Feraru v. Moldova (Application no. 55792/08)

A selection of key paragraph(s) can be found below the document.


50. The Court reiterates that “the ‘reasonableness’ of the suspicion on which an arrest must be based forms an essential part of the safeguard against arbitrary arrest and detention which is laid down in Article 5 § 1 (c) of the Convention. Having a ‘reasonable suspicion’ presupposes the existence of facts or information which would satisfy an objective observer that the person concerned may have committed the offence. What may be regarded as ‘reasonable’ will however depend upon all the circumstances”. While special circumstances may affect the extent to which the authorities can disclose information, they cannot “… stretch […] the notion of ‘reasonableness’ to the point where the essence of the safeguard secured by Article 5 § 1 is impaired” (see Fox, Campbell and Hartley v. the United Kingdom, 30 August 1990, § 32, Series A no. 182, and Stepuleac v. Moldova, no. 8207/06, § 68, 6 November 2007).

51. The Court notes that the applicant was initially arrested for having committed the administrative offence of insulting a police officer. Even though the applicant referred to his entire period of detention as being unlawful, he did not give any details in respect of the administrative arrest and detention. The Court considers that using administrative arrest as a means of detaining and questioning a suspect in a criminal case is contrary to Article 5 of the Convention. (…)

52. However, it cannot be excluded that a person who is arrested for an administrative offence is identified, during such administrative detention, as the suspect of a crime, and that both the administrative detention and the subsequent detention within the framework of the criminal investigation be bona fidae. The Court would then have to decide whether the administrative detention had been genuinely caused by an administrative offence which the applicant had committed or whether such detention was only a pretext in order for the police to have more time to detain him before bringing him before the investigating judge.



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