Vardan Martirosyan v. Armenia (Application no. 13610/12)

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


46.  In the present case, the Court notes that, in accordance with Article 293 of the CCP, the decision setting a criminal case down for trial must contain also a decision regarding the preventive measure (see paragraph 31 above). The decision of 27 March 2012 setting the applicant’s criminal case down for trial contained the following finding in that regard: “to leave unchanged … the preventive measure applied in respect of the accused” (see paragraph 22 above). Thus, the District Court’s entire decision regarding the applicant’s continued detention was limited to that single phrase. The applicant argued that this had been in breach of the requirements of Article 300 of the CCP (see paragraph 32 above), as well as the Court’s case-law (see paragraph 43 above). 

47.  As regards the former, the Court notes that Article 300 of the CCP requires the trial court, “when adopting decisions”, to take also a decision on the preventive measure, if such a measure has been applied (see paragraph 32 above). It is not clear, however, whether the vague reference to “decisions” also includes decisions setting the case down for trial taken during the preparatory stage of the trial in accordance with Article 292 of the CCP (see paragraph 30 above), in this case the decision of 27 March 2012 (see paragraph 22 above). It is notable that that decision did not make any reference to Article 300 of the CCP. In any event, even assuming that Article 300 of the CCP was applicable to the decision in question, it cannot be said that that Article explicitly requires the trial court to provide reasons for its decision regarding the necessity of keeping the accused in detention. As to whether such requirement may have been implicit in that Article and, if so, whether it has been complied with, the Court does not consider it necessary to determine these questions in view of its findings below. 

49.  The Court notes that this appears to have been the general practice at the material time, since the relevant provisions of domestic law explicitly required the courts to provide reasons and to set time-limits for continued detention only during the pre-trial stage of the proceedings (see paragraphs 7, 8, 14 and 26-28 above) and it is not clear whether such requirements applied to decisions taken at the preparatory stage of the trial, like in the present case (see paragraphs 22, 30 and 31 above, and compare Molodorych v. Ukraine, no. 2161/02, § 105, 28 October 2010). In these circumstances, the Court considers that the District Court’s decision of 27 March 2012 did not afford the applicant an adequate protection from arbitrariness which is an essential element of the “lawfulness” of detention within the meaning of Article 5 § 1 of the Convention, and that, therefore, the applicant’s detention from 27 March 2012 to 20 August 2013 failed to comply with the requirements of Article 5 § 1 of the Convention. 

50.  There has accordingly been a violation of Article 5 § 1 of the Convention. 


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