(Application no. 7649/02)
14 December 2006
This judgment will become final in the circumstances set out in Article 44 § 2 of the Convention. It may be subject to editorial revision.
In the case of Shcheglyuk v. Russia,
The European Court of Human Rights (Fifth Section), sitting as a Chamber composed of:
Mr P. Lorenzen, President,
Mrs S. Botoucharova,
Mr K. Jungwiert,
Mr R. Maruste,
Mr A. Kovler,
Mr J. Borrego Borrego,
Mrs R. Jaeger, judges,
and Mrs C. Westerdiek, Section Registrar,
Having deliberated in private on 20 November 2006,
Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:
I. THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE
“There have been no breaches of the RSFSR Code of Criminal Procedure either when the preventive measure in the form of placement in custody was imposed on [the applicant], or when the detention was extended – the first-instance court has correctly found so in its decision and the appellant does not contest it. [The applicant] is charged with particularly serious crimes. The choice of the preventive measure is justified, as are justified all further extensions of his detention.”
“Preventive measures in respect of all defendants, including Mr A[.] and [the applicant] who appealed against this part of the decision, were imposed in accordance with the law. The [city] court did not commit any breaches of the criminal procedure law which could have called for quashing of that decision”.
“[The applicant and three co-defendants] are charged with particularly serious crimes and the prosecutor adduced evidence in support of the charge... Their placement in custody is directly linked to the gravity of the charge and until such time as the merits of the case have been examined, neither hard conditions of detention, nor the defendants' state of health, even if they suffer from various diseases..., nor the conditions of their families' lives may be considered as privileged or sufficient grounds for changing the preventive measure [imposed on them].”
The applicant did not appeal against the decision.
“The gravity of the charges carrying a term of imprisonment of more than two years, is so great that until such time as the merits of the charges have been considered, neither hard conditions of detention in the remand centre, nor the state of health of the defendants – even though some of them are disabled, nor the conditions of their families' lives may be considered as privileged or sufficient grounds for changing the preventive measure [imposed on them]...
The court cannot accept the argument by the defence about the length of the proceedings because during that entire period the main ground for adjourning court hearings was counsel's absences for various causes.”
II. RELEVANT DOMESTIC LAW AND PRACTICE
I. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 5 § 3 OF THE CONVENTION
“Everyone arrested or detained in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 1 (c) of this Article shall be brought promptly before a judge or other officer authorised by law to exercise judicial power and shall be entitled to trial within a reasonable time or to release pending trial.”
There has therefore been a violation of Article 5 § 3 of the Convention.
II. OTHER ALLEGED VIOLATIONS OF THE CONVENTION
III. APPLICATION OF ARTICLE 41 OF THE CONVENTION
“If the Court finds that there has been a violation of the Convention or the Protocols thereto, and if the internal law of the High Contracting Party concerned allows only partial reparation to be made, the Court shall, if necessary, afford just satisfaction to the injured party.”
B. Costs and expenses
C. Default interest
FOR THESE REASONS, THE COURT UNANIMOUSLY
(a) that the respondent State is to pay the applicant, within three months from the date on which the judgment becomes final in accordance with Article 44 § 2 of the Convention, the following amounts, to be converted into Russian roubles at the rate applicable at the date of settlement:
(i) EUR 3,000 (three thousand euros) in respect of non-pecuniary damage;
(ii) EUR 100 (one hundred euros) in respect of costs and expenses;
(iii) any tax that may be chargeable;
(b) that from the expiry of the above-mentioned three months until settlement simple interest shall be payable on the above amounts at a rate equal to the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank during the default period plus three percentage points;
Done in English, and notified in writing on 14 December 2006, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.
Claudia Westerdiek Peer Lorenzen