Information Note on the Court’s case-law No. 182
Apostu v. Romania - 22765/12
Judgment 3.2.2015 [Section III] See:  ECHR 110
Respect for private life
Facts - In 2011 the applicant, a former mayor, was placed in pre-trial detention on suspicion of corruption and forgery. Before he was committed to stand trial, several newspapers published information and documents from the investigation file, quoting extracts from intercepted telephone conversations and referring to aspects of the applicant’s private life unrelated to the trial. The criminal proceedings against the applicant were still pending at the time of the European Court’s judgment.
Law - Article 8: Excerpts from the prosecution file concerning the applicant’s case had become public before the beginning of the adversarial phase of the proceedings and their content had put the applicant in an unfavourable light, giving the impression that he had committed crimes. Moreover, parts of the telephone conversations of a strictly private nature had not served to advance the criminal prosecution and their publication had thus not corresponded to a pressing social need. The leak of that information by the authorities thus constituted an interference with the applicant’s right to respect for his private life.
Under the domestic law, public access to information contained in a criminal case file was possible only after the case had been lodged with a court but even then it was limited and subject to judicial control. However, in the applicant’s case the possibility for a judge to assess whether a piece of information should be disclosed to the public had been impaired because it had already been leaked to the press. The respondent State had thus failed to provide safe custody of the information in their possession in order to secure the applicant’s right to respect for his private life or to offer him any means of redress once the breach of his rights had occurred.
Conclusion: violation (unanimously).
The Court also found a violation of the substantive aspect of Article 3 on account of the conditions in which the applicant was held in pre-trial detention.
Article 41: Claim made out of time.
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This summary by the Registry does not bind the Court.
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