Постановление Европейского суда по правам человека от 08.07.2010 «Дело Александр Матвеев (aleksandr matveyev) против России» [англ.]

Город принятия

EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
FIRST SECTION
CASE OF ALEKSANDR MATVEYEV v. RUSSIA
(Application No. 14797/02)
JUDGMENT*
(Strasbourg, 8.VII.2010)
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*This judgment will become final in the circumstances set out in Article 44 § 2 of the Convention. It may be subject to editorial revision.

In the case of Aleksandr Matveyev v. Russia,

The European Court of Human Rights (First Section), sitting as a Chamber composed of:

Christos Rozakis, President,

Nina {Vajic}*,

____________________________
*Здесь и далее по тексту слова на национальном языке набраны латинским шрифтом и выделены фигурными скобками.

Anatoly Kovler,

Elisabeth Steiner,

Khanlar Hajiyev,

Dean Spielmann,

Sverre Erik Jebens, judges,

and {Soren} Nielsen, Section Registrar,

Having deliberated in private on 17 June 2010,

Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:

PROCEDURE
1. The case originated in an application (No. 14797/02) against the Russian Federation lodged with the Court under Article 34 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms ("the Convention") by a Russian national, Mr Aleksandr Vladimirovich Matveyev ("the applicant"), on 27 February 2002.

2. The Russian Government ("the Government") were represented by Mr P. Laptev, former Representative of the Russian Federation at the European Court of Human Rights.

3. The applicant alleged that he had been ill-treated after his arrest, that the conditions of his detention on remand had been appalling and that the criminal proceedings against him had been unfair. By letter of 2 December 2003 the applicant also complained that placing him in the disciplinary cells of OYa-22/7 had restricted his rights.

4. On 13 October 2005 the President of the Third Section decided to communicate the complaints about the conditions of the applicant's detention on remand to the Government. It was also decided to examine the merits of the application at the same time as its admissibility (Article 29 § 1). The case was subsequently transferred to First Section for examination.

THE FACTS
I. The circumstances of the case
5. The applicant was born in 1974 and lives in the town of Pestovo in the Novgorod Region.

A. The applicant's arrest
1. The applicant's arrest, as reflected
in the case file records
6. On the evening of 14 April 2000 the applicant was arrested on suspicion of having committed murder and remanded in custody in detention facility IVS of police station No. 36 in the Vyborgskiy District of St Petersburg (ИВС при 36 отделении милиции Выборгского района г. Санкт-Петербурга).

7. The arrest report drawn up on 15 April 2000 at 1 p.m. contains the typed description of the applicant's procedural rights, in particular "the right to be represented by a lawyer from the moment of drawing up of the arrest report" and "the right not to incriminate oneself". It was signed by the applicant and also includes the applicant's statement that he "wishes to give evidence in the presence of counsel G.". Lastly, the report contains the following hand-written statement, also signed by the applicant:

"I did commit, together with V., the murder of P. on 5 April 2000."
8. A record of the applicant's questioning on 15 April 2000, signed by the applicant and counsel G., according to which the applicant was questioned from 1.15 to 4 p.m. in the presence of counsel G., contains a detailed description of the murder and robbery of P.

9. According to a subsequent record of 17 April 2000 signed by the applicant and counsel G., the applicant "confirmed his testimony contained in the record of 15 April 2000".

10. According to the records of subsequent interviews, also signed by the applicant and his representative, the applicant refused to give further evidence and stated that he confirmed his confession, but only in part.

11. The records do not contain any indication of or complaints about coercion or ill-treatment.

12. On 17 April 2000 the prosecutor of the Vyborgskiy District of St Petersburg authorised the applicant's further detention.

13. According to the applicant, he was transferred to remand prison IZ-45/4 in St Petersburg (SIZO No. 4).

14. The Government submitted that the transfer had taken place on 20 April 2000.

2. The applicant's account of events of 15 April 2000
15. In his application to the Court the applicant gave the following account of the events of 15 April 2000.

16. The applicant was escorted for questioning to an office, where he was fettered to the floor with handcuffs and put in an uncomfortable sitting position. The applicant was then beaten up by men who did not state their names.

17. The applicant submitted that they had beaten him "professionally", inflicting blows in such a way as to leave no traces and using, in particular, plastic bottles filled with water. They had also held a knife to his throat, threatened him with death and promised to chop his head off. At first, the officers had beaten the applicant without asking him to do or say anything, but after some time they had invited him to confess. When the applicant refused, they had shown him a written statement of his friend V., who had been arrested in connection with the same criminal case and had "confessed to things he had never done".

18. The applicant submitted that, being demoralised and fearing for his life, he had confessed to a murder and a robbery but had refused to incriminate V.

19. The applicant submitted that he had told his counsel about the ill-treatment but his counsel had failed to react.

20. It does not appear that the applicant requested medical assistance or complained to any domestic authority in connection with the alleged ill-treatment.

B. The applicant's trial
1. First-instance proceedings
21. By a judgment of 5 December 2000 the St Petersburg City Court convicted the applicant of having killed and robbed P. and having stolen his passport. The court sentenced the applicant to eighteen years' imprisonment in a high security prison and the confiscation of his property.

22. By the same decision it acquitted him on a separate count of theft because the prosecution had been based solely on the applicant's confession and the victim's statement. Referring to the record of the applicant's psychiatric-psychological examination, the court ordered his compulsory out-patient psychiatric treatment for drug addiction.

23. The applicant was represented at the trial by counsel G. Throughout the trial they consistently defended the view that the victim had in fact been killed by a third person and not by the applicant.

24. The court rejected this argument by reference to the oral evidence given by three witnesses and a police officer in charge of the investigation and also to the discrepancies and contradictions in the applicant's own statements.

25. The court further cited the applicant's and his co-accused's statements from the pre-trial stage describing in detail the killing and robbery, and held that they "corresponded to the factual circumstances of the case in part, concerning the preparation and execution of the robbery of the victim P. and his especially cruel murder by [the applicant]". In finding the applicant guilty, the court also referred to various pieces of evidence, including, in particular, statements from four witnesses, the crime scene inspection report, three identification parade reports, a record of the identification of the stolen goods, seizure records, forensic medical and biological reports and the applicant's explanations about the blood spots on his jacket.

26. During the trial the defence argued that the applicant had been forced by the authorities to confess, with threats of violence. In this respect, the court established the following:

"As to [the applicant's] allegations that, by threatening him with violence and even death, the police officers had forced him to confess to having killed and robbed P., witness Pe. [the investigator] stated that no violence or threats were applied to [either] co-accused throughout their arrest and questioning. They gave evidence voluntarily, on some occasions in the presence of their defence counsel.

In this connection Matveyev [the applicant] submitted at a court hearing that Pe. had never threatened him at the pre-trial investigation and that he [the applicant] did not know the names of the police officers who had threatened him and would not be able to identify them."
27. According to the minutes of the hearing, the applicant and his counsel did not object to the conclusion of the trial in the absence of witness M. The hearing transcript also contains no indication that the applicant or his defence counsel requested the court to summon witness K.

28. It appears that some time after the trial the defence changed their counsel.

29. The applicant, his newly appointed counsel and his mother, admitted to the appeal proceedings as a "public defender", appealed against the conviction. In his appeal submissions, the applicant's counsel alleged, among other things, that the trial court had failed to summon and examine witnesses K. and M.; that in ordering the applicant's compulsory medical treatment it had failed to properly take into account his state of health; and that it should not have based the applicant's conviction on his forced pre-trial statements and referred to the statement of the investigator in rejecting his submission that the victim had been killed by a third person. The applicant's counsel further contested at length the way in which the trial court had assessed the evidence before it. In his own appeal submissions, the applicant alleged that he had not killed P.

2. Decision on the applicant's objections
to the transcript of the Court hearings
30. By a decision of 18 April 2000, judge Sh. rejected the applicant's objections to the transcript of the court hearings as unfounded and tending to revise the facts established by the trial court.

3. Appeal proceedings
31. By decision of 27 September 2001 the Supreme Court upheld the judgment in respect of the applicant. The hearing was conducted by way of videoconferencing. Both the applicant and his mother were given the floor.

32. The court held, in particular, that:

"Having analysed the evidence gathered in the case in its entirety, the first-instance court reached a well-founded conclusion as to [the applicant]'s and [V.'s] guilt in the crimes committed by them... [,] having provided sufficient reasons for its conclusions concerning their guilt and the classification of the defendants' acts.

The case was investigated and examined by the [trial] court without any significant violations of the provisions of the RSFSR CCrP which could have had prejudiced the court's judgment, including the issue of admissibility of evidence."
C. Conditions of detention
33. The applicant submitted that he had been held in SIZO No. 4 in St Petersburg and also in remand prison IZ-77/3 (SIZO No. 3) in Moscow. In respect of the former facility, he submitted that he had been detained there from 17 April 2000 to 8 September 2001 and from January to March 2002. He did not submit specific dates concerning his detention in SIZO No. 3, but suggested that it had taken place between September 2001 and January 2002.

34. The Government submitted, with reference to prison records, that the applicant's detention in SIZO No. 4 had lasted from 20 April 2000 to 7 September 2001 and from 23 January 2002 to 13 March 2002, whilst his detention in SIZO No. 3 had taken place in between the mentioned terms, from 10 September 2001 to 21 January 2002.

1. SIZO No. 4 in St Petersburg
35. The applicant gave the following account of the conditions of his detention.

36. At all times the prison was heavily overcrowded. His cell measured 20 square metres and was meant to accommodate twelve inmates but actually housed between forty and fifty. The bunk beds in the cell had three "levels", the applicant's sleeping place being on the top level, right under the ceiling. The inmates slept in turns, two or three persons sharing one bed at a time. The applicant slept on a worn-out mattress and was not provided with any bedding. Because the detainees shared beds, they often contracted skin infections and had lice. The inmates had a one-hour outside walk per day. The lavatory pan was separated from the living area by a makeshift partition. As such an arrangement was prohibited by the prison authorities, it was ripped down in the course of every routine check and then rebuilt by the inmates until the next check.

37. The windows had double bars and metal shutters which let almost no natural light in. The electric lights were always switched on. For the same reason there were problems of fresh air, especially in summer when it was very hot. The windows had no glass and in winter the detainees covered them in order to avoid freezing, so there was even less fresh air.

38. The quality of the food was deplorable. The inmates were sometimes given out-of-date biscuits from humanitarian supplies.

39. The applicant could not wash himself properly because the "washing schedule" (once every 8 - 10 days) was rarely respected by the prison authorities. Furthermore, the shower facility, a former morgue, was in a disgusting state.

40. On several occasions tuberculosis or hepatitis sufferers and mentally disturbed inmates had been placed in the applicant's cell. The applicant submitted that although the detainees underwent HIV and AIDS tests upon their arrival in the detention facility, they were informed of the results with a considerable delay.

41. The applicant alleged that he suffered from epileptic fits and nocturnal enuresis and could not count on adequate medical assistance.

42. He further stated that the regular searches in the cells, assisted by members of the special forces (спецназ), were usually accompanied by violence, especially throughout 2000. On one such occasion the applicant's fellow detainees were ordered to leave the cell and the applicant was ordered to hand over any prohibited items. When he refused, he was ordered to kneel down, which he again refused to do because it was humiliating. In response, persons wearing masks beat him up.

43. It does not appear that the applicant complained about the alleged incident or requested medical assistance at the time.

44. The Government disagreed with the above description and submitted that the applicant had been provided with his own sleeping place, bedding and cutlery.