CASE OF VASETINSKIY AND OTHERS v. RUSSIA (European Court of Human Rights) 37436/18 and 5 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 VASETINSKIY AND OTHERS v. RUSSIA
(Applications nos. 37436/18 and 5 others – see appended list)
JUDGMENT
STRASBOURG
15 September 2022

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

In the case of Vasetinskiy 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 25 August 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. THE GOVERNMENT’S REQUEST TO STRIKE OUT APPLICATIONS NOS. 46564/18 and 57522/19 UNDER ARTICLE 37 § 1 OF THE CONVENTION

6. In applications nos. 46564/18 and 57522/19 the Government submitted unilateral declarations which did not offer a sufficient basis for finding that respect for human rights as defined in the Convention does not require the Court to continue its examination of the cases (Article 37 § 1 in fine). The Court rejects the Government’s request to strike the applications out and will accordingly pursue the examination of the merits of the cases (see Tahsin Acar v. Turkey (preliminary issue) [GC], no. 26307/95, § 75, ECHR 2003‑VI).

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

7. 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.”

8. 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).

9. 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 cases.

10. 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 cases the length of the applicants’ pre-trial detention was excessive.

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

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

12. In applications nos. 37436/18, 57522/19, 26423/21, 31237/21, 34450/21 the applicants 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 Idalov v. Russia [GC], no. 5826/03, §§ 154-58, 22 May 2012, as regards lengthy review of detention matters, and 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.

V. APPLICATION OF ARTICLE 41 OF THE CONVENTION

13. 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.”

14. 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.

15. 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. Rejects the Government’s request to strike applications nos. 46564/18 and 57522/19 out of its list of cases under Article 37 § 1 of the Convention on the basis of the unilateral declarations which they submitted;

3. Declares the applications admissible;

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

5. 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);

6. 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 15 September 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. 37436/18
26/07/2018
Aleksandr Aleksandrovich VASETINSKIY
1982
Belova Yekaterina Borisovna
Moscow
11/10/2017 to
17/06/2019
Khoroshevskiy District Court of Moscow, Moscow City Court 1 year(s) and 8 month(s) and 7 day(s) fragility of the reasons employed by the courts; failure to examine the possibility of applying other measures of restraint; 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 Art. 5 (4) – excessive length of judicial review of detention – Khoroshevskiy District Court of Moscow, 09/06/2018
Moscow City Court, 11/07/2018
2,400
2. 46564/18
24/09/2018
Svetlana Nikolayevna NECHAYEVA
1981
Kukishev Aleksey Andreyevich
Moscow
12/05/2017
pending
Khoroshevskiy District Court of Moscow; Moscow City Court More than
5 year(s) and 1 month(s) and 9 day(s)
fragility of the reasons employed by the courts;
collective detention orders; use of assumptions, in the absence of any evidentiary basis, of the risks of absconding or obstructing justice; failure to examine the possibility of applying other measures of restraint
5,000
3. 57522/19
24/10/2019
Aleksandr Petrovich MALINOVSKIY
1984
Skripka Oleg Stanislavovich
Murino, Leningrad Region
17/08/2017 to
17/06/2019
Tsentralnyy District Court of Volgograd, Volgograd Regional Court, Dzerzhinskiy District Court of Volgograd, St Petersburg City Court, Krasnogvardeiskiy District Court of St Petersburg 1 year(s) and 10 month(s) and 1 day(s) use of assumptions, in the absence of any evidentiary basis, of the risks of absconding or obstructing justice;
failure to examine the possibility of applying other measures of restraint;
Art. 5 (4) – excessive length of judicial review of detention – The applicant’s appeal complaint of 03/04/2019 (court’s stamp) against the order of the Krasnogvardeyskiy District Court of St Petersburg dated 25/03/2019 was examined by the St Petersburg City Court on 08/05/2019;
Art. 3 – use of metal cages and/or other security arrangements in courtrooms – Confinement in a metal cage during the judicial proceedings conducted between 19/08/2017 – 17/06/2019 in the Kuybyshevskiy District Court of St Petersburg, Tsentralnyy District Court of Volgograd and Volgograd Regional Court;
Art. 13 – lack of any effective remedy in domestic law in respect of confinement in a metal cage.
9,750
4. 26423/21
05/05/2021
Mikhail Valeryevich YEPIKHIN
1969
Zubitskiy Pavel Nikolayevich
Moscow
03/09/2020
pending
Perovskiy District Court of Moscow, Moscow City Court More than
1 year(s) and 9 month(s) and 18 day(s)
failure to examine the possibility of applying other measures of restraint;
failure to assess the applicant’s personal situation reducing the risks of re-offending, colluding or absconding
Art. 5 (4) – excessive length of judicial review of detention – Perovskiy District Court, 01/02/2021 – appellate decision of the
Moscow City Court, 01/03/2021
2,500
5. 31237/21
12/05/2021
Venera Shamilyevna AYGININA
1973
Gostokhov Aslan Inalyevich

Moscow

13/05/2020
pending
Vidnovsky Town Court of the Moscow Region, Kolomenskiy Town Court of the Moscow Region, Moscow Regional Court More than
2 year(s) and 1 month(s) and 8 day(s)
use of assumptions, in the absence of any evidentiary basis, of the risks of absconding or obstructing justice;
failure to examine the possibility of applying other measures of restraint
Art. 5 (4) – excessive length of judicial review of detention – Vidnoye Town Court of the Moscow Region, 08/12/2020 (appeal lodged on 11/12/2020), appeal decision of the Moscow Regional Court, 11/02/2021 2,700
6. 34450/21
30/06/2021
Aleksandr Nikolayevich BAKULIN
1983
Kamaletdinov Adel Maratovich
Kazan
24/09/2018 to
13/10/2021
Vakhitovskiy District Court of Kazan, Supreme Court of the Republic of Tatarstan, Fourth Appellate Court of General Jurisdiction 3 year(s) and 20 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; fragility of the reasons employed by the courts; failure to examine the possibility of applying other measures of restraint Art. 5 (4) – excessive length of judicial review of detention – Supreme Court of Tatarstan Republic, 27/01/2021, appeal decision of the Fourth Appellate Court of General Jurisdiction, 04/03/2021 3,600

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

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