EIT: Kreikassa rikottu ihmisoikeussopimusta kun asianajajan toimistossa tehtiin kotietsintä

4.10.2018 | Oikeusuutiset

Markku Fredman

Procedural defects in a search of a lawyer’s office: violation of the right to respect for one’s home

In today’s Chamber judgment1 in the case of Leotsakos v. Greece (application no. 30958/13) the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been:

  • a violation of Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life, the home and the correspondence) of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The case concerned a search of the professional premises of a lawyer (Mr Leotsakos) and the seizure of several items and documents in the framework of a criminal investigation concerning him personally.

The Court found in particular that the procedural defects were such that the search and seizure carried out in Mr Leotsakos’ law office could not be regarded as reasonably proportionate to the pursuit of the legitimate aims (the prevention of crime) in view of the interest of a democratic society in ensuring respect for one’s home. Among other shortcomings, Mr Leotsakos had not been present at any time during the search, which lasted for 12 days, and the authorities had confiscated computers and hundreds of documents, including client files covered by professional secrecy. The presence of a neighbour as an independent witness had not been a sufficient safeguard because she had no legal knowledge and was incapable of identifying documents which concerned clients’ cases.

Click here to download the judgment.