Постановление Европейского суда по правам человека от 07.01.2010 «Дело Ранцев (rantsev) против Кипра и России» [англ.]

(Application No. 25965/04)
(Strasbourg, 7.I.2010)
*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 Rantsev v. Cyprus and Russia,

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

Christos Rozakis, President,

Anatoly Kovler,

Elisabeth Steiner,

Dean Spielmann,

Sverre Erik Jebens,

Giorgio Malinverni,

George Nicolaou, judges,

and {Soren}*Nielsen, Section Registrar,

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

Having deliberated in private on 10 December 2009,

Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on the last-mentioned date:

1. The case originated in an application (No. 25965/04) against the Republic of Cyprus and 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 Nikolay Mikhaylovich Rantsev ("the applicant"), on 26 May 2004.

2. The applicant, who had been granted legal aid, was represented by Ms L. Churkina, a lawyer practising in Yekaterinburg. The Cypriot Government were represented by their Agent, Mr P. Clerides, Attorney-General of the Republic of Cyprus. The Russian Government were represented by their Agent, Mr G. Matyushkin.

3. The applicant complained under Articles 2, 3, 4, 5 and 8 of the Convention about the lack of sufficient investigation into the circumstances of the death of his daughter, the lack of adequate protection of his daughter by the Cypriot police while she was still alive and the failure of the Cypriot authorities to take steps to punish those responsible for his daughter's death and ill-treatment. He also complained under Articles 2 and 4 about the failure of the Russian authorities to investigate his daughter's alleged trafficking and subsequent death and to take steps to protect her from the risk of trafficking. Finally, he complained under Article 6 of the Convention about the inquest proceedings and an alleged lack of access to court in Cyprus.

4. On 19 October 2007 the Cypriot and Russian Governments were requested to submit the entire investigation file together with all correspondence between the two Governments on this matter. On 17 December 2007 and 17 March 2008, the Cypriot and Russian Governments respectively submitted a number of documents.

5. On 20 May 2008 the President of the First Section decided to accord the case priority treatment in accordance with Rule 41 of the Rules of Court.

6. On 27 June 2008 the President of the First Section decided to give notice of the application to each of the respondent Governments. It was also decided to examine the merits of the application at the same time as its admissibility (Article 29 § 3).

7. On 27 and 28 October 2008 respectively, the Cypriot and Russian Governments submitted their written observations on the admissibility and merits of the application. In addition, third-party comments were received from two London-based non-governmental organisations, Interights and the AIRE Centre, which had been given leave by the President to intervene in the written procedure (Article 36 § 2 of the Convention and Rule 44 § 2).

8. On 12 December 2008, the President of the First Section decided that legal aid should be granted to the applicant for his representation before the Court.

9. On 16 December 2008 the applicant lodged written observations in reply together with his claims for just satisfaction.

10. The Cypriot and Russian Governments lodged observations on the applicant's just satisfaction submissions.

11. By letter of 10 April 2009, the Cypriot Government requested the Court to strike the case out of its list and enclosed the text of a unilateral declaration with a view to resolving the issues raised by the applicant. The applicant filed written observations on the Cypriot Government's request on 21 May 2009.

12. The applicant requested an oral hearing but prior to adopting the present judgment the Court decided that it was not necessary to hold one.

I. The circumstances of the case
13. The applicant, Mr Nikolay Mikhaylovich Rantsev, is a Russian national who was born in 1938 and lives in Svetlogorsk, Russia. He is the father of Ms Oxana Rantseva, also a Russian national, born in 1980.

14. The facts of the case, as established by the submissions of the parties and the material submitted by them, in particular the witness statements taken by the Cypriot police, may be summarised as follows.

A. The background facts
15. Oxana Rantseva arrived in Cyprus on 5 March 2001. On 13 February 2001, X.A., the owner of a cabaret in Limassol, had applied for an "artiste" visa and work permit for Ms Rantseva to allow her to work as an artiste in his cabaret (see further paragraph 115 below). The application was accompanied by a copy of Ms Rantseva's passport, a medical certificate, a copy of an employment contract (apparently not yet signed by Ms Rantseva) and a bond, signed by [X.A.] Agencies, in the following terms (original in English):

"KNOW ALL MEN BY THESE PRESENTS that I [X.A.] of L/SSOL Am bound to the Minister of the Interior of the Republic of Cyprus in the sum of GBP 150 to be paid to the said Minister of the Interior or other the [sic] Minister of Interior for the time being or his attorney or attorneys.

Sealed with my seal.

Dated the 13th day of February 2001
Hereinafter called the immigrant, (which expression shall where the context so admits be deemed to include his heirs, executors, administrators and assigns) is entering Cyprus and I have undertaken that the immigrant shall not become in need of relief in Cyprus during a period of five years from the date hereof and I have undertaken to replay [sic] to the Republic of Cyprus any sum which the Republic of Cyprus may pay for the relief or support of the immigrant (the necessity for which relief and support the Minister shall be the sole judge) or for the axpenses [sic] of repatriating the immigrant from Cyprus within a period of five years from the date hereof.

NOW THE CONDITION OF THE ABOVE WRITTEN BOND is such that if the immigrant or myself, my heirs, executors, administrators and assigns shall repay to the Republic of Cyprus on demand any sum which the Republic of Cyprus may have paid as aforesaid for the relief or Support of the immigrant or for the expenses of repatriation of the immigrant from Cyprus then the above written bond shall be void but otherwise shall remain in full force."
16. Ms Rantseva was granted a temporary residence permit as a visitor until 9 March 2001. She stayed in an apartment with other young women working in X.A.'s cabaret. On 12 March 2001 she was granted a permit to work until 8 June 2001 as an artiste in a cabaret owned by X.A. and managed by his brother, M.A. She began work on 16 March 2001.

17. On 19 March 2001, at around 11 a.m., M.A. was informed by the other women living with Ms Rantseva that she had left the apartment and taken all her belongings with her. The women told him that she had left a note in Russian saying that she was tired and wanted to return to Russia. On the same date M.A. informed the Immigration Office in Limassol that Ms Rantseva had abandoned her place of work and residence. According to M.A.'s subsequent witness statement, he wanted Ms Rantseva to be arrested and expelled from Cyprus so that he could bring another girl to work in the cabaret. However, Ms Rantseva's name was not entered on the list of persons wanted by the police.

B. The events of 28 March 2001
18. On 28 March 2001, at around 4 a.m., Ms Rantseva was seen in a discotheque in Limassol by another cabaret artiste. Upon being advised by the cabaret artiste that Ms Rantseva was in the discotheque, M.A. called the police and asked them to arrest her. He then went to the discotheque together with a security guard from his cabaret. An employee of the discotheque brought Ms Rantseva to him. In his subsequent witness statement, M.A. said (translation):

"When [Ms Rantseva] got in to my car, she did not complain at all or do anything else. She looked drunk and I just told her to come with me. Because of the fact that she looked drunk, we didn't have a conversation and she didn't talk to me at all."
19. M.A. took Ms Rantseva to Limassol Central Police Station, where two police officers were on duty. He made a brief statement in which he set out the circumstances of Ms Rantseva's arrival in Cyprus, her employment and her subsequent disappearance from the apartment on 19 March 2001. According to the statement of the police officer in charge when they arrived (translation):

"On 28 March 2001, slightly before 4 a.m., [M.A.] found [Ms Rantseva] in the nightclub Titanic... he took her and led her to the police station stating that Ms Rantseva was illegal and that we should place her in the cells. He ([M.A.]) then left the place (police station)."
20. The police officers then contacted the duty passport officer at his home and asked him to look into whether Ms Rantseva was illegal. After investigating, he advised them that her name was not in the database of wanted persons. He further advised that there was no record of M.A.'s complaint of 19 March 2001 and that, in any case, a person did not become illegal until 15 days after a complaint was made. The passport officer contacted the person in charge of the AIS (Police Aliens and Immigration Service), who gave instructions that Ms Rantseva was not to be detained and that her employer, who was responsible for her, was to pick her up and take her to their Limassol Office for further investigation at 7 a.m. that day. The police officers contacted M.A. to ask him to collect Ms Rantseva. M.A. was upset that the police would not detain her and refused to come and collect her. The police officers told him that their instructions were that if he did not take her they were to allow her to leave. M.A. became angry and asked to speak to their superior. The police officers provided a telephone number to M.A. The officers were subsequently advised by their superior that M.A. would come and collect Ms Rantseva. Both officers, in their witness statements, said that Ms Rantseva did not appear drunk. The officer in charge said (translation):

"Ms Rantseva remained with us... She was applying her make-up and did not look drunk... At around 5.20 a.m. ... I was... informed that [M.A.] had come and picked her up..."
21. According to M.A.'s witness statement, when he collected Ms Rantseva from the police station, he also collected her passport and the other documents which he had handed to the police when they had arrived. He then took Ms Rantseva to the apartment of M.P., a male employee at his cabaret. The apartment M.P. lived in with his wife, D.P., was a split-level apartment with the entrance located on the fifth floor of a block of flats. According to M.A., they placed Ms Rantseva in a room on the second floor of the apartment. In his police statement, he said:

"She just looked drunk and did not seem to have any intention to do anything. I did not do anything to prevent her from leaving the room in [the] flat where I had taken her."
22. M.A. said that M.P. and his wife went to sleep in their bedroom on the second floor and that he stayed in the living room of the apartment where he fell asleep. The apartment was arranged in such a way that in order to leave the apartment by the front door, it would be necessary to pass through the living room.

23. M.P. stated that he left his work at the cabaret "Zygos" in Limassol at around 3.30 a.m. and went to the "Titanic" discotheque for a drink. Upon his arrival there he was informed that the girl they had been looking for, of Russian origin, was in the discotheque. Then M.A. arrived, accompanied by a security guard from the cabaret, and asked the employees of "Titanic" to bring the girl to the entrance. M.A., Ms Rantseva and the security guard then all got into M.A.'s car and left. At around 4.30 a.m. M.P. returned to his house and went to sleep. At around 6 a.m. his wife woke him up and informed him that M.A. had arrived together with Ms Rantseva and that they would stay until the Immigration Office opened. He then fell asleep.

24. D.P. stated that M.A. brought Ms Rantseva to the apartment at around 5.45 a.m.. She made coffee and M.A. spoke with her husband in the living room. M.A. then asked D.P. to provide Ms Rantseva with a bedroom so that she could get some rest. D.P. stated that Ms Rantseva looked drunk and did not want to drink or eat anything. According to D.P., she and her husband went to sleep at around 6 a.m. while M.A. stayed in the living room. Having made her statement, D.P. revised her initial description of events, now asserting that her husband had been asleep when M.A. arrived at their apartment with Ms Rantseva. She stated that she had been scared to admit that she had opened the door of the apartment on her own and had had coffee with M.A..

25. At around 6.30 a.m. on 28 March 2001, Ms Rantseva was found dead on the street below the apartment. Her handbag was over her shoulder. The police found a bedspread looped through the railing of the smaller balcony adjoining the room in which Ms Rantseva had been staying on the upper floor of the apartment, below which the larger balcony on the fifth floor was located.

26. M.A. claimed that he woke at 7 a.m. in order to take Ms Rantseva to the Immigration Office. He called to D.P. and M.P. and heard D.P. saying that the police were in the street in front of the apartment building. They looked in the bedroom but Ms Rantseva was not there. They looked out from the balcony and saw a body in the street. He later discovered that it was Ms Rantseva.

27. D.P. claimed that she was woken by M.A. knocking on her door to tell her that Ms Rantseva was not in her room and that they should look for her. She looked for her all over the apartment and then noticed that the balcony door in the bedroom was open. She went out onto the balcony and saw the bedspread and realised what Ms Rantseva had done. She went onto another balcony and saw a body lying on the street, covered by a white sheet and surrounded by police officers.

28. M.P. stated that he was woken up by noise at around 7 a.m. and saw his wife in


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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