Lutsenko and Verbytskyy v. Ukraine (Applications nos. 12482/14 and 39800/14)
A selection of key paragraphs can be found below the judgment.CASE-OF-LUTSENKO-AND-VERBYTSKYY-v.-UKRAINE
78. Turning to the applicants’ complaints of a substantive violation of Article 3 of the Convention, the Court has available to it forensic medical information concerning Mr I. Lutsenko and Mr Y. Verbytskyy which certified the presence of multiple injuries on their bodies as well as information about how those injuries were inflicted contained in Mr I. Lutsenko’s submissions and in certain documents from the investigation file which were provided to the Court (see paragraphs 7–20 above). Although the relevant proceedings have not yet been concluded, the Court considers that the information contained in the relevant investigation files may, to a certain extent, be taken into account in its examination of this part of the case (see, for instance, İzci v. Turkey, no. 42606/05, § 57, 23 July 2013). Based on the available information, Mr I. Lutsenko and Mr Y. Verbytskyy were clearly subjected to ill-treatment contrary to Article 3 of the Convention.
79. From that information, it can also be deduced that the ill-treatment at issue was aimed at causing them the maximum possible pain and making them feel debased and frightened. This was done in order to obtain information relating to Mr I. Lutsenko’s and Mr Y. Verbytskyy’s involvement in the Maidan protests and/or to intimidate and/or punish them in that connection. Thus, there are strong indications that the treatment inflicted on Mr I. Lutsenko and Mr Y. Verbytskyy might have involved serious and cruel suffering, both physical and psychological, that may be characterised as torture within the meaning of Article 3 of the Convention.
90. Accordingly, in the circumstances and in particular having regard to the fact that the Government did not disclose any further details which might be contained in the files concerning the official investigations at issue (see paragraph 22 above), the Court can draw inferences from the available information and finds it sufficiently established that the abduction and ill‑treatment of Mr I. Lutsenko and Mr Y. Verbytskyy were committed either upon the instructions and/or under the control of law-enforcement authorities or at least with their acquiescence or connivance.
91. In the light of the foregoing considerations, the Court finds that there has been a violation of Article 3 of the Convention in its substantive aspect on account of the ill-treatment of Mr I. Lutsenko and the torture of Mr Y. Verbytskyy on 21 January 2014, for which the State should be held responsible.
92. Considering the complaint under the substantive limb of Article 2 of the Convention, the Court observes that despite over 100 protest-related deaths and the deaths of at least thirteen law-enforcement officials (see Shmorgunov and Others, cited above, § 16), it has been seized of only a few Article 2 complaints, that concerning Mr Y. Verbytskyy and some other applicants whose cases have not yet been examined. It notes that the domestic authorities classified Mr Y. Verbytskyy’s death as murder.
93. The Court further notes that, having been subjected to the torture described above, Mr. Y. Verbytskyy was left in a remote location by the suspects who had been hired by law-enforcement officials, in weather conditions which were particularly harsh, where he was unlikely to survive for long if left unattended (see paragraph 20 above). Having regard to its findings concerning the applicants’ related complaints under Article 3 of the Convention (see paragraphs 90 and 91 above), the Court finds that the responsibility for Mr Y. Verbytskyy’s death rests with the respondent State. Accordingly, there has been a violation of Article 2 of the Convention on that account.