The European Court of Human Rights finds Ukraine violated the right of its citizen to presumption of innocence


57-year-old Maria Hrabchuk worked between 1993 and 1994 as director of a state-owned café in Volodymyr-Volynsky in the Volyn region.

In June 1995 she was arrested on a charge of stealing state property. Later the charge was changed to negligence.

As a result the case was suspended partly due to lack of evidence, and partly due to the time period for the case having run out.

The court in Volodymyr-Volynsky effectively accepted Maria Hrabchuk’s guilt. She turned to the European Court of Human Rights claiming that her right to be presumed innocent, as well as the right to efficient court defence, had been violated.

The Court found that there had been a violation of the claimant’s rights as regards the right to presumption of innocence, and bound the Ukrainian government to pay her 1 thousand Euro in non-pecuniary damages.

Since the beginning of the year the European Court of Human Rights has passed 64 judgments against Ukraine.

The number of cases brought by Ukrainian citizens and considered by the Court increases with every year. In 2002 one judgment was passed against Ukraine in the European Court of Human Rights, in 2003 – 6, in 2004 13, and in 2005 – 120.

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