Another reminder from Strasbourg
The European Court of Human Rights has ordered Ukraine to pay 62-year-old Georgy Lizanets from Mukachevo (the Transcarpathian region) 14 thousand Euros for violation of his right to a fair trial
In February 1997 Mr Lizanets was arrested and charged with corruption. He was released on a signed undertaking not to abscond in August 1997, then exactly a year later the proceedings against him were terminated for lack of proof.
On 3 September 1998 he instituted proceedings against the Mukacheve District Prosecutors Office of the Zakarpatye Region, claiming compensation for unlawful prosecution. The Mukachevo City Court at the end of that month granted the claim, awarding him 60 thousand UAH. The amount was partly determined by medical certificates stating that Mr Lizanets had suffered a nervous breakdown following his release. Although this ruling came into force, there were appeals and in 2002 the proceedings were reopened.
“On 5 April 2002 the City Court partly allowed the applicants claim, ordering the State Treasury to pay him UAH 10,000 in compensation for unlawful prosecution. The court held that the criminal proceedings against the applicant had been unlawful but found the claim for moral damages excessive”.
This ruling has never been executed.
The long saga of appeals, reiterated court rulings in Mr Lizanets favour and ineffectual enforcement measures can be accessed at http://cmiskp.echr.coe.int/tkp197/search.asp?skin=hudoc-en
The tale is unfortunately depressingly familiar, and the Court has in recent years repeated found against Ukraine over Article 6, since the right to a fair trial is also violated if the court rulings are not enforced.
The Court found that there had been “a violation of the right to a fair hearing, as guaranteed by Article 6 § 1 of the Convention, in respect of the proceedings reopened on 24 January 2002 and of the non-enforcement of the judgment of 5 April 2002”;
This makes 28 judgments from the European Court of Human Rights against Ukraine this year. As already reported, in 2002 there was only 1 judgment against Ukraine; in 2003 – 6; in 2004 – 13; in 2005 – 120 and in 2006 – 114.