(Application no. 7739/06)
30 July 2009
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 Sorokin v. Russia,
The European Court of Human Rights (First Section), sitting as a Chamber composed of:
Sverre Erik Jebens,
George Nicolaou, judges,
and Søren Nielsen, Section Registrar,
Having deliberated in private on 7 July 2009,
Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:
I. THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE
A. Criminal proceedings on the charges of theft and forgery of documents
B. Criminal proceedings on the charges of membership of an armed criminal gang, robbery, extortion, kidnapping and murder
“As the trial has not yet been completed, it is necessary to extend the defendants’ detention.
The court considers that the gravity of the charges justifies applying to the defendants a preventive measure in the form of detention.
However, in addition to the gravity of the charges - namely the organisation of an armed gang ... and commission of assaults on citizens and murders - carrying a sentence of up to twenty years’ imprisonment for each of the defendants, the court also takes into account other factors.
Thus, the court is entitled to believe that ... application to the defendants of an undertaking not to leave the town or other preventive measures will not exclude the possibility of their absconding or exercising pressure on participants to the proceedings and jurors.
The defendants’ argument that their detention has been excessively long is not in itself sufficient to warrant release.
The defendants have not produced any material showing the existence of factors making impossible [sic] their stay in detention facility conditions.
The court is not convinced by the defendants’ argument that they have not been granted access to the materials submitted by the prosecution in support of their requests for extension. The court has at its disposal only the materials from the criminal case file, which had been studied by the defendants.
The court considers that the grounds for the detention of the defendants, who are charged with serious and particularly serious criminal offences, are relevant and sufficient. Their detention serves the interest of society, as it prevents the commission of similar criminal offences and ensures high-quality and effective examination of the present criminal case.
The criminal case file contains sufficient evidence against each defendant justifying an extension of their detention...”
II. RELEVANT DOMESTIC LAW
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 ... entitled to trial within a reasonable time or to release pending trial. Release may be conditioned by guarantees to appear for trial.”
1. Arguments by the parties
2. The Court’s assessment
(a) General principles
(b) Application to the present case
(i) Period to be taken into consideration
(ii) Reasonableness of the length of the period in issue
II. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 5 § 4 OF THE CONVENTION
“Everyone who is deprived of his liberty by arrest or detention shall be entitled to take proceedings by which the lawfulness of his detention shall be decided speedily by a court and his release ordered if the detention is not lawful.”
1. The alleged refusal of access to the materials
2. Absence from the hearing of 22 December 2005
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, EUR 7,000 (seven thousand euros), plus any tax that may be chargeable, in respect of non-pecuniary damage, to be converted into Russian roubles at the rate applicable at the date of settlement;
(b) that from the expiry of the above-mentioned three months until settlement simple interest shall be payable on the above amount 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 30 July 2009, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.
Søren Nielsen Nina Vajić