EIT: Murhiin itsekin sotkeentuneille todistajille annetut etuisuudet tekivät oikeudenkäynnistä epäoikeudenmukaisen

2.6.2023 | Oikeusuutiset

Markku Fredman

Use of eyewitness evidence damaged murder-trial fairness safeguards

In the Chamber judgment in the case of Erik Adamčo v. Slovakia (application no. 19990/20) the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been:

  • a violation of Article 6 (right to a fair trial) of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The case concerned the trial of Mr Adamčo as an accessory to two organised-crime-related murders, from the 1990s. The evidence used at the trial included testimony from persons who had confessed to having participated in the murders allegedly along with Mr Adamčo and who had agreed to cooperate with the prosecution in exchange for advantages. He was found guilty and sentenced to 25 years’ imprisonment.

The Court found in particular that the use of such evidence had not been accompanied by appropriate safeguards to ensure the overall fairness of the proceedings as the courts had distorted the content of some of that evidence and had paid no individual attention to the scope and advantages obtained by the collaborating witnesses in return for giving it. It also noted that the legal framework and judicial oversight for such arrangements was lacking.

Press release


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