Sládková v. the Czech Republic (Application no. 15741/15)

A selection of key paragraphs can be found below the judgement.

70.  The police officers’ version of the events was uncritically accepted and seen as sufficient to conclude that the applicant had been aggressive and had put up resistance and that the force used against her had been justified, without considering whether the force employed had been proportionate to the circumstances of the case, specifically whether it had been indispensable and/or excessive. No expert medical opinion was sought in this regard and no statement was taken from the applicant (see, mutatis mutandis, Tadić, cited above, § 69). 

71.  In that connection, the Court finds it problematic that in a situation where the applicant complained that she had been denied medication and been subjected to degrading and racist remarks, which the Government admitted would be unacceptable if true (see paragraph 82 below), and asserted that she had suffered psychological trauma, she was not in any way involved in the examination of her complaint. There is no indication in the case file that the police took any measures to inquire about the applicant’s credibility (see, mutatis mutandis, B.V. v. Belgium, no. 61030/08, § 67, 2 May 2017) or to verify her account of the events. Indeed, the applicant was not interviewed, invited to provide a more detailed description of the facts or confronted with the statements of the police officers concerned. Nor was she invited to have her alleged psychological problems certified by a specialist, although she asserted to her general practitioner that she suffered severe anxiety, fear and nightmares (see paragraph 10 above). 

72.  The Court further notes that the applicant lodged her criminal complaint on 27 February 2013, three days following the event (see paragraphs 5 and 13 above) and that the security camera recordings were erased on 7 March 2013 (see paragraphs 18 and 19 above). This fact constitutes another element demonstrating that the investigation was not conducted with due diligence: the investigation authorities had sufficient time to secure this piece of evidence, but they failed to do so. 

75.  In view of the above considerations, the Court cannot accept in the present case that the internal police inspection satisfied those requirements and that the conclusions thereof were able to reasonably justify the “decision” not to hand the case over to the GISF. 

77.  The foregoing considerations are sufficient to enable the Court to conclude that the domestic authorities did not take all reasonable measures to shed light on the facts of the present case and that the investigation carried out was not effective for the purposes of Article 3 of the Convention. 


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