CASE OF ALEKSANDR BIKBULATOV v. RUSSIA (European Court of Human Rights) 29894/17 and 83986/17

The case originated in applications against Russia lodged with the Court under Article 34 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.


THIRD SECTION
CASE OF ALEKSANDR BIKBULATOV v. RUSSIA
(Applications nos. 29894/17 and 83986/17)
JUDGMENT
STRASBOURG
21 July 2022

This judgment is final but it may be subject to editorial revision.

In the case of Aleksandr Bikbulatov v. Russia,

The European Court of Human Rights (Third Section), sitting as a Committee composed of:

Darian Pavli, President,
Andreas Zünd,
Mikhail Lobov, judges,
and Viktoriya Maradudina, Acting Deputy Section Registrar,

Having deliberated in private on 30 June 2022,

Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:

PROCEDURE

1. The case originated in applications against Russia lodged with the Court under Article 34 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (“the Convention”) on the various dates indicated in the appended table.

2. The Russian Government (“the Government”) were given notice of the applications.

THE FACTS

3. The relevant details of the applications are set out in the appended table.

4. The applicant complained of the excessive length of his pre-trial detention. He also raised complaints under Article 5 § 4 of the Convention.

THE LAW

I. JOINDER OF THE APPLICATIONS

5. Having regard to the similar subject matter of the applications, the Court finds it appropriate to examine them jointly in a single judgment.

II. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 5 § 3 OF THE CONVENTION

6. The applicant complained principally that his pre-trial detention had been unreasonably long. He relied on Article 5 § 3 of the Convention, which reads as follows:

Article 5 § 3

“3. 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.”

7. The Court observes that the general principles regarding the right to trial within a reasonable time or to release pending trial, as guaranteed by Article 5 § 3 of the Convention, have been stated in a number of its previous judgments (see, among many other authorities, Kudła v. Poland [GC], no. 30210/96, § 110, ECHR 2000‑XI, and McKay v. the United Kingdom [GC], no. 543/03, §§ 41-44, ECHR 2006‑X, with further references).

8. In the leading case of Dirdizov v. Russia, no. 41461/10, 27 November 2012, the Court already found a violation in respect of issues similar to those in the present case.

9. Having examined all the material submitted to it, the Court has not found any fact or argument capable of persuading it to reach a different conclusion on the admissibility and merits of this complaint. Having regard to its case-law on the subject, the Court considers that in the instant case the length of the applicant’s pre-trial detention was excessive.

10. This complaint is therefore admissible and discloses a breach of Article 5 § 3 of the Convention.

III. OTHER ALLEGED VIOLATIONS UNDER WELL-ESTABLISHED CASE-LAW

11. In application no. 83986/17, the applicant submitted a complaint under Article 5 § 4 of the Convention, given the relevant well-established case-law of the Court (see appended table). This complaint is not manifestly ill-founded within the meaning of Article 35 § 3 (a) of the Convention, nor is it inadmissible on any other ground. Accordingly, it must be declared admissible. Having examined all the material before it, the Court concludes that it also discloses a violation of the Convention in the light of its findings in Idalov v. Russia [GC], no. 5826/03, §§ 154-58, 22 May 2012.

IV. APPLICATION OF ARTICLE 41 OF THE CONVENTION

12. Article 41 of the Convention provides:

“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.”

13. Regard being had to the documents in its possession and to its case‑law (see, in particular, Pastukhov and Yelagin v. Russia, no. 55299/07, 19 December 2013), the Court considers it reasonable to award the sum indicated in the appended table.

14. The Court further considers it appropriate that the default interest rate should be based on the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank, to which should be added three percentage points.

FOR THESE REASONS, THE COURT, UNANIMOUSLY,

1. Decides to join the applications;

2. Declares the applications admissible;

3. Holds that there has been a violation of Article 5 § 3 of the Convention concerning the excessive length of the applicant’s pre-trial detention and of Article 5 § 4 of the Convention concerning the deficiencies in proceedings for review of the lawfulness of the applicant’s detention;

4. Holds

(a) that the respondent State is to pay the applicant, within three months, the amount indicated in the appended table, to be converted into the currency of the respondent State 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 21 July 2022, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.

Viktoriya Maradudina                    Darian Pavli
Acting Deputy Registrar                   President

__________

APPENDIX
List of applications raising complaints under Article 5 § 3 of the Convention
(excessive length of pre-trial detention)

Application no.
Date of introduction
Applicant’s name
Year of birth
 
Representative’s name and location Period of detention Court which issued detention order/examined appeal Length of detention Specific defects Other complaints under well-established case-law Amount awarded for pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage and costs and expenses per applicant
(in euros)[i]
29894/17
22/03/2017
and
83986/17
16/11/2017
Aleksandr Dmitriyevich BIKBULATOV
1987
Bokareva Valentina Aleksandrovna
Moscow
04/04/2013 to
09/03/2017
Sovetskiy District Court of Kazan, Supreme Court of the Republic of Tatarstan 3 year(s) and 11 month(s) and 6 day(s) collective detention orders; failure to examine the possibility, as the case progressed, of applying other measures to secure attendance at the trial; fragility and repetitiveness of the reasoning employed by the courts as the case progressed Art. 5 (4) – excessive length of judicial review of detention – Supreme Court of the Republic of Tatarstan, 05/06/2017
Appeal Chamber of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Tatarstan, 07/07/2017
Supreme Court of the Republic of Tatarstan, 05/09/2017
Appeal Chamber of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Tatarstan, 13/10/2017
4,500

[i] Plus any tax that may be chargeable to the applicants.

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