Communicated on 23 January 2019
Application no. 30658/18
lodged on 20 June 2018
SUBJECT MATTER OF THE CASE
The applicant was sentenced to life imprisonment for homicide and illegal possession of firearms. In the context of the criminal proceedings against him the applicant complains under Article 6 of the Convention about a number of matters. In particular he alleges: (i) that his case was not heard by an independent and impartial tribunal given that four judges of the Supreme Court bench dismissing his appeals on 8 June 2017 had already deliberated on his requests in the pre-trial stage; (ii) the circumstances in which his trial had been conducted had prejudiced the fairness of his trial and deprived him of the benefit of the presumption of innocence; (iii) that the Supreme Court judgment dismissing his appeals lacked reasoning; (iv) he also complains of an infringement of his right to have his case determined by the Constitutional Court given that his appeal was rejected on account of a tied vote.
QUESTIONS tO THE PARTIES
1. Did the applicant have a fair hearing before an independent and impartial tribunal in the determination of the criminal charges against him, in accordance with Article 6 § 1 of the Convention? In particular, was the Supreme Court’s bench impartial, as required by Article 6 § 1 of the Convention? In particular, was the participation of judges Sh.S., A.Z., E.I., and T.M. consistent with the principle of impartiality (see, mutatis mutandis, Driza v. Albania, no. 33771/02, § 74, ECHR 2007 XII)?
2. Did the grounds of the applicant’s appeals to the Supreme Court fall within the scope of Article 432 of the Albanian Code of Criminal Procedure? Did the above court duly reason its decisions in compliance with Article 6 § 1 of the Convention (see, mutatis mutandis, Hadjianastassiou v. Greece, judgment of 16 December 1992, Series A no. 252, § 33, and Van de Hurk v. the Netherlands, judgment of 19 April 1994, Series A no. 288, p. 20, § 61)?
3. Having regard to the Constitutional Court decision of 24 April 2018 did the applicant have a fair hearing in accordance with Article 6 § 1 of the Convention? In particular, was the dismissal of the applicant’s appeal consequent on a tied vote, in breach of his right of access to court (see, mutatis mutandis, Marini v. Albania, no. 3738/02, § 106, 18 December 2007)?
4. Was the presumption of innocence, guaranteed by Article 6 § 2 of the Convention, respected in the present case?
5. The Government are requested to submit legible copies of all documents (e.g. forensic reports, witnesses’ statements, etc.) of the entire investigation file and legible records of all hearings of the trial and appeal proceedings.