ECHR finds Ukraine not responsible for consequences of Luhansk region occupation
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), located in Strasbourg, has passed its ruling on a complaint against Ukraine related to the loss of government control over the part of the territory of Luhansk region, according to the ECHR's press release published on the court's website on Tuesday, July 25.
The applicant, Oleksandr Khlebik, is a Ukrainian national born in 1974. In April 2013 Khlebik was convicted by a court in Luhansk region of, among other things, banditry and armed robbery; he was sentenced to eight years and nine months' imprisonment.
"His appeal against this conviction was still pending when hostilities started in Eastern Ukraine in April 2014. He remained detained in Starobilsk remand prison, awaiting examination of his appeal, located in the part of Luhansk region controlled by the Ukrainian government. However, his case file remained with the Court of Appeal, in Luhansk, which is not under Government control," the press release reads.
Khlebnik then lodges an appeal against Ukraine to the ECHR, claiming that the state infringed his right to fair trial within a reasonable time.
"In today's Chamber judgment in the case, the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been no violation of Article 6 §1 (right to a fair trial within a reasonable time) of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Court came to the conclusion that the Ukrainian authorities had done all in their power, under the circumstances of the hostilities in Eastern Ukraine, to address Mr Khlebik's situation. Notably, they had duly examined the possibility of restoring his case file," the ECHR said.
Ukrainian authorities not responsible for appeal remaining unexamined due to inability to retrieve criminal case file from area beyond their control, the court said.