EIT:n suuri jaosto: Asianajajan avun epäämisellä rikosprosessin alkuvaiheessa rikottiin oikeutta oikeudenmukaiseen oikeudenkäyntiin

13.11.2018

asianajaja - asianajotoimisto - Asianajotoimisto Lex Helsinki Oy - lakiasiaintoimisto - lakitoimisto - lakimies

EIT katsoi, ettei belgialainen rikosoikeudenkäynti ollut kokonaisuutena tarkasteltuna korjannut oikeudenkäynnin edeltävässä vaiheessa tapahtuneita menettelyvirheitä.

EIT katsoi, että valittajan (jota oli oli syytetty ex-tyttöystävänsä murhasta) oikeutta asianajajaan oli tapauksessa rajoitettu. Valittajaa ei ollut informoitu riittävästi hänen vaitiolo-oikeudestaan. Valittaja oli esittänyt yksityiskohtaisia lausuntoja hänen pidätyksensä aikana.
Valittajan lausunnot oli myöhemmin sisällytetty Assize-tuomioistuimen todisteisiin. Asianmukaista selvitystä siitä, miten Assize-tuomioistuin olisi saanut ottaa tai oli ottanut huomioon asianajajan poissaolon vaikutukset ei ollut tehty. Valitustuomioistuin oli keskittynyt oikeudellisen avun puutteeseen pidätyksen aikana, mutta ei ollut arvioinut asianajajan poissaolon seurauksia valittajan puolustautumisoikeuksissa hänen myöhemmissä poliisihaastatteluissaan, tutkintatuomarin tutkimuksissa eikä muissa toimissa tutkinnan aikana.
EIT katsoi, että näiden eri tekijöiden yhdistelmä oli tehnyt menettelystä kohtuuttoman kokonaisuudessaan. EIS 6 artiklaa (1 ja 3 c) oli rikottu.
"The applicant had been unable to communicate with a lawyer between the time of his surrender to the Belgian authorities at 10.40 a.m. on 31 December 2007 and his police interview at 11.50 a.m., or between that interview and the examination by the investigating judge at 4.45 p.m. that day. He had only been granted the right to consult with a lawyer, in accordance with section 20 of the Law on Pre-Trial Detention, once the investigating judge had remanded him in custody, after the examination had ended at 5.42 p.m., and had notified the Bar to arrange for defence counsel to be assigned. He had continued to be deprived of legal assistance during the subsequent interviews, examinations and other investigative acts conducted in the course of the judicial investigation. In total Mr Beuze had been questioned on the charges, without a lawyer, five times by the criminal investigation police, three times by the investigating judge and twice by the Crown Prosecutor. Nor had the applicant’s lawyer participated in the reconstruction of the crime scene held on 6 June 2008.
When Mr Beuze had been questioned in police custody, no lawyer had been present and he had not been able to consult one beforehand. Nor had he been allowed legal assistance at the time of other interviews or acts during the pre-trial judicial investigation. Without being sufficiently informed of his right to remain silent, he had made detailed statements while in police custody and had later changed his version of the facts. He had made statements which substantially affected his position as regards, in particular, the charge of the attempted murder of C.L. All those statements had been included in the evidence before the Assize Court, which had failed to conduct an appropriate examination of how they had been obtained or to consider the impact of the lawyer’s absence.
While the Court of Cassation had examined the admissibility of the prosecution case, seeking to ascertain whether the right to a fair trial had been upheld, it had nevertheless focused on the absence of a lawyer during the period in police custody and had not assessed the consequences for the applicant’s defence rights of that absence during his subsequent police interviews, examinations by the investigating judge and other acts performed in the course of the judicial investigation. Lastly, in the trial before the Assize Court, the jurors had not received any directions or guidance as to how Mr Beuze’s statements and their evidential value should be assessed.
The Court took the view that the combination of these factors had rendered the proceedings against Mr Beuze unfair, and that, when considered as a whole, the proceedings had not remedied the procedural defects occurring at the pre-trial stage. It thus found that there had been a violation of Article 6 §§ 1 and 3 (c) of the Convention."
EIT:n suuren jaoston tuomio 9.11.2018
CASE OF BEUZE v. BELGIUM (Application no. 71409/10) (ECHR)

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