Постановление Европейского суда по правам человека от 30.07.2009 «Дело Алехин (alekhin) против России» [англ.]


EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
FIRST SECTION
CASE OF ALEKHIN v. RUSSIA
(Application No. 10638/08)
JUDGMENT*
(Strasbourg, 30.VII.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 Alekhin v. Russia,

The European Court of Human Rights (First Section), sitting as a Chamber composed of:

Nina {Vajic}*, President,

____________________________
*Здесь и далее по тексту слова на национальном языке набраны латинским шрифтом и выделены фигурными скобками.

Anatoly Kovler,

Elisabeth Steiner,

Khanlar Hajiyev,

Dean Spielmann,

Sverre Erik Jebens,

Giorgio Malinverni, judges,

and {Soren} Nielsen, Section Registrar,

Having deliberated in private on 7 July 2009,

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

PROCEDURE
1. The case originated in an application (No. 10638/08) against the Russian Federation lodged with the Court under Article 34 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms ("the Convention") by a Russian national, Mr Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Alekhin ("the applicant"), on 24 January 2008.

2. The applicant was represented by Mr S. Vasilyev, a lawyer practising in St Petersburg. The Russian Government ("the Government") were initially represented by Ms V. Milinchuk, former Representative of the Russian Federation at the European Court of Human Rights, and subsequently by their Representative, Mr G. Matyushkin.

3. The applicant alleged that he had not received adequate medical care in the remand centre, that he had been transported in inhuman conditions, that his detention pending trial had been excessively long and had not been attended by appropriate procedural guarantees, that he had no enforceable right to compensation for his detention in contravention of Article 5 §§ 3 and 4, that the criminal proceedings against him had been excessively long, that family visits had been restricted, and that he had not had adequate remedies at his disposal for the above complaints.

4. On 26 March 2008 the President of the First Section decided to communicate the application to the Government. It was also decided to examine the merits of the application at the same time as its admissibility (Article 29 § 3). The President made a decision on priority treatment of the application (Rule 41 of the Rules of Court).

THE FACTS
I. The circumstances of the case
5. The applicant was born in 1969 and lives in St Petersburg.

6. The applicant suffers from chronic hypertension and ischaemic heart disease and had ischaemic strokes on 29 December 2006 and 6 March 2007.

A. Criminal proceedings against the applicant
1. The investigation and trial
7. On 22 November 2005 six persons, including the applicant, were charged with unlawful business activities and money laundering, offences under Articles 172 § 2 and 174.1 § 4 of the Criminal Code. The applicant was accused of unlawful business practices carried out through several companies over a long period of time.

8. The applicant retained two lawyers who represented him during the investigation and trial.

9. On 27 September 2007 the investigation was completed and the case was referred for trial before the Moskovskiy District Court of St Petersburg.

10. On 9 October 2007 the Moskovskiy District Court fixed a preliminary hearing for 19 October 2007. It ordered that the applicant be brought to the courtroom for the preliminary hearing and that he be accompanied by a doctor.

11. On 19 October 2007 the Moskovskiy District Court held a preliminary hearing and fixed the opening date of the trial for 20 November 2007. The court reiterated that the applicant should be accompanied by a doctor when brought to the courtroom for a hearing.

12. The hearings of 20 November and 20 December 2007 were adjourned because the applicant was in hospital.

13. The hearings of 14, 21 and 28 January 2008 were adjourned because the applicant was not brought to the courtroom. The applicant had difficulty walking and the police escort refused to carry him on a stretcher, claiming that it did not form part of their duties. The stretcher did not fit standard prison vans, making it impossible to transport the applicant. Moreover, the remand centre authorities refused to assign a doctor to accompany the applicant to the courtroom.

14. The court decided that further hearings should be held in the remand centre.

15. Hearings were held on 11 and 18 February, 3, 17, 24 and 31 March, 14, 21 and 28 April, 12, 19 and 26 May and 2, 9, 23 and 30 June 2008.

16. No hearings were held in July or August 2008 as the defendants' lawyers were on leave.

17. The trial resumed on 29 August 2008, with further hearings held on 18 and 19 September 2008.

18. On 19 September 2008 the Moskovskiy District Court convicted the applicant of unlawful business activities, an offence under Article 172 § 2 of the Criminal Code, and acquitted him of money laundering, an offence under Article 174.1 § 4 of the Criminal Code. It sentenced him to six years' imprisonment.

19. On 26 January 2009 the St Petersburg City Court upheld the judgment on appeal.

2. Decisions concerning the application
of a custodial measure
20. On 22 November 2005 the applicant gave an undertaking not to leave the city or reoffend.

21. On 13 February 2006 the Dzerzhinskiy District Court of St Petersburg ordered his placement in custody. The court found on the basis of evidence submitted by the investigator that the applicant had continued his unlawful business activities despite his undertaking not to reoffend and had put pressure on his employees urging them to repudiate their testimony against him. It considered the applicant's arguments that he had a permanent place of residence and employment, that he was the only breadwinner for his family consisting of his elderly mother, unemployed spouse and two minor children, and that he suffered from ischaemic heart disease. It found, however, that there was no medical evidence showing that his state of health was incompatible with custody. Given the gravity of the charges, there was a risk that he might abscond, reoffend or intimidate witnesses.

22. On 28 February 2006 the St Petersburg City Court upheld the custody order on appeal, finding that it had been lawful, well-reasoned and justified.

23. On 11 April 2006 the Dzerzhinskiy District Court extended the applicant's detention until 10 June 2006.

24. On 8 June 2006 the Dzerzhinskiy District Court extended the applicant's detention until 13 August 2006, referring to the gravity of the charges and the need for further investigation. The court found that the applicant had breached his undertaking not to reoffend and that several witnesses had requested anonymity because they feared threats from the applicant. In reply to the applicant's argument about his poor health, it held that there was no medical evidence that his condition was incompatible with detention. His complaints about insufficient medical assistance were unsubstantiated. The court considered that the applicant had received adequate medical assistance in the remand centre. The court also noted that the applicant's arguments concerning the incorrect legal characterisation of his actions and the lack of evidence of his involvement in the commission of the offences imputed to him were without substance because, in extending the applicant's detention, the court could not make any findings as to his guilt or innocence.

25. On 11 August 2006 the Dzerzhinskiy District Court extended the applicant's detention until 10 October 2006 for the same reasons as before. It also noted that the length of the investigation was justified by the complexity of the case.

26. On 10 October 2006 the Dzerzhinskiy District Court extended the applicant's detention until 10 December 2006 for the same reasons as before.

27. On 6 December 2006 the Dzerzhinskiy District Court extended the applicant's detention until 10 February 2007 for the same reasons as before. It also referred to the applicant's leading position and his active role in the commission of the offences. He was the director of several companies and was suspected of planning and directing, through his connections in business circles, the unlawful business activities carried out by those companies. His position gave him an opportunity to destroy evidence and to intimidate witnesses who were his employees. The court referred to the written submissions by one of the witnesses, who had stated that the applicant had threatened him. The court further noted that the applicant's children had not become abandoned after the applicant's placement in custody. They were in the care of their mother, who was able to support them financially as she had permanent employment.

28. On an unspecified date the investigator applied for a further extension of the applicant's detention. He argued that the case involved several defendants and was extremely complex. The investigation team had already questioned 194 witnesses, conducted 45 searches and 209 inspections and seized 57 bank accounts. They had also carried out one operative experiment, seven identification parades and three confrontations and obtained numerous expert opinions. However, further investigation was necessary. In particular, it was necessary to question more witnesses, obtain more expert opinions and carry out other investigative measures. He further submitted that there was no reason to amend the preventive measure. The applicant was charged with serious criminal offences and there were reasons to believe that he might abscond, reoffend or interfere with the investigation.

29. The applicant asked to be released on bail or under an undertaking not to leave the city. He referred to his frail health, which had deteriorated in detention. He also submitted that his minor child suffered from open tuberculosis.

30. On 5 February 2007 the St Petersburg City Court extended the applicant's detention until 10 June 2007, finding that the applicant had not submitted new arguments warranting his release. It transpired from the medical certificates that he had had an ischaemic stroke and that his right side was paralysed. However, in the court's opinion, this was insufficient to warrant his release. There was no medical evidence showing that the applicant's state of health was incompatible with custody. The applicant's arguments about the absence of corpus delicti in his actions were irrelevant because the court deciding on a preventive measure did not have competence to make any findings as to his guilt or innocence.

31. On an unspecified day the investigator applied for a further extension of the applicant's detention. He argued that the six defendants and their counsel were studying the voluminous case file (68 binders and 145 boxes of material evidence) and that there was no reason to vary the preventive measure.

32. The applicant asked to be released on bail. He submitted that his health had deteriorated, he could not stand or speak and needed constant medical supervision. He submitted a medical certificate of 22 March 2007 indicating that detention was incompatible with his state of health, and a medical certificate of 7 June 2007 indicating that he suffered from complications after an ischaemic stroke and required complex rehabilitation treatment. He was diagnosed with chronic cerebrovascular disease, right hemiplegia (paralysis of the right part of the body), motor aphasia (a deficit in speech production or language output, often accompanied by a deficit in communicating by writing, signs, etc.), ischaemic heart disease, hypertension and stenocardia. He complained that he was receiving insufficient treatment in the prison hospital and argued that it was necessary for him to undergo examinations and follow treatment in a civil hospital with a higher standard of care. He further submitted that his illness made him unable to abscond or intimidate witnesses.

33. On 7 June 2007 the St Petersburg City Court held a hearing. The applicant was brought to the courtroom on a stretcher accompanied by a doctor and assisted by a sign-language interpreter. The court extended the applicant's detention until 13 August 2007, finding that he might abscond, reoffend or intimidate the witnesses. It found that the information in the medical certificate of 22 March 2007 was outdated, while the certificate of 7 June 2007 did not mention that the applicant's state of health was incompatible with detention. He was being held in the prison hospital where he received adequate medical care and was under constant medical supervision.

34. On 9 August 2007 the St Petersburg City Court extended the applicant's detention until 10 October 2007 for the same reasons as before. It noted that it had already examined and rejected the applicant's arguments about his poor health in the decision of 7 June 2007. The applicant had not submitted evidence that his health had deteriorated since.

35. The applicant appealed. The St Petersburg City Court received the appeal submissions on 14 August 2007 and sent them to the investigator, inviting him to submit comments. The investigator submitted his comments on 24 August 2007. On 29 August 2007 the appeal submissions and the comments received were forwarded to the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation. The Supreme Court received them on 5 September 2007.

36. On 4 October 2007 the Supreme Court examined the applicant's appeal submissions and upheld the extension order, finding that it had been lawful and justified.

37. On 9 October 2007 the Moskovskiy District Court of St Petersburg accepted the case for trial and ordered that the applicant should remain in custody. It noted that on 3 July 2007 the applicant had been discharged from hospital and that his health was satisfactory. He had however remained in hospital pending his transfer to the remand centre. The court ordered that the applicant be immediately transported from the prison hospital to remand centre SIZO-3 in St Petersburg.

38. On 7 November 2007 the Moskovskiy District Court ordered that the applicant remain in custody pending trial. The court rejected the applicant's request for release, referring to the gravity of the charges and to the fact that he was receiving the requisite medical care in the remand centre. It also rejected the prosecutor's request for the applicant's transfer to another remand centre. It took note of the prosecutor's arguments that such transfer was necessary to ensure better

3 Comments

John Doe

March 27, 2018 at 8:00 am Reply

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John Doe

March 27, 2018 at 8:00 am Reply

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John Doe

March 27, 2018 at 8:00 am Reply

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