EIT: Huomattava mediauutisointi ei tehnyt oikeudenkäynnistä epäoikeudenmukaista

2.7.2015 | Oikeusuutiset

Markku Fredman

Euroopan ihmisoikeustuomioistuin (EIT) on 30.6. antamassaan tuomiossa katsonut, että vaikka mediassa uutisoitiin laajasti myös sellaisista asioista, joihin valittajan ensimmäisessä oikeudenkäynnissä ei lainkaan ollut vedottu, oli uutisoinnista kuitenkin uuden oikeudenkäynnin aikaan kulunut jo riittävästi aikaa ja lisäksi tuomari oli antanut täsmälliset ohjeet jurylle siitä, mitä ratkaisuharkinnassa saa ottaa huomioon. Nämä seikat huomioon ottaen asiassa ei ollut loukattu valittajan oikeutta oikeudenmukaiseen oikeudenkäyntiin.

EIT:n lehdistötiedotteesta:

In [a] Chamber judgment in the case of Abdulla Ali v. the United Kingdom (application no. 30971/12) the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been:

no violation of Article 6 § 1 (right to a fair trial) of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The case concerned Mr Ali’s complaint that, because of extensive adverse media coverage, the criminal proceedings against him for conspiring in a terrorist plot to cause explosions on aircraft using liquid bombs had been unfair.

Following a first trial in Mr Ali’s case which had resulted in his conviction on a charge of conspiracy to murder, there had been extensive media coverage, including reporting on material which had never been put before the jury. A retrial was subsequently ordered in respect of the more specific charge of conspiracy to murder by way of detonation of explosive devices on aircraft mid-flight (on which the jury at the first trial had been unable to reach a verdict) and Mr Ali argued that it was impossible for the retrial to be fair, given the impact of the adverse publicity. His argument was rejected by the retrial judge and he was convicted at the retrial. He was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 40 years.

The Court found in particular that the applicable legal framework in the UK for ensuring a fair trial in the event of adverse publicity had provided appropriate guidance for the retrial judge. It further found that the steps taken by the judge were sufficient. Thus, he considered whether enough time had elapsed to allow the prejudicial reporting to fade into the past before the retrial commenced and recognised the need to give careful jury directions on the importance of impartiality and of deciding the case on the basis of evidence led in court only. He subsequently gave regular and clear directions, to which Mr Ali did not object. The fact that the jury subsequently handed down differentiated verdicts in respect of the multiple defendants in the retrial proceedings supported the judge’s conclusion that the jury could be trusted to be discerning and follow his instructions to decide the case fairly on the basis of the evidence led in court alone.

Koko lehdistötiedote, missä myös linkki koko tuomioon, löytyy täältä: Abdulla Ali v. the UK

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