EIT:n suuri jaosto: Vangitsemisen pitää alusta lähtien perustua paitsi riittävään epäilyyn rikokseen syyllistymisestä, myös olennaisiin ja riittäviin muihin perusteisiin8.7.2016 | Oikeusuutiset
Euroopan ihmisoikeustuomioistuimen (EIT) suuri jaosto on tuoreessa tuomiossaan täsmentänyt aikaisempaa oikeuskäytäntöään vangitsemista koskevissa asioissa. Aikaisemmassa oikeuskäytännössä EIT on todennut, että riittävä epäily (reasonable suspicion) on edellytys sine qua non vangitsemisen jatkamiselle, mutta että tämä ei enää ”tietyn ajan jälkeen” (”certain lapse of time”) riitä, vaan tämän tietyn ajan jälkeen tarvitaan myös olennaisia ja riittäviä (relevant and sufficient) perusteita vangitsemisen jatkamiselle. Nyt EIT vahvisti, että ajanjakso ”tietyn ajan jälkeen” tarkoittaa jo ensimmäistä vangitsemisasian käsittelyä pidätyksen jälkeen.
In a Grand Chamber judgment in the case of Buzadji v. the Republic of Moldova (application no. 23755/07) the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been:
a violation of Article 5 § 3 (right to liberty and security / entitlement to trial within a reasonable time or to release pending trial) of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The case concerned a businessman’s detention pending trial for ten months. In July 2006 a criminal investigation was initiated against Mr Buzadji, the director of a State company supplying liquefied gas, concerning an alleged unsuccessful attempt to defraud the company. He was arrested in May 2007 and placed in detention pending trial. His detention on remand was extended on a number of occasions, until July 2007 when the courts accepted Mr Buzadji’s request to be placed under house arrest. He remained under house arrest until March 2008 when he was released on bail and was eventually acquitted of all the charges for which he had been detained.
The Court examined two issues raised by Mr Buzadji’s case where it considered that it would be useful to further develop its case-law, namely as to the requirement on national judicial authorities to justify continued detention and as concerned house arrest.
First, the Court acknowledged that the question of when further relevant and sufficient reasons for detention – in addition to the persistence of reasonable suspicion – were required was, according to its well established case-law, left to depend on the rather vague notion of “a certain lapse of time”. It therefore decided to clarify the guarantees under Article 5 § 3 of the European Convention, specifying that the requirement on a judge or other officer authorised by law to exercise judicial power to give relevant and sufficient reasons for detention applied already at the time of the first decision ordering detention on remand, that is to say promptly after the arrest.
Second, as concerned house arrest, the Court confirmed its case-law according to which house arrest is considered to amount to deprivation of liberty under Article 5 of the Convention. There was no question of Mr Buzadji having waived his right to liberty because he had requested house arrest and had not subsequently challenged the measure: given his state of health, it was understandable that he had been prepared to make concessions to end his custody. Moreover, the Court reaffirmed its case-law to the effect that different criteria were not to be applied to the assessment of the justification for detention even when the form of detention varied (in the present case, between pre-trial detention and later house arrest).
Looking at the justifications provided for Mr Buzadji’s provisional detention in his particular case, the Court considered that the reasons given by the national courts for ordering and prolonging his detention had been stereotyped and abstract as well as inconsistent. Indeed, neither in the initial detention order nor in the ensuing decisions prolonging his detention had the national courts made any assessment of Mr Buzadji’s character, his morals, his assets and links with the country or his behaviour during the first ten months of the criminal investigation. As regards the house arrest decisions, in spite of the courts finding that there were no reasons for his continued detention, they nevertheless ordered his house arrest briefly in June 2007 and then, from July 2007, for seven and half months.
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