Publication

Chizhov was paid for illegal arrest through the European Court for human rights

The European Court for human rights on the day before yesterday made public its decision in the case on the claim of Serhiy Chizhov versus Ukraine (claim No 6962/02). He complained for Ukraine regarding non-fulfillment of the court decision about paying out compensation for illegal arrest, what violated his right for fair trial. And the European Court supported the claimant.  

This case started yet in October 1997 in Zaporizhia when two militiamen detained Chizhov and placed him in a sobering-up station. At this they beat him a little, and after that he was even brought to hospital. And the next day militiamen decided to carry the case through and accused Chizhov of an attempt to bribe them. But in three weeks the Lenin district court of Zaporizhia acquitted Chizhov.  

So, Chizhov addressed the Prosecution regarding illegal actions of militiamen, since he was fully acquitted.

While there was no reaction, in February 1998 he brought a civil action against the district militia department regarding compensation of damage he was caused by illegal actions of militia. And only in March the prosecution initiated a criminal case against the two militiamen.

As a result, there was a verdict of the Lenin district court of Zaporizhia dated January 29, 1999, that convicted two militiamen for three years on probation for abusing official authorities and causing physical injuries to Chizhov. At the same time Chizhov was put up a compensation for illegal militia actions in the amount of 3709.13 hryvnias (831 euros). The regional court supported the verdict.  

But this decision wasn’t fulfilled. The state treasury confirmed that the district department of militia didn’t have money for that. For the claimant’s petition about arrest of the debtor’s property (militia department), the court stated that it is forbidden by the law, and later – that there is no property. Then procrastination in the executive service, treasury and courts started.  

Having not found the truth in his country in 2002, Chizhov submitted a claim to the European Court for human rights. Then in Ukraine the process revived, and the decision about the compensation was fulfilled only on August 14, 2003, though actually Chizhov lost about 200 euros because of inflation.

The European Court for human rights decided that such a long term (over 4 years) of executing the court’s decision makes the right for fair trial senseless, that is there was violation of clause 6 of the European Convention on human rights and fundamental freedoms. In other words, appealing to court becomes a fiction, since its decisions are not fulfilled. “The state is responsible for establishing mechanisms of executing court decisions so that they are fulfilled without delays”, – it is stated in the Court’s decision.   

Besides, the Court recognized that in Ukraine there are no efficient mechanisms of protection of this human right, particularly, regarding influence on executing trial decisions. That’s why it also recognized violation of clause 13 of the Convention by Ukraine.

In addition, by this unanimous decision the Court put up paying out compensation to Chizhov in the amount of 2500 euros for the material and non-material damage he had been caused.

Volodymyr Yavorsky

RUPOR

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