A selection of key paragraphs can be found below the judgment.
48. The period of detention to be taken into consideration in this case started on 8 June 2012, the date of the applicant’s arrest, and ended on 8 October 2013, when he was absolved of criminal liability and ordered to undergo compulsory treatment. Accordingly, the period in question is one year and four months. Having regard to the considerable length of detention in the light of the presumption in favour of release, the Court finds that the Russian authorities were required to put forward very weighty reasons for maintaining that measure against the applicant.
49. It can be seen from the detention orders and the Government’s observations that the primary reason for the applicant’s detention was the gravity of the charges. The domestic courts considered that, faced with the risk of prison, he was likely to abscond, reoffend or interfere with the administration of justice – although they did not elaborate on the reasons and did not refer to concrete facts supporting the likelihood of the adverse consequences of releasing him. Furthermore, the courts gave no valid reasons for dismissing his requests for an alternative preventive measure.
50. The Court has previously examined similar complaints lodged by defendants in the related cases of mass disorder and found a violation of their rights set out in Article 5 § 3 of the Convention (see Kovyazin and Others, cited above, §§ 82-94; Yaroslav Belousov, cited above, §§ 133-38; and Akimenkov v. Russia, nos. 2613/13 and 50041/14, §§ 101-06, 6 February 2018). The Court noted, in particular, the domestic courts’ reliance on the gravity of the charges as the main factor in the assessment of the potential to abscond, reoffend or obstruct the course of justice, and their reluctance to pay proper attention to each applicant’s personal situation or to have proper regard to factors in favour of release. It also noted the courts’ failure to thoroughly examine the possibility of applying a less rigid measure of restraint, such as bail.
51. Having regard to the material in its possession, the Court notes that the Government have not put forward any fact or argument capable of persuading it to reach a different conclusion in the present case. Indeed, the specific offence imputed to the applicant – taking part in an assault on a police officer, causing injuries but no lasting harm (classified as a serious offence) – may have initially warranted his pre-trial detention. However, with the passage of time, the nature and the seriousness of the offence as grounds for the applicant’s continued detention inevitably became less and less relevant (see Artemov v. Russia, no. 14945/03, § 75, 3 April 2014; Kovyazin and Others, cited above, § 85; and Barabanov v. Russia, nos. 4966/13 and 5550/15, § 51, 30 January 2018). The Court further notes that the applicant’s detention was extended without serious consideration of alternative preventive measures, such as personal guarantees by prominent public figures submitted by the applicant (see paragraph 12 above).