held evidence against them; and appeal. Defendants may not be compelled to testify or confess guilt. The government generally respected these rights, which were extended to all citizens."
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