The Major Cases Lost by Moldova at the ECtHR

The Major Cases Lost by Moldova at the ECtHR
12 December 2020 | 15:49

The right to a fair trial, the prohibition of torture, the right to liberty and security are just some of the most often violated rights in Moldova, according to a summary of the Center for Legal Resources in Moldova. According to the institution, the five most resonant cases that Moldova has lost at the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) are the cases: Ilașcu and others versus Moldova and Russia, Becciev versus Moldova, Șerban versus Moldova, Iordache, and others versus Moldova, Ozdil and others versus Moldova.

ILAŞCU and others 3 c. MOLDOVA and RUSSIA

Ilie Ilașcu, Alexandru Leşco, Andrei Ivanţoc, and Tudor Petrov-Popa filed a petition to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) against Moldova and Russia, which refers to their illegal detention from the so-called authorities in the breakaway Transnistrian region. The plaintiffs claimed that they were illegally detained, without a fair trial, and were deprived of their property.

They also complained about the detention conditions saying that Moldovan authorities were responsible for violating their rights because no steps had been taken to end these actions. The complainants went also against Russia, because the region de-facto is under its control, with stationed Russian troops and military equipment on the territory. The applicants also stated that Moldova and Russia had prevented the exercise of their right to submit an individual application to the Court.

ECtHR found a violation of the European Convention, the prohibition of torture. The Court also found that the deprivation of liberty was “against the law” and that Moldova restricted their right to apply to the ECtHR. The Court found that Russia restricted their rights too, by exerting pressure on Moldova through diplomatic channels.

BECCIEV v. MOLDOVA

Prosecutors accused of theft and detained Constantin Becciev, the former director of the Enterprise “Apă-Canal”. The Court motivated that “the suspect has reached the age at which he can be prosecuted, he is suspected of serious crime, he can evade the criminal prosecution and can influence witnesses and the uncovering of the truth”. He appealed to the ECtHR, arguing that the courts had not given any reason to support their decision. 

ECtHR ruled that Becciev’s right to liberty and security had been violated and that the domestic courts had no sufficient grounds to justify the arrest. Also, the violation of the prohibition of torture, by failing to ensure optimal conditions of detention.

ŞARBAN v. MOLDOVA

Prosecutors accused Vladimir Şarban, the former secretary of the Chișinău Municipal Council of abuse of power in connection with the purchase of 40 ambulances by the Chișinău City Hall. The plaintiff claimed that it was not necessary to detain him because he suffers from several diseases. Even if the investigation had ended, and according to the law it was no longer necessary to extend the pre-trial detention, Şarban remained in custody until the court pronounced the irrevocable decision.

During his detention, he didn’t get qualified medical care. The courts had given insufficient reasons when applying for pre-trial detention and he had not been assured of the confidentiality of his communications with his lawyer.

ECtHR stated that the necessary medical assistance was not provided and the reasons for his arrest were not relevant and sufficient, violating his rights.

Iordache and others v. Moldova 

A group of lawyers, members of the association “Lawyers for human rights” who defended several persons at the ECtHR against Moldova, addressed the Court saying that their right to free correspondence was not respected. The Moldovan law, which regulates the recording of telephone conversations, did not contain sufficient guarantees against national authorities’ abuses. 

The investigating judge was not obliged to ensure a balance between the interests involved when examining a request to intercept telephone conversations, he cared just about formalities. The official statistics on the interceptions indicated that, in 2007, out of a total of 2,372 interception requests, 99.24% were accepted by the investigating judges. The statistics showed that the investigating judges did not examine the reasons for an interception.

ECtHR found that the mere existence of legislation represents a risk of being supervised. It constitutes “a mixture of public authority” in applicants’ right to correspondence. Following this ECtHR decision, the national legislation on the interception regime has been amended.

Ozdil and others v. Moldova

Several Turkish nationals that lived with their families in Moldova and worked as teachers in a network of private schools applied for asylum following public statements by Turkish authorities describing the teachers as terrorists and the school network as linked to the Fethullah Gülen Movement, which was allegedly responsible for the 2016 coup d’état attempt in Turkey. Before receiving decisions on asylum, they were arrested and transferred on a charter flight to Turkey the same morning. A few days later, their families received letters rejecting their asylum applications for reasons of national security, later finding out that the applicants were in Turkey.

ECtHR found that the Moldovan authorities ignored the guarantees provided by national and international law, and the national courts refused to examine appeals against the rejection of asylum applications because proxies issued to teachers’ lawyers were signed by their spouses, not by them. The Court considered these refusals to be formal and noted that their removal from Moldova put an end to their integration into society and affected their personal and family life. The ECtHR found that the detention and “removal” of Moldovan teachers violated their right to liberty and security, as well as their right to respect for private and family life.

Since 12 September 1997, the ECtHR may examine applications against Moldova. As of June 30, 2020, the ECtHR issued 461 judgments finding 616 violations of the ECHR by the State of the Republic of Moldova.

AUTHOR MAIL

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