CASE OF VARSHAVSKIY AND OTHERS v. RUSSIA (European Court of Human Rights) 31282/18 and 6 others

The applicants complained of the excessive length of their pre-trial detention. Some applicants also raised other complaints under the provisions of the Convention.


THIRD SECTION
CASE OF VARSHAVSKIY AND OTHERS v. RUSSIA
(Applications nos. 31282/18 and 6 others – see appended list)
JUDGMENT
STRASBOURG
21 July 2022

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

In the case of Varshavskiy and Others 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 list of applicants and the relevant details of the applications are set out in the appended table.

4. The applicants complained of the excessive length of their pre-trial detention. Some applicants also raised other complaints under the provisions 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 applicants complained principally that their pre-trial detention had been unreasonably long. They 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 these complaints. Having regard to its case-law on the subject, the Court considers that in the instant case the length of the applicants’ pre-trial detention was excessive.

10. These complaints are therefore admissible and disclose a breach of Article 5 § 3 of the Convention.

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

11. In application no. 53493/20, the applicant submitted other complaints which also raised issues under the Convention, given the relevant well-established case-law of the Court (see appended table). These complaints are not manifestly ill-founded within the meaning of Article 35 § 3 (a) of the Convention, nor are they inadmissible on any other ground. Accordingly, they must be declared admissible. Having examined all the material before it, the Court concludes that they also disclose violations of the Convention in the light of its findings in Svinarenko and Slyadnev v. Russia [GC], nos. 32541/08 and 43441/08, ECHR 2014 (extracts), as regards detention in a metal cage during court hearings; Idalov v. Russia [GC], no. 5826/03, §§ 154-58, 22 May 2012, as regards lengthy review of detention matters; and Korshunov v. Russia, no. 38971/06, §§ 59-63, 25 October 2007, as regards absence of an enforceable right to compensation for a violation of a right to trial within a reasonable time.

IV. REMAINING COMPLAINTS

12. In application no. 45500/19, the applicant also raised other complaint under Article 6 of the Convention.

13. The Court has examined the application and considers that, in the light of all the material in its possession and in so far as the matter complained of is within its competence, this complaint does not meet the admissibility criteria set out in Articles 34 and 35 of the Convention.

14. It follows that this part of the application must be rejected in accordance with Article 35 § 4 of the Convention.

V. APPLICATION OF ARTICLE 41 OF THE CONVENTION

15. 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.”

16. 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 sums indicated in the appended table.

17. 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 complaints concerning the excessive length of pre-trial detention and the other complaints under well-established case-law of the Court, as set out in the appended table, admissible, and the remainder of application no. 45500/19 inadmissible;

3. Holds that these complaints disclose a breach of Article 5 § 3 of the Convention concerning the excessive length of pre-trial detention;

4. Holds that there has been a violation of the Convention as regards the other complaints raised under well-established case-law of the Court (see appended table);

5. Holds

(a) that the respondent State is to pay the applicants, within three months, the amounts 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 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 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)

No. 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]
1. 31282/18
25/06/2018
Vadim Yevgenyevich VARSHAVSKIY
1961
Stepanov Konstantin Vladimirovich
Rostov-on-Don
22/03/2018 to
27/11/2018
Tverskoy District Court of Moscow; Moscow City Court 8 month(s) and 6 day(s) use of assumptions, in the absence of any evidentiary basis, of the risks of absconding or obstructing justice; failure to assess the applicant’s personal situation reducing the risks of re-offending, colluding or absconding 800
2. 43761/19
03/03/2020
Andrey Gennadyevich GALYUK
1983
Korchuganova Natalya Vladimirovna
Moscow
27/11/2018 – pending Yemelyanovskiy District Court of Krasnoyarsk Region; Tsentralnyy District Court of Krasnoyarsk; Krasnoyarsk Regional Court More than 3 year(s) and 6 month(s) and 13 day(s) fragility of the reasons employed by the courts; use of assumptions, in the absence of any evidentiary basis, of the risks of absconding or obstructing justice; failure to assess the applicant’s personal situation reducing the risks of re-offending, colluding or absconding; failure to conduct the proceedings with due diligence during the period of detention 3,700
3. 45500/19
06/08/2019
Anatoliy Mikhaylovich VASILYEV
1973
Vildanova Valentina Vasilyevna
Kazan
20/09/2017 – pending Vakhitovskiy District Court of Kazan, Supreme Court of the Tatarstan Republic, Fourth Appeal Court More than 4 year(s) and 8 month(s) and 20 day(s) use of assumptions, in the absence of any evidentiary basis, of the risks of absconding or obstructing justice; as the case progressed; failure to assess the applicant’s personal situation reducing the risks of re-offending, colluding or absconding; failure to examine the possibility of applying other measures of restraint; failure to conduct the proceedings with due diligence during the period of detention 4,900
4. 13596/20
25/02/2020
Igor Aleksandrovich VASILYEV
1970
Ovcharov Vasiliy Vasilyevich
Stavropol
22/11/2017 to
24/10/2019
Promyshlennyy District Court of Stavropol, Stavropol Region Court 1 year(s) and 11 month(s) and 3 day(s) fragility of the reasons employed by the courts; use of assumptions, in the absence of any evidentiary basis, of the risks of absconding or obstructing justice; failure to assess the applicant’s personal situation reducing the risks of re-offending, colluding or absconding; failure to examine the possibility of applying other measures of restraint; failure to conduct the proceedings with due diligence during the period of detention 2,000
5. 14196/20
05/03/2020
Aleksandr Mikhaylovich CHUKANOV
1965
Vrublevskiy Yevgeniy Anatolyevich
Moscow
25/12/2019 – pending Presnenskiy District Court of Moscow; Moscow City Court More than 2 year(s) and 5 month(s) and 15 day(s) failure to conduct the proceedings with due diligence during the period of detention 2,600
6. 31611/20
08/07/2020
Sergey Valeryevich OKHRITKO
1971
Arzumanyan Artur Leonidovich
Rostov-on-Don
27/02/2020 to
30/11/2020
Proletarskiy District Court of Rostov-on-Don, Rostov Regional Court 9 month(s) and 4 day(s) fragility of the reasons employed by the courts; use of assumptions, in the absence of any evidentiary basis, of the risks of absconding or obstructing justice; the applicant was charged with a “white collar” crime; failure to examine the possibility of applying other measures of restraint 1,000
7. 53493/20
18/11/2020
Eduard Olegovich MAKSUNOV
1973
Isayev Ayndi Khamzatovich
Krasnoyarsk
04/07/2019 – pending Zheleznodorozhnyy District Court of Krasnoyarsk, Krasnoyarsk Regional Court, Fifth Appeal Court More than 2 year(s) and 11 month(s) and 5 day(s) failure to conduct the proceedings with due diligence during the period of detention Art. 3 – use of metal cages and/or other security arrangements in courtrooms – detention in a metal cage during the hearings before the Krasnoyarsk Regional Court
Art. 5 (4) – excessive length of judicial review of detention – examination of appellate claims of 02/07/2020 and 31/07/2020 respectively on 06/08/2020 and 23/08/2020 (more than 22 days)
Art. 5 (5) – lack of, or inadequate compensation, for the violation of Article 5 § 3 of the Convention
9,750

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

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