Gutsanovi protiv Bugarske

Država na koju se presuda odnosi
Bugarska
Institucija
Evropski sud za ljudska prava
Stepen važnosti
Referentni slučaj
Jezik
Srpski
Datum
15.10.2013
Članovi
3
5
5-3
5-5
6
6-2
8
8-1
8-2
13
13+3
13+8
34
35
35-1
41
Kršenje
3
5
5-3
5-5
6
6-2
8
8-1
13+3
13+8
Nekršenje
6
6-2
Ključne reči
(Čl. 3) Zabrana torture
(Čl. 3 / CAT-16) Ponižavajuće postupanje
(Čl. 5) Pravo na slobodu i bezbednost
(Čl. 5-3) Bez odlaganja izvesti pred sudiju ili drugo službeno lice
(Čl. 5-3) Dužina predraspravnog lišenja slobode
(Čl. 5-3) Osnovanost predraspravnog lišenja slobode
(Čl. 5-5) Naknada
(Čl. 6) Pravo na pravično suđenje
(Čl. 6) Krivični postupak
(Čl. 6-2) Pretpostavka nevinosti
(Čl. 8) Pravo na poštovanje privatnog i porodičnog života
(Čl. 8-1) Poštovanje doma
(Čl. 8-2) U skladu sa zakonom
(Čl. 8-2) Zaštitne mere protiv zloupotrebe
(Čl. 13) Pravo na delotvorni pravni lek
(Čl. 34) Pojedinačne predstavke
(Čl. 34) Žrtva
(Čl. 35) Uslovi prihvatljivosti
(Čl. 35-1 / CAT-13 / ICCPR-2) Iscrpljivanje unutrašnjih pravnih lekova
(Čl. 41) Pravično zadovoljenje - opšte
Broj predstavke
34529/10
Zbirke
Sudska praksa
Presuda
Veće
Sažetak
Predmet je formiran na osnovu predstavke protiv Republike Bugarske, koju su njena četiri državljana - g.Borislav Gutsanov Gutsanov, gđa.Monika Vladimirova Gutsanova i gđice S. i B. Gutsanove (podnosioci predstavke) podnela Sudu 21.maja 2010.godine.
Podnosioci predstavke su tvrdili posebno da im je intervencija snaga reda u njihovom prebivalištu, u zoru 31.marta 2010.godine, izazvala psihološku traumu koja se definiše kao ponižavajuće postupanje.
Podnosioci predstavke su rođeni 1967, 1972, 2002 i 2004 godine i stanuju u Varni. Prva dva podnosioca predstavke su supružnici, a treća i četvrta podnositeljka predstavke su njihove kćeri.
Prvi podnosilac predstavke g.Borislav Gutsanov je poslanik u Narodnoj skupštini s liste Socijalističke partije, član centralnog izvršnog biroa Socijalističke partije i potpredsednik oblasnog odbora te iste partije. U vreme događaja bio je predsednik gradskog veća Varne, izabran sa liste svoje partije.
Od decembra 2009. do aprila 2010.godine bugarsko Ministarstvo unutrašnjih poslova izvršilo je više policijskih operacija na teritoriji zemlje, sa ciljem razbijanja različitih kriminalnih grupa. Uhapšeno je više političara, javnih tužilaca i policijskih komesara, a nakon tih događaja Sudu je upućen čitav niz predstavki.
30.oktobra 2009.godine javno tužilaštvo grada Sofije pokrenulo je krivično gonjenje protiv X zbog krivičnog dela zloupotrebe vlasti činovnika i pronevere državnog novca čime je nanesena velika šteta gradskom saobraćajnom preduzeću u Varni, a dela su počinjena 2003. i 2007.godine.
U okviru te krivične istrage, 31.marta 2010.godine oko 6.30, jedna ekipa policijskih agenata je upala u porodičnu kuću podnosilaca predstavke i pristupila hapšenju g.Gutsanova i pretresu kuće.
- Verzija podnosilaca predstavke –
Podnosioci predstavke su navodno spavali, kuća je bila snabdevena video nadzorom, a noćni čuvar D.P. je primetio grupu policijskih agenata koja se navodno pojavila pred ulaza u imanje i počela bučno da kuca na kapiju. On je sišao sa svog čuvarskog mesta, otključao im kapiju, oni su mu stavili lisice, a on im je potvrdio da su vlasnici kuće tu i skrenuo pažnju da su u kući dva maloletna deteta. Nije im otključao vrata kuće, rekavši da nema ključ, a policijski agenti su navodno pokušali da uđu u kuću na nasilan način, uspeli da otvore vrata i navodno su prodrli do stepeništa kuće. G. i Gđa Gutsanovi su tvrdili da ih je buka probudila, da su sišli na donji sprat i odveli devojčice u svoju spavaću sobu na drugom spratu kuće. G.Gutsanov tvrdi da je zatim izašao iz spavaće sobe s namerom da vidi i shvati šta se događa, ali da je čuo buku na stepenišištu pa se vratio u sobu. Malo zatim su naoružani policajci sa fantomkama prodrli u spavaću sobu i uperili oružje sa montiranim baterijskim lampama u podnosioce predstavke vičući na njih da su policija i da ne mrdaju. G.Gutsanov je navodno priteran uza zid, a zatim odveden na donji sprat, bačen na kolenama, s lisicama na rukama. Po rečima prva dva podnosioca predstavke, njihove dve kćerke su se popele na krevet roditelja i vikale i plakale od straha. Malo zatim je g.Gutsanovu navodno bilo dozvoljeno da se popenje na gornji sprat i obuče. U 7.30 su vozač porodice i guvernanta dece navodno stigli na lice mesta i odveli obe devojčice u školu.Navodno su deca te noći prespavala kod tetke.
- Vladina verzija –
30.marta 2010.godine, oblasni načelnik službe za borbu protiv organizovanog kriminala iz Varne i oblasno javno tužilaštvo iz istog grada navodno su odobrili plan intervencije u okviru krivičnog postupka protiv X. Prema tom planu navodno je bilo predviđeno hapšenje pet lica osumničenih da su izvršili gore navedena krivična dela i pretres u pretres u prebivalištu i u kancelarijama, a među tim licima je bio i g.Gutsanov. Intervencije su navodno bile planirane za 31.mart 2010.godine, ujutru, a trebalo je da ih istovremeno obavi pet ekipa, sastavljenih od specijalnih agenata, naoružanih i maskiranih. Nosili su zaštitne prsluke s natpisom „policija“. Agenti su navodno bili upozoreni da g.Gutsanov zakonito poseduje pištolj i da to oružje čuva u kući. Nakon razgovora sa noćnim čuvarom, pri čemu se navodi u tom delu slažu sa navodima čuvara, dva specijalna agenta su navodno otišla s druge strane kuće kako bi obezbedili eventualne druge izlaze, a dva specijalna agenta su potrčala prema ulaznim vratima kuće, počela da lupaju na vrata i viču „policija“. G.Gutsanov se navodno pokazao u dva navrata ali nije sišao. Specijalni agenti su navodno provalili ulazna vrata i ušli u kuću. G.Gutsanov je navodno izašao na stepenište, ali se navodno nije povinovao zahtevu policije da priđe i pokaže ruke. Navodno se vratio u spavaću sobu, a zatim je navodno izašao iz te sobe i tada su mu stavljene lisice. Navodno je od agenata zatražio dozvolu da se obuče i navodno ga je jedan od agenata s fantomkom odveo u tu istu sobu. Agent koji je ušao u spavaću sobu navodno nije nosio vatreno oružje, već samo pištolj na električne impulse, i nije se obratio ni gđi.Gutsanovoj, ni maloletim devojčicama, a u sobi je ostao onoliko koliko je g.Gutsanovom bilo potrebno da nađe odeću i zajedno su napustili prostoriju. Zatim je predat drugim policijskim agentima a specijalni agenti su navodno odmah napustili lice mesta.
- psihološko stanje podnosilaca predstavke nakon policijske intervencije -
Navodno su psihičke smetnje primećene i kod gđe.Gutsanove i kod devojčica.
- Navodno kršenje člana 3 Konvencije –
Član 3: Niko ne sme biti podvrgnut mučenju, ili nečovečnom ili ponižavajućem postupanju ili kažnjavanju.
Podnosioci predstavke se žale posebno na način na koji je policijska intervencija bila izvršena. U svojim pisanim primedbama od 06.januara 2012.godine, podnosioci predstavke se žale na odsustvo krivične istrage o maltretiranju za koje tvrde da su pretrpeli prilikom predmetne policijske intervencije.
Sud podseća da pravilo formulisano u članu 35 stav 1Konvencije nameće podnosiocima predstavke obavezu da prethodno iskoriste u normalnim okolnostima raspoložive i dovoljne pravne lekove u unutrašnjem pravnom poretku svojih zemalja kako bi dobili zadovoljenje za kršenja koja navode. Ti pravni lekovi moraju postojati na dovoljnom stepenu izvesnosti, kako u praksi tako i u teoriji. Prema stalnoj sudskoj praksi Suda, normalno raspoloživ pravni lek u bugarskom pravu protivneljudskih i ponižavajućih postupanja policijskih agenata jeste prijava upućena organima krivičnog gonjenja. Podnosioci predstavke se u ovom slučaju nisu obratili javnom tužilaštvu ovakvom prijavom protiv policijskih agenata. Pritom podnosioci predstavke ne navode da su ih policajci fizički napali. Sud smatra da zbog praznina u domaćem zakonodavstvu ni krivična prijava ni tužba za obeštećenje protiv države, ne bile dovoljno delotvorni unutrašnji pravni lekovi u konkretnom slučaju. Tako u ovom slučaju početak isticanja roka od šest meseci mora biti utvrđen na dan predmetnog događaja.
Vraćajući se činjenicama iz konkretnog slučaja, Sud zapaža da je operacija težila legitimnom cilju hapšenja, pretresa i zaplene i cilju od opšteg interesa, represiji krivičnih dela. Sud mora da se uveri da li je obezbeđena ravnoteža između zahteva od opšteg interesa društva i zaštite temeljnih interesa pojedinca u okolnostima konkretnog slučaja. Iz dokumenata u predmetu proističe da eventualno prisustvo maloletne dece i supruge g.Gutsanova ni u jednom trenutku nije uzeto u obzir prilikom planiranja i izvođenja policijske akcije.
Pritom, u konkretnom slučaju postoje elementi konkretnih i nespornih dokaza da su gđa Gutsanova i maloletne ćerke bile jako uznemirene predmetnim događajem (psihijatrijski izveštaji).
Iz tih razloga, Sud:
1. Odlučuje da spoji s meritumom preliminarni prigovor Vlade u vezi sa svojstvom žrtve podnosilaca predstavke u pogledu pritužbe po članu 3 Konvencije;

2. Proglašava jednoglasno predstavku prihvatljivom u pogledu pritužbi po osnovu člana 3

3. Izriče jednoglasno da je prekršen član 3 u odnosu na sve četvoro podnosilaca predstavke;

(...)

Uz ovu presudu priloženo je obrazloženje izdvojenog mišljenja sudije K.Wojtyczeka, ali nije prevedeno.

 preuzmite presudu u pdf formatu

  

ČETVRTO ODELJENJE

 SLUČAJ GUTSANOVI protiv BUGARSKE

 (Predstavka br. 34529/10)

 PRESUDA

 STRAZBUR

[Izvod]

 15. oktobar 2013.

 

PRESUDA JE PRAVOSNAŽNA

 15/01/2014 

Ova presuda je postala pravosnažna u skladu sa članom 44 § 2 Konvencije. Moguće su redaktorske izmene

U slučaju Gutsanovi protiv Bugarske, Evropski sud za ljudska prava (četvrto odeljenje), u veću sastavljenom od:

Ineta Ziemele, predsednice,
Päivi Hirvelä,
George Nicolaou,
Ledi Bianku,
Zdravka Kalaydjieva,
Krzysztof Wojtyczek,
Faris Vehabović, sudija,
i Françoise Elens-Passos, sekretarka odeljenja,

Posle većanja na zatvorenoj sednici od 24. septembra 2013, Izriče sledeću presudu, usvojenu tog dana: 

 

POSTUPAK

  1. Predmet je formiran na osnovu predstavke (br. 34529/10) protiv Republike Bugarske, a čija su se četiri državljana, G. Borislav Gutsanov Gutsanov, Gđa Monika Vladimirova Gutsanova i Gđice S. i B. Gutsanove (« podnosioci predstavke »), obratila Sudu 21. maja 2010. na osnovu člana 34 Konvencije o zaštiti ljudskih prava i osnovnih sloboda (« Konvencija »).
  2. Podnosioce predstavke su zastupali Gđa Bachvarova-Zhelyazkova, advokatica u Varni, i G. M. Ekimdzhiev, advokat u Plovdivu koji svoju delatnost obavlja u okviru advokatske kancelarije « Ekimdzhiev, Boncheva i Chernicherska ». Bugarsku vladu (« Vlada ») zastupao je njen agent, Gđa N. Nikolova, koju su zatim zamenili Gđa M. Kotseva i G. V. Obretenov, iz Ministarstva pravde.
  3. Podnosioci predstavke su tvrdili posebno da im je intervencija snaga reda u njihovom prebivalištu, 31. marta 2010, u zoru, izazvala psihološku traumu koja se definiše kao ponižavajuće postupanje. (...)
  4. 4. aprila 2011, predstavka je dostavljena Vladi. Kako to omogućava član 29 § 1 Konvencije, odlučeno je da će se veće izjasniti istovremeno i o prihvatljivosti i o meritumu slučaja.

ČINJENIČNO STANJE

1. OKOLNOSTI SLUČAJA

  1. Podnosioci predstavke rođeni su 1967, 1972, 2002 i 2004 i stanuju u Varni. Prva dva podnosioca predstavke su supružnici. Treća i četvrta su maloletne kćeri tog para.

A.  Opšti kontekst slučaja

  1. Prvi podnosilac predstavke, G. Borislav Gutsanov, poslanik je u Narodnoj skupštini s liste Socijalističke partije, član centralnog izvršnog biroa Socijalističke partije i potpredsednik oblasnog odbora te iste partije. U vreme događaja bio je predsednik gradskog veća Varne izabran s liste svoje partije.
  2. Od decembra 2009. do aprila 2010, bugarsko Ministarstvo unutrašnjih poslova izvršilo je na teritoriji zemlje v iše policijskih operacija s ciljem razbijanja različitih kriminalnih grupa. Tokom tih operacija, policija je izvršila hapšenje više lica, uključujući neke političare i političarke, što je bilo naširoko medijatizovano i izazvalo interesovanje široke javnosti. Od više političara, uključujući i predsednika vlade i ministra unutrašnjih poslova, kao i od više javnih tužilaca i policijskih komesara mediji su redovno tražili da komentarišu ta hapšenja i krivična gonjenja koja su usledila.
  3. Sudu je upućen čitav niz predstavki nakon tih događaja (br. 26966/10, Maslarova c. Bulgarie ; br.30336/10, Aleksey Petrov (II) c. Bulgarie ; br. 37124/10, Kostadinov c. Bulgarie ; br. 44885/10, Tsonev c. Bulgarie ; br. 45773/10, Petrov et Ivanova Bulgarie ; br. 55388/10, Stoyanov et autres c. Bulgarie).

B.  Intervencija policije u prebivalištu podnosilaca predstavke

  1. oktobra 2009, javno tužilaštvo grada de Sofije pokrenulo je krivično gonjenje protiv X zbog zloupotrebe vlasti činovnika i pronevere državnog novca čime je nanesena velika šteta gradskom saobraćajnom preduzeću u Varni. Predmetna dela počinjena su 2003. i 2007. 8 februara 2010, glavni tužilac izdao je nalog za prenos predmeta krivične istrage na oblasno tužilaštvo u Varni. Istragu je trebalo da vodi policija u Varni pod rukovodstvom i nadzorom oblasnog tužilaštva tog istog grada.
  2. U okviru te krivične istrage, 31 marta 2010, oko 6 h 30, jedna ekipa policijskih agenata upala je u porodičnu kuću podnosilaca predstavke i pristupila hapšenju G. Gutsanova i pretresu kuće. Strane osporavaju činjenice u vezi s tom policijskom operacijom.

1. Verzija podnosilaca predstavke

  1. 31. mart 2010. u zoru, G. i Gđa Gutsanovi spavali su u svojoj sobi na drugom spratu njihove kuće u Varni. Njihove dve kćeri su spavale u svojim sobama na spratu niže. Porodična kuća je bila snabdevena videonadzorom, a jedan noćni čuvar, po imenu D.P., bio je na dužnosti na ulazu imanja.
  2. Oko 6 h 30, D.P. je navodno primetio na ekranu uređaja za videonadzor dva ili tri policijska vozila koja su navodno tiho prošla, ugašenih farova, ispred baštenske kapije kuće i navodno se zaustavila malo dalje.
  3. Nešto kasnije, grupa policajaca se navodno pojavila pred ulazom u imanje a agenti su navodno počeli da bučnu kucaju na kapiju i zahtevaju da ova bude odmah otvorena. D.P. je navodno sišao sa svog čuvarskog mesta i otvorio kapiju. On je tada navodno primetio dva policajca u civilu, četiri ili pet drugih uniformisanih agenata i grupu od četiri ili pet agenata s fantomkama specijalne jedinice komandosa Ministarstva unutrašnjih poslova. D.P. je tada navodno imobilizovan, policajci su mu stavili lisice i upitali da li su vlasnici kuće tu. On je navodno odgovorio potvrdno i skrenuo pažnju policajcima da su u kući i dva mlada deteta. Zatražili su od njega da otvori ulazna vrata kuće, ali je on navodno odgovorio da nema ključeve.
  4. Grupa policajaca je navodno navalila na vrata kuće vičući « Policija ! Otvorit2 ! ». Neki agenti su navodno počeli da otvaraju vrata različitim obijačkim alatima (ovan, poluga, kozja noga). Prema svedočenju D.P., policajci su navodno uspeli da otvore vrata nakon pet do deset minuta i navodno su prodrli do stepeništa kuće.
  5. G.i Gđa Gutsanovi tvrde da su ih iznenada probudili buka udaraca u vrata i povici. Oni su navodno pojurili na donji sprat i odveli devojčice u svoju spavaću sobu na drugom spratu kuće.
  6. Gutsanov tvrdi da je zatim izašao iz sobe s namerom da vidi i shvati šta se zapravo događa. U tom trenutku je navodno čuo buku koju je pravilo više lica koja su se penjala stepenicama vičući «Pokažite se» i « Mi smo policajci». On se navodno odmah vratio u sobu na drugom spratu gde su se nalazile njegove kćeri i supruga. Malo zatim, naoružani policajci s fantomkama su navodno prodrli u spavaću sobu roditelja i uperili oružje s montiranim baterijskim lampama u G. Gutsanova, njegovu suprugu i njihove dve kćeri, vičući «Policija! Ne mrdajte!» G. Gutsanov je tada navodno priteran uza zid, a zatim odveden na donji sprat, bačen na kolena i s lisicama na rukama.
  7. Prema izjavama G. i Gđe Gutsanovi, njihove dve kćeri, koje su se bile popele na krevet svojih roditelja, vikale su i plakale od straha. Policajci su navodno naredili Gđi Gutsanovoj da se pokrije jorganom preko glave, što je ona navodno i učinila.
  8. Malo zatim, G. Gutsanovu je navodno dozvoljeno da se popne na drugi sprat i da se obuče.
  9. U 7 h 30, vozač porodice i guvernanta dece su navodno stigli na lice mesta i odveli obe devojčice u školu. Posle škole, S. i B. su navodno ostale kod svoje tetke i tamo prenoćile.
  10. U prilog svojoj verziji činjenica, podnosioci predstavke su prezentovali jednu rukom pisanu i nedatiranu izjavu G. Gutsanova, jednu izjavu koju je potpisala Gđa Gutsanova od 7. aprila 2010, jednu rukom napisanu izjavu datiranu 8. marta a koju je potpisao noćni čuvar D.P., kao i jednu rukom napisanu izjavu datiranu aprila 2010, s potpisom privatnog vozača porodice. Takođe su prezentovali bilten meteorološke službe u Varni kojim se potvrđuje da je tog dana sunce izašlo u 6h52 i da je zora trajala 31 minut. Takođe su priložili i kopiju intervjua koji je Gđa Gutsanova dala nedeljniku « Galeria » koji ga je objavio 8. aprila 2010.
  11. Podnosioci predstavke su prikazali i video snimak televizijske emisije « Afera », emitovane 11. aprila 2010. na privatnom televizijskom kanalu « Skat ». U toj emisiji je upravo emitovan i intervju Gđe Gutsanove, kao i nekoliko video sekvenci snimljenih uređajima za videonadzor imanja podnosilaca predstavke tog jutra 31. marta 2010. U prvoj sekvenci vidi se prolazak dva laka vozila i jednog policijskog kombija ispred imanja podnosilaca predstavke. Na drugoj sekvenci uočava se policajac u uniformi kako lupa na metalna vrata kuće i kako se vrata otvaraju. Treća sekvenca prikazuje dva specijalna agenta, obučenih u crnu odeću i naoružanih automatski puškama s montiranim baterijskim lampama kako pregledaju jedan deo vrta, kao i jednog muškarca u civilnoj odeći koji se pojavljuje na vratima. Ovaj ulazi u unutrašnjost kuće, a za njim dva specijalna agenta kako jure prema kući ostavljajući iza sebe jednog policajca u uniformi i jednog muškarca u civilnoj odeći. Ova poslednja dvojica kao da podižu glavu prema gornjem delu kuće. Jedna druga sekvenca, snimljena reporterskom kamerom, pokazuje stanje u kome su se nalazila staklena vrata nakon što su ih policajci obili : stakla su netaknuta, a kvaka, brava i reza su otkinut.

2. Vladina verzija

  1. 30. marta 2010, oblasni načelnik službe za borbu protiv organizovanog kriminala iz Varne i oblasno javno tužilaštvo iz istog grada navodno su odobrili plan intervencije u okviru krivičnog postupka protiv X u vezi s proneverom državnog novca koji je pripadao gradskom saobraćajnom preduzeću u Varni (videti gornji stav 9). Prema tom planu bilo je navodno predviđeno hapšenje pet lica osumnjičenih da su počinili predmetna dela, među njima i G. Gutsanov, i pretres u prebivalištu i u kancelarijama osumnjičenih. Intervencije su navodno bile predviđene za sutradan ujutro, odnosno za 31. mart 2010, i trebalo je da ih istovremeno obavi pet ekipa sastavljenih od specijalnih agenata, naoružanih i maskiranih.
  2. Ekipa koja je trebalo da interveniše u prebivalištu podnosilaca predstavke dobila je uputstva od svojih pretpostavljenih u 5 h 30, na sam dan policijske operacije. Agenti su navodno bili upozoreni da G. Gutsanov zakonito poseduje pištolj marke Glock, model 17 C, i da to oružje čuva u kući.
  3. U 6 h 30, 31. marta 2010, interventna ekipa, u kojoj su bili i agenti u civilu, dva uniformisana agenta i četiri specijalna agenta, obučena u crnu odeću i zaštitne prsluke s natpisom « policija », navodno je došla u prebivalište podnosilaca predstavke. Agenti su navodno kucali na metalna vrata imanja. Ova je navodno otvorio muškarac koji se navodno predstavio kao čuvar imanja. On je navodno objasnio da nema ključeve ulaznih vrata kuće i da se u kući nalaze jedino G. Gutsanov, njegova supruga i njihovo dvoje dece. Tada su dva specijalna agenta navodno otišla s druge strane kuče da bi obezbedili eventualne druge izlaze a druga dva specijalna agenta su potrčala prema ulaznim vratima kuće i počela da lupaju na vrata vičući «Policija. Otvorite! » Uniformisani agenti su navodno ostali u vrtu ispred ulaznih vrata.
  4. Nakon pet minuta, policajci su navodno primetili kroz panoramska stakla na kući siluetu nekog muškarca. Policajci su navodno povikali «Policija. Siđite! Otvorite vrata!» G. Gutsanov se navodno pokazao u dva navrata na jednom prozoru, ali navodno nije sišao. Specijalni agenti su navodno provalili ulazna vrata i prodrli u kuću. Jedan od agenata je navodno primetio G. Gutsanova na stepeništu i povikao u njegovom pravcu «Policija! Priđi polako! Pokaži ruke!». Podnosilac predstavke je navodno odbio da se povinuje i navodno je pojurio na gornji sprat. Agenti su ga navodno pratili vičući «Policija! Prekini! ». Podnosilac predstavke je navodno prošao kroz jedna vrata na drugom spratu i, prilazeći joj, agenti su ga navodno videli kako je ušao u jednu spavaću sobu gde su se nalazile njegova supruga i njegove dve kćeri. U tom trenutku, podnosilac predstavke je navodno izašao iz te prostorije i navodno su mu stavljene lisice. On je od agenata navodno zatražio dozvolu da se da se obuče i navodno ga je jedan od agenata s fantomkom odveo u tu istu sobu.
  5. Ni u jednom trenutku operacije, policajci se navodno nisu obratili Gđi Gutsanovoj niti njenim dvema kćerima. Agent koji je ušao u spavaću sobu navodno nije nosio nikakvo vatreno oružje, već samo pištolj na električne impulse marke « Taser ». Taj agent je navodno ostao u toj prostoriji onoliko vremena koliko je G. Gutsanovu bilo neophodno da nađe odeću i navodno su zajedno napustili prostoriju. Podnosilac predstavke je navodno bio predat drugim policijskim agentima a specijalni agenti su navodno odmah zatim napustili lice mesta.
  6. U prilog svojoj verziji činjenica Vlada je prezentovala sledeće dokumente: plan akcije za predmetnu operaciju, izveštaj oblasne direkcije Ministarstva unutrašnjih poslova, tri izveštaja agenata ministarstva koji su učestvovali u operaciji, među njima i komandir ekipe za specijalne intervencije, zapisnik o pretresu koji je odobrio jedan sudija i dva naloga oblasnog javnog tužilaštva iz Varne od 7. aprila 2010. Vlada je prezentovala i dve fotografije, objavljene u štampi, kuće podnosilaca predstavke na kojima se vidi da je pročelje kuće bilo zastakljeno prema vrtu.

C.  Psihološko stanje podnosilaca predstavke nakon intervencije policije u njihovom prebivalištu

  1. Gđa Gutsanova tvrdi da je njena mlađa kći, B., mucala, da je tokom jedne godine bila na tretmanu kod specijaliste logopeda i da je, nakon događaja od 31. marta 2010, ponovo počela da muca.
  2. Prema izjavama učiteljice S., starije kćeri ovog para, ova je bila vidno pod stresom i neuobičajeno tiha tog 31. marta 2010. Sestra G.. Gutsanova, koja je prihvatila svoju bratanicu popodne tog istog dana, primetila je da je dete bilo anksiozno. Tog dana dete je povremeno govorilo o onome što se dogodilo u kući. Od tada, ona se navodno plaši policajaca svaki put kadi h ugleda.
  3. aprila 2010, obe kćeri G. i Gđe Gutsanovi pregledao je psihijatar koji je ustanovio da sećanje na događaje od 31. marta 2010. izaziva kod oba deteta reakcije anksioznosti koje se manifestuju osećanjem teskobe kod starije kćeri i napadima plača kod mlađe kćeri ovog para. Psihijatar nije ustanovio druge psihiloške komplikacije kod ove dece.
  4. Nakon događaja od 31. marta 2010, Gđa Gutsanova je u dva navrata imala konsultacije s psihijatrom. Žalila se, između ostalog, na nesanicu i na anksioznost pa su joj prepisani anksiolitici.

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II  RELEVANTNO UNUTRAŠNJE PRAVO I PRAKSA

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D.  Odgovornost države za štetu

  1. Članom 1, alineja 1, zakona o odgovornosti države i lokalnih zajednica omogućeno je pojedincima da dobiju naknadu štete uzrokovane nezakonitim delima, činjenjima ili nečinjenjima državnih ili opštinskih organa ili agenata u okviru obavljanja njihovih administrativnih aktivnosti. Prema stalnoj sudskoj praksi bugarskog Vrhovnog suda, činjenja organa krivične istrage i javnih tužilaca ne pripadaju oblasti upravnih funkcija pa su tako isključena iz polja primene te zakonske odredbe (Решение № 615 от 10 юли 2001 г. на ВКС по гр. д. № 1814/2000 г.; Тълкувателно решение № 3 от 22 април 2004 г. на ВКС по тълк. д. № 3/2004 г., ОСГК). Članom 2 tog istog zakona, u redakciji koja je bila na snazi u vreme događaja, bilo je predviđeno pokretanje pitanja odgovornosti organa krivične istrage, javnog tužilaštva i sudova pod sledećim pretpostavkama: nezakonito privremeno lišavanje slobode; pritužba ili osuda nakon kojih usledi odustajanje od gonjenja ili oslobađanje od pritužbe ; prinudna hospitalizacija ili druge mere prinude koje nametne sud a kojima usledi poništenje te odluke zbog nezakonitosti ; izvršenje neke kazne uz prekoračenje roka odnosno prvobitno dosuđenog iznosa (videti takođe presude Iliya Stefanov c. Bulgarie, no 65755/01, §§ 28 i 29, 22. maj 2008 ; Kandjov c. Bulgarie, no 68294/01, §§ 35-39, 6. novembar 2008, i Botchev c. Bulgarie, no 73481/01, §§ 37-39, 13. novembar 2008).

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PRAVO

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I O NAVODNOM KRŠENJU ČLANA 3 KONVENCIJE

  1. Podnosioci predstavke tvrde da su intervencijom policije u njihovom prebivalištu bili podvrgnuti postupanju koje je nespojivo sa članom 3 Konvencije koji glasi:

« Niko ne sme biti podvrgnut mučenju, ili nečovečnom ili ponižavajućem postupanju ili kažnjavanju.. ».

  1. Podnosioci predstavke se žale posebno na način na koji je policijska intervencija bila izvršena, pre izlaska sunca, od strane maskiranih i teško naoružanih policajaca koji su ušli u prebivalište provalom i koji su uperili na njih i vezali lisicama G. Gutsanova tako što su ga bacili na kolena, kojim postupkom su podvrgnuti psihološkoj patnji koja se definiše kao ponižavajuće postupanje.
  2. U svojim pismenim primedbama od 6. januara 2012, podnosioci predstavke se žale na odsustvo krivične istrage o maltretiranju za koje tvrde da su pretrpeli prilikom policijske intervencije od 31. marta 2010.

A.  O prihvatljivosti

1. Pritužba u vezi s policijskom intervencijom od 31. marta 2010.

a)  Primedbe Vlade

  1. Vlada smatra da se ta pritužba mora odbaciti zbog neiscrpljenosti domaćih pravnih lekova, zbog nepoštovanja šestomesečnog roka, zbog preuranjenosti i zbog toga što podnosioci predstavke nemaju svojstvo žrtve.
  2. Vlada primećuje, na prvom mestu, da je krivična istraga protiv G. Gutsanova još u toku i na osnovu toga zaključuje da je pritužba po osnovu člana 3 preuranjena.
  3. Prema Vladi, podnosioci predstavke nisu pred nadležnim organima izrazili pritužbu za navedeno ponižavajuće postupanje. Oni nisu navodno ni podneli tužbu zbog navedenog ponižavajućeg postupanja. Navodno nisu podigli tužbu za nadoknadu štete u skladu sa članom 2 Zakona o odgovornosti države. Tako su oni navodno propustili da iscrpu normalno raspoložive i delotvorne pravne lekove u domaćem pravu.
  4. Vlada zatim primećuje da je, rešenjem od 7. aprila 2010, oblasno javno tužilaštvo u Varni odbilo da pokrene krivično gonjenje policijskih agenata koji su provalili u prebivalište podnosilaca predstavke. Javno tužilaštvo je navodno utvrdilo da policijska akcija nije predstavljala krivično delo. Vlada takođe tvrdi da cilj akcije ni u kom slučaju bio da povredi dostojanstvo podnosilaca predstavke niti da im nanese bilo kakvu nematerijalnu štetu i da se, stoga, ta akcija ne može definisati kao postupanje nespojivo sa članom 3 Konvencije. Podnosioci predstavke stoga ne mogu, po mišljenju Vlade, pretendovati da su žrtve kršenja njihovih prava koje garantuje taj član.

b)  Primedbe podnosilaca predstavke

  1. Podnosioci predstavke ne osporavaju da nisu podneli krivičnu prijavu protiv policajaca koji su provalili u njihovo prebivalište 31. marta 2010. Oni međutim tvrde da bi takva prijava bila očigledno nedelotvorna upravo iz dva razloga. Pre svega, ni jedna odredba bugarskog krivičnog prava navodno ne kažnjava kao krivično delo ponižavajuće postupanje putem psiholoških pritisaka. Drugo, kao što je Sud ustanovio u nizu slučajeva u vezi s intervencijom specijalnih agenata nacionalne policije, sistematsko odbijanje državnih organa da otkriju identitet tih agenata rezultiralo bi nedelotvronošću bilo kakve krivične istrage pokrenute protiv tih agenata.
  2. Rešenje o odbijanju oblasnog javnog tužilaštva u konkretnom slučaju samo bi potvrdilo nedelotvornost krivične prijave. Javni tužilac bi odlučio da ne pokrene krivično gonjenje policajaca ubrzo po otvaranju predmeta, samo na osnovu dva izveštaja policijskih agenata i bez saslušanja drugih svedoka i bez prikupljanja drugih dokaza. Podnosioci predstavke navodno nisu bili informisani o tom rešenju i da su navodno bili lišeni mogućnosti da se pridruže istrazi.
  3. Što se tiče eventualne tužbe za naknadu štete sa stanovišta Zakona o odgovornosti države, podnosioci predstavke smatraju da se ni takva tužba ne može smatrati delotvornim pravnim sredstvom u njihovom slučaju. U skladu sa stalnom sudskom praksom domaćih sudova, član 1 pomenutog zakona, koji bi omogućio da se na odgovornost pozove država za štetu prouzrokovanu činjenjem upravnog organa ne bi se primenio na dela policijskih agenata počinjena u okviru vršenja istražnih radnji tokom nekog krivičnog postupka, jer bi tada ta dela poticala od pravosudnog procesa a ne od vršenja upravnih funkcija. Osim toga, u jednoj obavezujućoj interpretativnoj presudi izrečenoj 2005, Vrhovni kasacioni sud je navodno istakao da kad upravni organi, kao što je policija, izvršavaju mere naređene od strane organa sudske vlasti, tužba za pokretanje odgovornosti države može se podići samo protiv ovih potonjih i na osnovu člana 2 Zakona o odgovornosti države. A ta odredba navodno omogućava obeštećenje samo u ograničenom broju slučajeva, a jedini koji bi u konkretnom slučaju mogao biti prihvaćen bilo bi oslobađanje G. Gutsanova, ili čak naknadno odustajanje od njegovog krivičnog gonjenja. Međutim, podnosiocima predstavke bi bilo teško da dokažu svoja tvrđenja s obzirom da su svi svedoci događanja policijski agenti koji su učestvovali u operaciji 31. marta 2010.

c)  Ocena Suda

  1. Sud primećuje pre svega da je Vlada istakla više razloga za neprihvatljivost pritužbe navedene na osnovu člana 3 Konvencije. Imajući u vidu argumente koje su strane iznele, Sud smatra da su pitanja pokrenuta u vezi s poštovanjem roka od šest meseci i sa navodnom preuranjenošću predstavke u bliskoj vezi s navodima Vlade da nisu iscrpljeni svi domaći pravni lekovi. Sud stoga smatra da je oportuno da se pre svega utvrdi da li je poštovano pravilo iscrpljivanja unutrašnjih pravnih lekova u konkretnom slučaju.

i. O pravili iscrpljivanja domaćih pravnih lekova

  1. Sud podseća da pravilo formulisano u članu 35 § 1 Konvencije nameće podnosiocima predstavke obavezu da prethodno iskoriste u normalnim okolnostima raspoložive i dovoljne pravne lekove u unutrašnjem pravnom poretku svojih zemalja kako bi dobili zadovoljenje za kršenja koja navode. Ti pravni lekovi moraju postojati na dovoljnom stepenu izvesnosti, kako u praksi tako i u teoriji, bez čega im nedostaju delotvornost i pristupačnost (videti, među mnogim drugim slučajevima, Salman c. Turquie [GC], no 21986/93, § 81, CEDH 2000-VII, et İlhan c. Turquie [GC], no 22277/93, § 58, CEDH 2000-VII).
  2. Na Vladi je, kad se poziva na neiscrpljenost domaćih pravnih lekova, da uveri Sud da je pravni lek koji Vlada sugeriše bio delotvoran i dostupan kako u teoriji tako i u praksi u vreme predmetnih događaja. Kad se to pokaže, na podnosiocu predstavke je da utvrdi da je pravni lek na koji Vlada ukazuje iskorišćen ili da, iz bilo kog razloga, nije bio ni odgovarajući ni delotvoran s obzirom na činjenice slučaja ili pak da ga neke posebne okolnosti oslobađaju obaveze da ga iskoristi (Akdivar et autres c. Turquie, 16. septembar 1996, § 68, Recueil des arrêts et décisions 1996-IV).
  3. Prema stalnoj sudskoj praksi Suda, normalno raspoloživ pravni lek u bugarskom pravu protiv neljudskih i ponižavajućih postupanja policijskih agenata jeste prijava upućena organima krivičnog gonjenja (videti, među mnogim drugim, Assenov et autres c. Bulgarie, 28. oktobar 1998, § 86, Recueil 1998-VIII ; Osman et Osman c. Bulgarie (déc.), no 43233/98, 6. maj 2004, i Kemerov c. Bulgarie (déc.), no 44041/98, 2. septembar 2004). Podnosioci predstavke u ovom slučaju nisu se obratili javnom tužilaštvu ovakvom prijavom protiv policajaca koji su navodno provalili u njihovu kuću u jutro 31. marta 2010. Oni u vezi s tim tvrde da se prijava javnom tužilaštvu ne bi smatrala delotvornim pravnim lekom u njihovom slučaju s obzirom na prirodu lošeg postupanja i na praznine u unutrašnjem pravu (videti gornji stav 84).
  4. Sud podseća da je u svojoj presudi Hristovi c. Bulgarie, no 42697/05, § 95, od 11. oktobra 2011, sa zabrinutošću istakao način na koji bugarsko krivično pravo tretira činjenja koja izazivaju duševne patnje. Posebno je konstatovao da, osim u veoma posebnim slučajevima pretnji smrću, bugarski krivični zakonik ne kvalifikuje kao krivična dela činjenja policijskih agenata koja izazivaju tu vrstu patnje, a do koji dolazi na primer u okviru operacija hapšenja, pretresa i zaplene koje se izvode na agresivan način. Tako, samom činjenicom da podnosilac prijave ne navodi da je pretrpeo fizičku agresiju od strane policijskih agenata, državni organi nisu u obavezi da pokreću krivična gonjenja zbog navedenih činjenja. Sud je ustanovio da ta praznina u domaćem pravu omogućava licima koja su uzrokovala psihološke traume da izbegnu bilo kakvo gonjenje koje bi omogućilo da ta lica budu pozvana na krivičnu odgovornost.
  5. Podnosioci predstavke u ovom slučaju žale se isključivo na štetne psihološke efekte policijske operacije izvedene u njihovom prebivalištu 31. marta 2010. ujutro. Oni ne navode da su ih policajci fizički napali. Ispostavlja se dakle da čak i da su zainteresovana lica podnela krivičnu prijavu protiv predmetnih policajaca, oni bi se nužno suočili s odbijanjem javnog tužilaštva da pokrene krivično gonjenje zbog iste te pravne praznine koju je Sud konstatovao u već navedenoj presudi Hristovi. Iz toga proističe da je krivično pravno sredstvo koje je normalno raspoloživo i delotvorno u slučaju fizičkog nasilja izvršenog od strane policije unapred osuđeno na neuspeh u konkretnoj situaciji na koju se žale podnosioci predstavke. Sud im stoga ne može zameriti što se nisu obratili javnom tužilaštvu prijavom protiv agenata koji su učestvovali u predmetnoj policijskoj operaciji.
  6. Sud podseća zatim da je u svojoj presudi Mirosław Garlicki c. Pologne, no 36921/07, § 77, od 14. juna 2011, priznao da građanska tužba za obeštećenje zbog kršenja subjektivnih prava kao što su pravo na zdravlje, na slobodu, na čast i na ljudsko dostojanstvo, predviđena poljskim zakonodavstvom, može predstavljati odgovarajuće pravno sredstvo protiv navodnog kršenja člana 3 kad se podnosilac predstavke žali isključivo na štetne psihološke efekte hapšenja koje su izveli maskirani agenti pred većim brojem posmatrača a koje je zatim široko medijatizovano. On primećuje da se podnosioci predstavke u ovom slučaju takođe žale na psihološke efekte policijske akcije čiji su oni bili cilj. Vlada kaže da su oni mogli podneti tužbu za obeštećenje na osnovu Zakona o odgovornosti države i lokalnih zajednica (videti gornji stav 82). Sud smatra međutim da za razliku od već navedenog slučaja Mirosław Garlicki, §§ 77 i 78, u kome je podnosilac predstavke raspolagao sa više domaćih delotvornih pravnih lekova, eventualna tužba koju bi podnelo četvoro podnosilaca predstavke u smisli članova 1 i 2 spomenutog bugarskog zakona, ne bi imala nikakvog izgleda na uspeh iz gore već navedenih razloga.
  7. Sud podseća u vezi s tim da član 1 Zakona o krivičnoj odgovornosti države omogućava pojedincima da pokrenu pitanje odgovornosti države zbog nezakonitih dela, činjenja i nečinjenja državnih organa ili činovnika u okviru vršenja njihovih funkcija. Prema stalnoj sudskoj praksi bugarskih visokih sudova, činjenja organa krivične istrage i gonjenja u okviru nekog krivičnog postupka ne spadaju u vršenje njihovih upravnih funkcija i ne potpadaju pod član 1 predmetnog zakona (vidi gornji stav 67 i presudu Iliya Stefanov[1], (...), § 28). Sud primećuje da je policijska akcija u prebivalištu podnosilaca predstavke vođena u okviru krivičnog postupka i da je imala za cilj hapšenje G. Gutsanova i traženje dokaza u njegovom stanu. Stoga je, u skladu sa sudskom praksom domaćih sudova ta akcija izvedena u kontekstu istražnih radnji preduzetih tokom pomenutog postupka i da se zbog nje ne može postavljati pitanje krivične odgovornosti države sa stanovišta člana 1 navedenog zakona.
  8. Što se tiče primenljivosti člana 2 istog zakona, Sud primećuje da su jedine pretpostavke koje bi mogle biti uzete u obzir u konkretnom slučaju bile konstatovanje nezakonitosti lišavanja slobode G. Gutsanova i odustajanje od njegovog krivičnog gonjenja, odnosno njegovo oslobađanje u prvom stepenu ili u apelaciji (videti gornji stav 67). Sud međutim konstatuje da su sudovi kojima su upućeni zahtevi za oslobađanje G. Gutsanova smatrali da je njegovo lišavanje slobode zakonito po unutrašnjem pravu (...) i da je, prema poslednjim informacijama koje je dobio podnosilac predstavke, predmetno krivično gonjenje još u toku u fazi prethodne istrage (...). U tim uslovima, tužba zasnovana na članu 2 Zakona o odgovornosti države, u njegovoj formulaciji koja je bila na snazi u vreme događaja, bila bi unapred osuđena na neuspeh.
  9. Sud osim toga konstatuje da tužba podnesena u skladu sa članom 2 pomenutog zakona u slučaju odustajanja od krivičnog gonjenja G. Gutsanova ili njegovog oslobađanja ne bi imala vrednost prećutnog ili izričitog priznavanja kršenja njegovog prava da ne bude izložen neljudskom ili ponižavajućem postupanju : štetna činjenica koju bi trebalo utvrditi u okviru takvog postupka bila bi pritužba za neko krivično delo a zatim odustajanje od krivičnog gonjenja ili oslobađanje optuženog. Tako bi se razmatranje činjenica od strane domaćih sudova ograničilo na čisto formalno konstatovanje i ne bi se odnosilo na samu suštinu pritužbi podnosilaca predstavke, odnosno na nužnost sredstava koja je upotrebila policija u odnosu na cilj njene intervencije i na štetne psihološke efekte operacije snaga reda po sve četvoro podnosilaca predstavke.
  10. Ukratko, Sud smatra da zbog praznina u domaćem zakonodavstvu ni krivična prijava ni tužba za obeštećenje protiv države, koju navodi tužena Vlada, ne bi bile dovoljno delotvorni unutrašnji pravni lekovi u konkretnom slučaju: krivična prijava bi bila osuđena na neuspeh zbog odsustva u bugarskom pravu odredaba kojima se kažnjava zadavanje psiholoških patnji (videti gornje stavove 90-92) a tužbi protiv države za naknadu štete nedostajala je delotvornost zbog ograničenog dometa razmatranja koje bi domaći sudovi morali da izvedu u okviru takvog postupka (videti gornje stavove 94-96). Vlada nije navela ni jedan drugi pravni lek koji bi omogućio podnosiocima predstavke da traže zadovoljenje za navedeno kršenje njihovog prava garantovanog članom 3 Konvencije. S obzirom na te elemente i na gore iznesene argumente, Sud smatra da treba odbaciti pozivanje Vlade na neiscrpljenost pravnih lekova.

ii. O poštovanju ostalih uslova prihvatljivosti

  1. Vlada takođe tvrdi da je pritužba na osnovu člana 3 Konvencije iznesena preuranjeno zato što je prethodna istraga protiv G. Gutsanova još u toku. Sud ne vidi nikakvu neposrednu vezu između krivičnog postupka na koji se Vlada poziva i pritužbe koju iznose podnosioci predstavke: taj postupak ima za cilj ne da ustanovi da li su agenti države poštovali fizički integritet ili dostojanstvo podnosilaca predstavke, već da istraži da li je G. Gutsanov bio ili nije bio kriv zbog učestvovanja u jednoj kriminalnoj organizaciji i za različita druga krivična dela vezana za njegove funkcije predsednika gradskog veća u Varni (...).
  2. Čak i pod pretpostavkom da Vlada predviđa naknadno odustajanje od krivičnog gonjenja ili oslobađanje G. Gutsanova, što bi ovom potonjem pružilo mogućnost da podnese tužbu za obeštećenje u skladu sa članom 2 Zakona o odgovornosti države (videti gornji stav 95), Sud podseća da takva tužba ne bi omogućila da se utvrdi da je prekršeno pravo podnosilaca da ne budu izloženi neljudskom ili ponižavajućem postupanju prilikom policijske operacije izvedene u njihovom prebivalištu (videti gornji stav 96). S obzirom na te argumente, Sud ne može da zameri podnosiocima predstavke što su mu se obratili pre okončanja krivičnog postupka koji se vodi protiv G. Gutsanova. Iz toga proističe da ova pritužba nije preuranjena i da treba odbaciti pozivanje Vlade na neiscrpljenost pravnih lekova.
  3. Vlada takođe tvrdi da podnosioci predstavke nisu poštovali rok od šest meseci predviđen članom 35 § 1 Konvencije. Sud podseća da je pravilo šest meseci usko povezano s pravilom iscrpljenosti domaćih pravnih lekova. Naime, rok od šest meseci počinje da teče od izricanja presude koja se smatra konačnom u pogledu primene načela iscrpljenosti (videti, između ostalih, slučajeve Paul et Audrey Edwards c. Royaume-Uni (déc.), no 46477/99, l7. jun 2001). Međutim, u slučaju odsustva odgovarajućih pravnih lekova u domaćem pravu, rok od šest meseci počinje da teče u načelu od dana kad su počinjena inkriminisana dela (Gongadzé c. Ukraine, no 34056/02, § 155, CEDH 2005-XI).
  4. Razmotrivši pitanje neiscrpljenosti koje je postavila Vlada, Sud je utvrdio da ni jedan od pravnih lekova koje je navela Vlada ne zadovoljava zahtev delotvornosti iz člana 35 § 1 Konvencije. Tako, u ovom slučaju, početak isticanja roka od šest meseci mora biti utvrđen na dan događaja koji su u osnovi pritužbe na osnovu člana 3, odnosno od 31. marta 2010. Budući da su podnosioci svoju predstavku podneli 21. maja 2010, Sud konstatuje da je u konkretnom slučaju ispoštovan rok od šest meseci za podnošenje predstavke Sudu. Zahtev za neprihvatanjem po ovoj tački takođe mora biti odbačen.
  5. Vlada najzad osporava svojstvo žrtve podnosilaca predstavke tvrdeći da oni nisu bili izloženi postupanju u suprotnosti sa članom 3. Sud smatra da je ovde reč o izuzetku koji treba dodati razmatranju suštine pritužbe po osnovu člana 3 Konvencije. Sud konstatuje da ta pritužba nije na očigledan način neosnovana u smislu člana 35 § 3 a) Konvencije i da nema nikakvog drugog razloga za neprihvatljivost. Stoga je, dakle, treba proglasiti prihvatljivom.

iii. Pritužba za odsustvo krivične istrage o događajima

  1. Sud primećuje da su podnosioci predstavke ovu pritužbu izrazili u svojim pismenim primedbama od 6, januara 2012. A prilikom razmatranja prihvatljivosti njihove pritužbe po osnovu člana 3, u njenom materijalnom delu, Sud je konstatovao da bi svaka krivična prijava s ciljem pokretanja istrage o događajima bila unapred osuđena na neuspeh s obzirom na odsustvo u domaćem pravu zakonske odredbe kojom bi se kažnjavala činjenja policijskih agenata koja bi izazvala psihološku patnju (videti gornji stav 92), što je uostalom teza koju zastupaju i sami podnosioci predstavke (videti gornji stav 84).
  2. Sud podseća da, prema stalnoj sudskoj praksi, rok od šest meseci za obraćanje Sudu počinje da teče od datuma dela na koje se odnosi pritužba kad domaće pravo ne nudi odgovarajuće pravne lekove (gornji stav 100). Sud stoga smatra da, u ovom slučaju, rok od šest meseci za pokretanje pravnog leka zasnovanog na proceduralnom delu člana 3 počinje da teče od 31. marta 2010. A podnosioci predstavke su tu pritužbu formulisali jednu godinu i devet meseci kasnije. Iz toga proističe ta je ta pritužba zakasnela i da mora biti odbačena u smisli člana 35 §§ 1 i 4 Konvencije.

B.  O meritumu

1. Stavovi strana

a)  Podnosioci predstavke

  1. Podnosioci predstavke tvrde da je način na koji je izvršena policijska operacija u njihovom prebivalištu nespojiva sa članom 3 Konvencije. Na dan 31. marta 2010, pre zore, grupa maskiranih i teško naoružanih policajaca navodno je provalila u njihovu kuću a da prethodno za to nije dobila odobrenje. Specijalni agenti navodno su ušli u spavaću sobu G. i Gđe Gutsanovi i navodno uperili oružje u dve maloletne kćeri ovog para. G. Gutsanov, uticajan i poštovan političar, navodno je bačen na kolena i vezan lisicama.
  2. Podnosioci predstavke smatraju da nije bilo nikakvog razloga za planiranje i izvođenje policijske operacije na taj način, posebno što su G. i Gđa ljudi dostojni poštovanja, dobro poznati u svom gradu. Nikad ranije navodno nisu izvođeni pred sud i navodno nije bilo nikakvog razloga za verovanje da će oni pružati bilo kakav otpor snagama reda. Pretres njihovog prebivališta nije mogao da proistekne iz neke hitne istražne mere u smislu člana 161, alineja 2 ZKP. Prema podnosiocima predstavke, svi su ti elementi pokazivali stvarnu nameru da se oni zaplaše, da se povredi njihovo dostojanstvo i da se kod njih stvori osećaj nemoći pred delovanjem snaga reda.
  3. Akcija policajaca imala je navodno štetan psihološki uticaj na podnosioce predstavke. Posebno su Gđa Gutsanova i njene dve kćeri od pet i sedam godina navodno bile izložene znatnom psihološkom pritisku koji je konstatovao psihijatar koji ih je pregledao nedugo po predmetnim događajima. G. Gutsanov, poštovan političar koji pripada jednoj opozicionoj političkoj partiji, bio je navodno žrtva brutalnog i medijatizovanog hapšenja koje je navodno bilo deo, uz druga hapšenja političara, propagandne kampanje koju je vodila aktuelna vlada zemlje. Psihološki efekti spornog postupanja bili su navodno dovoljno teški da bi ta postupanja predstavljala prekoračenje praga koji se zahteva za primenu člana 3 i za kvalifikovanje tih postupanja kao «ponižavajućih».

b)  Vlada

  1. Vlada osporava navode podnosilaca predstavke i njihovu verziju činjenica. Ona smatra da je policijska operacija od 31. marta 2010. bila vrlo pažljivo planirana i izvedena uz poštovanje dostojanstva i prava podnosilaca predstavke. Hapšenje G. Gutsanova i pretres njegovog prebivališta navodno su bili mere sprovedene u okviru krivične istrage o teškim delima u čije izvršenje je bilo umešano više pretpostavljenih saučesnika. Policija je navodno bila informisana da G. Gutsanov kod kuće ima pištolj.
  2. Policijska operacija je navodno otpočela nakon izlaska sunca, to jest posle 6 časova ujutro. Policajci su navodno pokucali na kapiju imanja podnosilaca predstavke, najavili svoje prisustvo i zahtevali otvaranje metalne kapije. Čuvar je navodno otvorio kapiju, ali je objasnio da nema ključ ulaznih vrata kuće. Policajci su navodno potrčali ka tim vratima i navodno kucali na njih zahtevajući da odmah budu otvorena. G. Gutsanov se navodno u dva navrata pojavio na prozoru svoje kuće, primetio i identifikovao policajce po njihovoj uniformi, ali navodnio nije sišao da im otvori vrata. U tom trenutku, strahujući da bi ovaj mogao da uništi dokaze, da uzme oružje ili pokuša da pobegne, specijalni agenti su navodno pristupili nasilnom otvaranju ulaznih vrata kuće. Navodno su stigli G. Gutsanova na drugom spratu zgrade dok je pokušavao da uđe u sobu u kojoj su se nalazile njegova supruga i njegove dve kćeri.
  3. Prema tvrđenju Vlade, G. Gutsanov nije bio primoravan da klekne. Policajci su mu navodno stavili lisice bez korišćenja specijalne tehnike imobilizacije i navodno nisu upirali oružje u njegove kćeri i suprugu. Jedini agent koji je ušao u spavaću sobu na drugom spratu navodno je nosio samo pištolj na eklektične impulse i navodno se nije obraćao ni deci ni Gđi Gutsanovoj. Specijalni agenti su navodno ostali u kući jedva nekoliko minuta i navodno su napustili lice mesta nakon hapšenja G. Gutsanova. Malo potom podnosiocu predstavke skinute su lisice.
  4. Akcija policajaca navodno je bila u skladu s domaćim pravom. Pretres je navodno odobrio jedan sudija u roku od dvadeset četiri sata pošto je pretres obavljen, a oblasno javno tužilaštvo, na osnovu informacija dobijenih od državnih organa, konstatovalo je da policajci nisu počinili nikakvo krivično delo.
  5. Vlada prihvata da su ulazak policije u njihovo prebivalište i pretres istog izvesno izazvali negativna osećanja podnosilaca predstavke. Ona međutim smatra da se tu radilo o neminovnim posledicama i normalno povezanim sa tim istražnim radnjama i da, stoga, te neprijatnosti nisu prekoračile prag težine od koga član 3 Konvencije postaje primenljiv. O tome svedoči navodno činjenica da je starija od dve kćeri, kao i obično, odvedena u školu. Vlada smatra osim toga da, da je G. Gutsanov otvorio ulazna vrata kuće, policajci ne bi bili prinuđeni da provale u njegovo prebivalište, što bi članove njegove porodice poštedelo neprijatnosti konstatovanih u konkretnom slučaju.

2. Ocena suda

a)  O utvrđivanju činjenica

  1. Sud podseća da se navodno loše postupanje, u suprotnosti sa članom 3 Konvencije, moraju pred njim podržati odgovarajućim elementima dokaza. U cilju utvrđivanja činjenica, Sud koristi kriterijume za dokaze «izvan svake razumne sumnje» (Irlande c. Royaume-Uni, 18. januar 1978, § 161 in fine, série À no 25). Međutim, takav dokaz može rezultirati iz čitavog snopa indicija ili iz neodbačenih pretpostavki, dovoljno ozbiljnih, preciznih i saglasnih (već navođen slučaj Salman c. Turquie, 100).
  2. Sud konstatuje da činjenice u vezi s policijskom operacijom u prebivalištu četvoro podnosilaca predstavke nisu bile predmet nikakvog razmatranja pred domaćim sudovima. Kad se nalazio suočen sa sličnim situacijama Sud je pristupao sopstvenoj proceni činjenica poštujući pravila utvrđena sudskom praksom u tu svrhu (videti, kao primer, slučaj Sashov et autres c. Bulgarie, no 14383/03, § 48, 7. januar 2010).
  3. Na osnovu tih načela, Sud smatra oportunim da za polaznu tačku svoje analize uzme okolnosti koje ne predstavljaju kontroverze između strana i elemente dokaza koje prezentuju strane. Sud će takođe uzeti u obzir tvrđenja strana koja su dovoljno podržana nespornim činjenicama i predloženim dokazima.
  4. Strane ne spore da je intervencija policajaca počela nešto posle 6 h 30 ujutro 31. marta 2010. Sekvence snimljene kamerama videonadzora imanja kojima Sud raspolaže, kao i izveštaj meteorološke službe iz Varne podupiru tvrđenje podnosilaca predstavke da se operacija odvijala pre izlaska sunca, naročito pred zoru (videti gornje stavove 20 i 21).
  5. Strane se takođe slažu da je interventna ekipa policije bila sastavljena od uniformisanih agenata, agenata u civilu i maskiranih i naoružanih specijalnih agenata. Video snimci koje su podneli podnosioci predstavke (videti gornji stav 21) i izveštaji koje je podnela Vlada (videti gornje stavove 22, 24 i 27) podupiru ta tvrđenja.
  6. Prisustvo jednog komada vatrenog oružja i municije u prebivalištu podnosilaca predstavke takođe je nesporna činjenica, dokazana i zapisnikom sa pretresa. Iz primedbi Vlade i iz njenih izveštaja proističe da su policijski agenti bili upozoreni od strane svojih starešina o prisustvu tog oružja u kući (videti gornje stavove 23 i 27).
  7. Strane se zatim slažu da je kapiju imanja podnosilaca predstavke dobrovoljno otvorio čuvar ma zahtev policijskih agenata (videti gornje stavove 13 i 24). Osim toga predmetna scena je snimljena sistemom videonadzora kuće (videti gornji stav 21). Strane se takođe slažu da je čuvar informisao policajce o identitetu lica prisutnih u kući, i da su, zbog činjenice da ovaj nije imao ključeve ulaznih vrata kuće, i da su specijalni agenti nasilno otvorili ta ista vrata i prodrli u kuću i uhapsili G. Gutsanov (videti gornje stavove 13, 14, 24 i 25).
  8. Ni jedna od strana ne osporava da podnosioci predstavke nisu bili fizički povređeni tokom policijske operacije, a lekarska uverenja sa psihijatrijskog pregleda Gđe Gutsanove i njenih dveju kćer (videti gornje stavove 30 i 3) Vlada nije osporila.
  9. Prvo neslaganje između dveju verzija strana javlja se u opisu ponašanja G. Gutsanova. Prema Vladi, on se u dva navrata pokazao na jednom od prozora svoje kuće, uočio je policajce i čuo njihove pozive ali nije otvorio ulazna vrata (gornji stav 25). Podnosilac predstavke, pak, tvrdi da je bio shvatio da je reč o policijskoj operaciji tek u trenutku kad su specijalni agenti ušli u njegovu kuću i počeli da se penju stepenicama (videti gornji stav 16).
  10. Dokazni materijal kojim raspolaže Sud ne dozvoljava mu da utvrdi da li se podnosilac predstavke zaista pokazao na prozoru svoje kuće i da li je svesno odbio da policajcima otvori ulazna vrata. Sud primećuje međutim da niko ne osporava da su policajcu lupali na ulazna vrata, da su glasno čuvaru najavili svoje prisustvo. Oni su zatim potvrdili da su lupali na ulazna vrata kuće i da su vikali «Policija. Otvorite! ». To tvrđenje je poduprto izjavama G. i Gđe Gutsanovi, prema kojima su ih navodno probudili vika i lupanje na vratima njihove kuće (videti gornji stav 15). G. Gutsanov tvrdi da je išao na prvi sprat svoje kuće da bi uzeo svoje dvoje dece i da se zatim ponovo popeo u spavaću sobu na drugom spratu. To tvrđenje je poduprto verzijom policajaca koji su primetili siluetu čoveka kroz stakla na kući (videti gornji stav 25).
  11. Što se tiče tačnog mesta gde je G. Gutsanov uhapšen, Sud primećuje da je i on sam dopustio u svojoj izjavi da je on, u trenutku kad su policajci nasilno otvorili vrata i uputili mu verbalna upozorenja, pojurio prema spavaćoj sobi na drugom spratu gde su se nalazili njegova supruga i deca (videti gornji stav 16). Sud nije u stanju da utvrdi da li je G. Gutsanov uhapšen u samoj spavaćoj sobi na drugom spratu njegove kuće, kako on tvrdi, ili pak na hodniku drugog sprata nakon što je dobrovoljno izašao, kako tvrdi Vlada. Takođe ostaje neutvrđeno izvan svake razumne sumnje da li su se policajci obratili Gđi Gutsanovoj i zatražili od nje da decu stavi ispod jorgana. Kako god bilo, Sud primećuje su, prema dvedočenju specijalnih agenata (videti gornje stavove 25 i 27), ovi videli decu i Gđu Gutsanovu u spavaćoj sobi kad su se popeli na drugi sprat kuće jureći za G. Gutsanovim. Sud prihvata da su Gđa Gutsanova i njene dve kćeri takođe videle maskirane i naoružane ljude, makar i ispred njihove sobe.
  12. Sud ne smatra dokazanim izvan svake razumne sumnje tvrđenje G. Gutsanova da je bio primoran da klekne da bi mu policajci stavili lisice. Što se tiče stavljanja lisica, nije osporeno da su specijalni agenti G. Gutsanovu stavili lisice na nižem spratu kuće (videti gornji stav 16). Sud međutim primećuje da ni jedna od strana ne precizira koliko dugo je podnosilac predstavke ostao vezan lisicama. Kako god bilo, mora se konstatovati da u predmetu nema ni jednog dokumenta koji bi pokazao da je podnosilac predstavke vezan lisicama bio izložen objektivima novinara koji su se tog dana bili okupili na ulazu njegovog imanja. Šta više, na fotografiji snimljenoj u trenutku njegovog izlaska iz kuče, oko 13 časova, uopšte se ne vidi da je podnosilac predstavke bio vezan lisicama (...) Stoga Sud smatra da se u tom pogledu mora ovaj konkretan slučaj posmatrati različito od već navođenog slučaja Mirosław Garlick, § 75, gde je podnosilac predstavke bio uhapšen na svom radnom mestu, pred kolegama i pacijentima, vezan lisicama i snimljen kamerom.

b)  O poštovanju člana 3 u konkretnom slučaju

  1. Sud podseća da loše postupanje, da bi potpalo pod primenu člana 3, mora dostići neki minimum težine. Procena tog minimuma je po svojoj suštini relativna ; ona zavisi od ukupnih datosti slučaja, i posebno, od trajanja postupanja, od njegovih fizičkih i psiholoških efekata kao i, ponekad, od pola, godina starosti i zdravstvenog stanja žrtve. Sud je neko postupanje ocenjivao kao «nehumano» naročito ako je bilo primenjivano s predumišljajem satima i ako je prouzrokovalo telesne povrede ili jake fizičke i duševne bolove. Sud je smatrao da je neko postupanje «ponižavajuće» kad je bilo takve prirode da kod svojih žrtava stvori osećanja straha, teskobe i inferiornosti koja su mogla da ih ponize i izvrgnu ruglu (Labita c. Italie [GC], no 26772/95, § 120, CEDH 2000-IV). Duševni bol može proisteći iz neke situacije kad agenti države namerno izazivaju kod žrtava osećanje straha tako što im prete smrću ili maltretiranjem (videti već navođeni slučaj Hristovi, § 80).
  2. Članom 3 se policijskim agentima ne zabranjuje upotreba sile prilikom privođenja. Međutim, pribegavanje sili mora biti srazmerno i apsolutno neophodno s obzirom na okolnosti svakog konkretnog slučaja (videti, između mnogih drugih slučajeva, Rehbock c. Slovénie, no 29462/95, § 76, CEDH 2000-XII; Altay c. Turquie, no 22279/93, § 54, 22. maj 2001). U tom pogledu, važno je znati, na primer, da li se može pretpostaviti da li će zainteresovani pružati otpor hapšenju, ili pokušati da pobegnem, da izazove povrede ili neku štetu, ili da uništi dokaze (Raninen c. Finlande, 16 décembre 1997, § 56, Recueil 1997-VIII). Sud posebno podseća da svakim pribegavanjem fizičkoj sili od strane agenata države prema nekom licu, a koje nije nužno s obzirom na njegovo ponašanje, ponižava ljudsko dostojanstvo tog lica i, samim tim, predstavlja kršenje prava koja garantuje član 3 Konvencije (videti slučaj Rachwalski et Ferenc c. Pologne, no 47709/99, § 59, 28. jul 2009.). Taj kriterijum stroge proporcionalnosti Sud je takođe primenjivao u situacijama kad bi se odnosna lica već nalazila pod kontrolom snaga reda (videti, između drugih slučajeva, Klaas c. Allemagne, 22. septembar 1993, § 30, série À no 269 ; Rehbock, précité, §§ 68-78 ; Milan c. France, no 7549/03, §§ 52-65, 24. januar 2008)
  3. Vraćajući se činjenicama iz konkretnog slučaja, Sud zapaža da je operacija težila legitimnom cilju hapšenja, pretresa i zaplene i cilju od opšteg interesa, represiji krivičnih dela. Sud mora da se uveri da li je obezbeđena ravnoteža između zahteva od opšteg interesa društva i zaštite temeljnih interesa pojedinca u okolnostima konkretnog slučaja. Sud ističe da iako četvoro podnosilaca predstavke nisu zadobili fizičke povrede tokom sporne policijske intervencije, ova je nužno podrazumevala određeno pribegavanje fizičkoj sili : ulazna vrata kuće nasilno je otvorila ekipa za specijalne intervencije, G. Gutsanov je bio imobilisan od strane maskiranih i naoružanih agenata, nasilno odveden na donji sprat kuće i vezan lisicama. Sud dakle mora da utvrdi da li je to pribegavanje fizičkoj sili bilo srazmerno i apsolutno neophodno u konkretnom slučaju.
  4. Cilj policijske intervencije u prebivalištu podnosilaca predstavke tog dana bio je hvatanje G. Gutsanova, osumnjičenog u jednom krivičnom slučaju pronevere državnog novca, i da obavi pretres prostorija radi pronalaženja materijalnih i dokumentarnih dokaza u okviru te iste krivične istrage. Iz dokumenata iz predmeta proističe da je odnosna istraga otvorena pet meseci ranije, da u tom slučaju ima više osumnjičenih i da državni organi sumnjaju da postoji jedna kriminalna organizacija (videti gornji [stav] 9 (...)). A bilo je jasno da se ne radi o grupi pojedinaca osumnjičenih da su počinili nasilnička krivična dela.
  5. Što se tiče ličnosti G. Gutsanova, Sud primećuje da je on bio poznat političar u Varni: u vreme događaja, bio je na mestu predsednika gradskog veća u tom gradu. Šta više, nijedan dokument iz predmeta ne navodi na zaključak na neko njegovo nasilničko ponašanje u prošlosti niti da bi on mogao predstavljati opasnost za policijske agente koji su imali da intervenišu u njegovom prebivalištu.
  6. Istina je da je G. Gutsanov legalno posedovao jedno vatreno oružje i municiju u svom prebivalištu. Ta činjenica bila je poznata policiji i na nju je posebno skrenuta pažnja prilikom brifinga policijske ekipe održanog pre početka operacije (videti gornji stav 23). To je nesumnjivo relevantan element koji su agenti morali imati u vidu prilikom svoje intervencije u prebivalištu podnosilaca predstavke. Sud smatra međutim da samo po sebi prisustvo oružja u prebivalištu podnosioca predstavke nije dovoljno da bi se opravdalo korišćenje ekipe za specijalne intervencije niti korišćenje tako izražene sile kakva je upotrebljena u konkretnom slučaju.
  7. Iz dokumenata u predmetu proističe da eventualno prisustvo maloletne dece i supruge G. Gutsanova ni u jednom trenutku nije uzeto u obzir prilikom planiranja i izvođenja policijske akcije. Ta činjenica nije spomenuta prilikom brifinga koji je prethodio razmeštanju policijskih agenata (videti gornji stav 23) a policajci očigledno nisu pridali nikakav značaj upozorenju čuvara imanja o prisustvu maloletne dece u kući (videti gornji stav 24).
  8. Naravno, Sud ne može ići toliko daleko da nametne snagama reda da ne hapse osumnjičene za krivična dela svaki put kad su prisutna njihova deca ili supružnici. Sud međutim smatra da je eventualno prisustvo članova porodice osumnjičenog na mestu hapšenja okolnost koja se mora uzeti u obzir u planiranju i izvođenju takvih policijskih operacija. To u konkretnom slučaju nije bilo učinjeno pa snage reda nisu predvidele nikakve druge modalitete izvođenja operacije u prebivalištu podnosilaca predstavke, kao naprimer pomeranje vremena intervencije, odnosno drugačiji raspored različitih tipova agenata obuhvaćenih intervencijom. Uzimanje u obzir legitimnih interesa troje podnosilaca predstavke u konkretnom slučaju bilo je utoliko neophodnije što Gđa Gutsanova nije bila osumnjičena za učestvovanje u krivičnim delima koja su se njenog suprugu stavljala na teret i što su njihove dve kćeri bile psihološki ranjive s obzirom na njihovu mladost, pet odnosno sedam godina.
  9. Sud takođe primećuje da je odsustvo prethodne sudske kontrole neophodnosti i zakonitosti spornog pretresa u potpunosti prepustilo planiranje operacije policijskim i istražnim organima i da nije omogućilo da se uzmu u obzir prava i legitimne interese Gđe Gutsanove i njihovih dveju maloletnih kćeri. Sud je mišljenja da bi u specifičnim okolnostima konkretnog slučaja takva prethodna sudska kontrola mogla da omogući uravnoteženje njihovih legitimnih interesa s ciljem od opšteg interesa hvatanja osumnjičenih za krivično delo.
  10. Što se tiče psihološkog efekta policijske intervencije na podnosioce predstavke, Sud podseća da policijske operacije koje podrazumevaju intervenciju u prebivalištu i hapšenje osumnjičenih neminovno izazivaju negativne emocije kod lica na koja se te mere odn ose. Međutim, u konkretnom slučaju postoje elementi konkretnih i nespornih dokaza da su Gđa Gutsanova i njene dve kćeri bile jako uznemirene predmetnim događajima. Gđa Gutsanova je u dva navrata išla na konsultaciju s psihijatrom žaleći se na nesanicu i osećanje jake teskobe i da su joj prepisani anksiolitici (videti gornji stav 31). Obe devojčice je takođe pregledao psihijatar koji je konstatovao da one na pomen događaja reaguju plačem odnosno jakim osećanjem teskobe (videti gornji stav 30). Gđa Gutsanova tvrdi da je B., njena mlađa kći, ponovo počela da muca (videti gornji stav 28). Što se tiče S., starije kćeri ovog para, izjave njene tetke i njene učiteljice upućuju na to da je dete bilo jako obeleženo policijskom intervencijom u njenom prebivalištu i hapšenjem njenog oca (videti gornji stav 29). Sud takođe smatra da su vreme policijske intervencije u rano jutro i učešće maskiranih specijalnih agenata, koje su videle Gđa Gutsanova i njene dve kćeri, doprineli većem osećanju straha i teskobe to troje podnosilaca predstavke, toliko da je postupanje agenata prešlo prag zahtevane težine za primenu člana 3 Konvencije. Sud dakle smatra da je to troje podnosilaca predstavke bilo izloženo ponižavajućem postupanju.
  11. Što se tiče štetnog psihološkog efekta policijske operacije na G. Gutsanova, mora se konstatovati da ovaj podnosilac predstavke o tome nije podneo nikakvo lekarsko uverenje. On ipak tvrdi da su poniženje i teskoba koje je osetio prilikom svog grubog hapšenja pred članovima njegove porodice bili dovoljno intenzivni da bi učinili primenljivim član 3 u odnosu na njega (videti gornji stav 107).
  12. Sud podseća na svoje zaključke po kojima je predmetna policijska operacija bila planirana i izvedena bez uzimanja u obzir više relevantnih okolnosti kao što su priroda krivičnih dela kojima se tereti G. Gutsanov, nepostojanje njegovog prethodnog nasilničkog ponašanja, eventualno prisustvo njegovih kćeri i njegove supruge u porodičnoj kući. Sve su to elementi koji su jasno ukazivali na preteranost upotrebe agenata i specijalnih postupaka za hapšenje podnosioca predstavke i za obezbeđivanje ulaska policije u njegovo prebivalište. Sud smatra da je, u svetlu tih okolnosti, način na koji se odvijalo hapšenje G. Gutsanova, to jest vrlo rano ujutro, nakon nasilnog otvaranja ulaznih vrata, od strane više maskiranih i naoružanih agenata i pored njegovom suprugom i njegove dve maloletne prestrašene kćeri, izazvalo jaka osećanja straha, teskobe i nemoći kod podnosioca predstavke, koja su ga mogla poniziti i naružiti u sopstvenim očima i u očima njegovih bližnjih. Sud smatra da je intenzitet njegovih osećanja prešao prag zahtevani težine za primenu člana 3 i da je stoga i G. Gutsanov bio izložen ponižavajućem postupanju.
  13. U zaključku, uzevši u obzir sve relevantne okolnosti konkretnog slučaja, Sud smatra da policijska operacija u prebivalištu podnosilaca predstavke nije bila planirana ni izvedena na način da se obezbedi da upotrebljena sredstva budu striktno neophodna za postizanje krajnjeg cilja odnosno hapšenja lica osumnjičenog za krivično delo i za prikupljanje dokaza u okviru krivične istrage. Sve četvoro podnosilaca predstavke bili su izloženi psihološkom pritisku koji je kod njih stvorio jaka osećanja straha, teskobe i nemoći i koji se, zbog svojih štetnih efekata, tumači kao ponižavajuće postupanje u smislu člana 3. Dakle u konkretnom slučaju prekršena je ta odredba Konvencije.

(...)

IZ TIH RAZLOGA, SUD

  1. Odlučuje da spoji s meritumom preliminarni prigovor Vlade u vezi sa svojstvom žrtve podnosilaca predstavke u pogledu pritužbe po članu 3 Konvencije; 
  1. Proglašava, jednoglasno, predstavku prihvatljivom u pogledu pritužbi po osnovu člana 3, (...) 
  1. Izriče, jednoglasno, da je prekršen član 3 u odnosu na sve četvoro podnosilaca predstavke; 

(...)

Sačinjeno na francuskom jeziku, a zatim saopšteno u pismenom obliku 15 oktobra 2013, primenom 77 §§ 2 i 3 Pravilnika Suda.

 Françoise Elens-Passos, Sekretarka                                              Ineta Ziemele , Predsednica

 

Uz ovu presudu priloženo je, u skladu sa članovima 45 § 2 Konvencije i

74 § 2 Pravilnika suda, obrazloženje izdvojenog mišljenja sudije K. Wojtyczeka.

I.Z. F.E.P.

Izdvojena mišljenja nisu prevedena, ali su navedena na engleskom i francuskom jeziku u zvaničnoj verziji ili verzijama presude. Zvanična verzija presude može se naći u bazi podataka HUDOC koja sadrži predmete iz sudske prakse Evropskog suda.

[1] Beleška izdavača ; Iliya Stefanov c. Bulgarie, no 65755/01, 22. maj 2008.

 

FOURTH SECTION 

CASE OF GUTSANOVI v. BULGARIA

 

(Application no. 34529/10)

 

JUDGMENT

[Extracts]

 

STRASBOURG

15 October 2013

 

FINAL

 

15/01/2014

 

This judgment has become final in the circumstances set out in Article 44 § 2 of the Convention

In the case of Gutsanovi v. Bulgaria,

The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section), sitting as a Chamber composed of:

         Ineta Ziemele, President,
         Päivi Hirvelä,
         George Nicolaou,
         Ledi Bianku,
         Zdravka Kalaydjieva,
         Krzysztof Wojtyczek,
         Faris Vehabović, judges,
and Françoise Elens-Passos, Section Registrar,

Having deliberated in private on 24 September 2013,

Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:

PROCEDURE

  1. 1.  The case originated in an application (no. 34529/10) against the Republic of Bulgaria lodged with the Court under Article 34 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (“the Convention”) by four Bulgarian nationals, Mr Borislav Gutsanov Gutsanov, Mrs Monika Vladimirova Gutsanova, Miss S. Gutsanova and Miss B. Gutsanova (“the applicants”), on 21 May 2010.
  2. 2.  The applicants were represented by Ms S. Bachvarova-Zhelyazkova, a lawyer practising in Varna, and by Mr M. Ekimdzhiev, a lawyer practising with the firm Ekimdzhiev, Boncheva and Chernicherska in Plovdiv. The Bulgarian Government (“the Government”) were represented by their Agent, Ms Nikolova, who was subsequently replaced by Ms M. Kotseva and Mr V. Obretenov, of the Ministry of Justice.
  3. 3.  The applicants alleged, in particular, that the law-enforcement operation at their home in the early morning of 31 March 2010 had caused them psychological trauma amounting to degrading treatment. ...
  4. 4.  On 4 April 2011 the Court gave notice of the application to the Government. It was also decided that the Chamber would rule on the admissibility and merits of the case at the same time (Article 29 § 1 of the Convention).

 

THE FACTS             

  1. THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE
  2. 5.  The applicants were born in 1967, 1972, 2002 and 2004 respectively and live in Varna. The first two applicants are a married couple and the third and fourth applicants are their minor daughters.
  3. General background to the case
  4. 6.  The first applicant, Mr Borislav Gutsanov, is a member of parliament for the Socialist Party, a member of the Central Executive Bureau of the Socialist Party and vice-president of its regional branch. At the relevant time he was the Chairman of Varna municipal council, elected from his party’s list.
  5. 7.  Between December 2009 and April 2010, the Bulgarian Ministry of the Interior conducted several police operations throughout the country aimed at dismantling various criminal groups. During the course of these operations the police arrested a number of individuals, including some political figures, a fact which attracted widespread media coverage and public interest. Several politicians including the Prime Minister and the Minister of the Interior, as well as a number of prosecutors and police commissioners, were regularly approached by the media to comment on the arrests and the ensuing criminal proceedings.
  6. 8.  A series of applications was made to the Court following these events (Maslarova v. Bulgaria, no. 26966/10; Aleksey Petrov (II) v. Bulgaria, no. 30336/10; Kostadinov v. Bulgaria, no. 37124/10; Tsonev v. Bulgaria, no. 44885/10; Petrov and Ivanova Bulgaria, no. 45773/10; and Stoyanov and Others v. Bulgaria, no. 55388/10).
  7. The police operation at the applicants’ home
  8. 9.  On 30 October 2009 the Sofia city public prosecutor’s office commenced criminal proceedings against a person or persons unknown for abuse of office by a public servant and misappropriation of public funds resulting in significant damage to the Varna municipal public transport company. The facts in issue had taken place between 2003 and 2007. On 8 February 2010 the Prosecutor General ordered the criminal investigation file to be sent to the Varna regional public prosecutor’s office. The investigation was to be carried out by the Varna police under the supervision of the regional prosecutor’s office.
  9. 10.  On 31 March 2010, in the course of that criminal investigation, a team of police officers entered the applicants’ home at around 6.30 a.m. and proceeded to arrest Mr Gutsanov and search the premises. The events surrounding the police operation are disputed by the parties.
  10. The applicants’ version
  11. 11.  In the early morning of 31 March 2010, Mr and Mrs Gutsanovi were asleep in their bedroom on the second floor of their house in Varna. Their two daughters were asleep in their rooms on the floor below. The family home was equipped with a closed-circuit television (CCTV) monitoring system, and a night watchman, D.P., was on duty at the entrance to the property.
  12. 12.  At around 6.30 a.m., D.P. observed on the CCTV screen two or three police vehicles driving past the garden gate in silence with their lights off and stopping a little further on.
  13. 13.  Shortly afterwards a group of police officers appeared at the entrance to the property and some of them began knocking loudly on the gate and demanding that it be opened immediately. D.P. left his night watchman’s post and opened the gate. He then saw two plain-clothes police officers, four or five uniformed officers and a group of four or five masked officers of the Interior Ministry special commando unit. D.P. was immobilised and handcuffed by the police officers and was asked whether the owners of the house were at home. He said that they were, and told the police officers that there were two young children in the house. He was asked to open the entrance door to the house but explained that he did not have the keys.
  14. 14.  The police officers then ran towards the door of the house, shouting “Police! Open up!”. Some of the officers began opening the door using various tools (a battering ram, a lever and a crowbar). According to D.P.’s statement, the police officers managed to open the door after five or ten minutes and entered the stairwell of the house.
  15. 15.  Mr and Mrs Gutsanovi stated that they had been woken suddenly by the sound of the blows to the door and the shouts. They ran down to the lower floor and took their daughters into their bedroom on the second floor of the house.
  16. 16.  Mr Gutsanov said that he had then left the bedroom in order to find out what was really going on. At that point he heard several people coming up the stairs and shouting “Come out” and “We’re police officers”. He immediately returned to the second-floor bedroom where his wife and daughters were. Shortly afterwards the armed and masked police officers entered the parents’ bedroom and pointed their weapons, equipped with lamps, at Mr Gutsanov and his wife and two daughters, shouting “Police! Don’t move!”. Mr Gutsanov was pinned against the wall before being taken downstairs, where he was forced to kneel and was handcuffed.
  17. 17.  According to the statements made by Mr and Mrs Gutsanovi, their two daughters, who were on their parents’ bed, were screaming and crying with fear. The police ordered Mrs Gutsanova to cover their heads with a duvet, which she did.
  18. 18.  Shortly afterwards, Mr Gutsanov was allowed to go up to the second floor and get dressed.
  19. 19.  At 7.30 a.m. the family chauffeur and the children’s nanny arrived and took the two girls to school. After school, the girls went to their aunt’s home and spent the night there.
  20. 20.  In support of their version of events, the applicants submitted a handwritten and undated statement by Mr Gutsanov, a statement dated 7 April 2010 signed by his wife, a handwritten statement dated 8 April 2010 signed by the night watchman D.P., and a handwritten statement dated April 2010 bearing the signature of the family’s private chauffeur. They also submitted a weather report from the Varna meteorological service stating that, on that day, the sun had risen at 6.52 a.m. and that the dawn had lasted for thirty-one minutes. They further produced a copy of an interview given by Mrs Gutsanova to the weekly newspaper Galeria and published on 8 April 2010.
  21. 21.  The applicants also submitted a video recording of the television programme Afera broadcast on 11 April 2010 on Skat, a privately owned television channel. The programme included an interview with Mrs Gutsanova as well as some footage from the property’s CCTV system taken on the morning of 31 March 2010. The first sequence shows two light vehicles and a police van driving past the applicants’ property. In the second sequence a uniformed police officer can be seen knocking on the metal gate of the house, after which the gate opens. The third sequence shows two special officers, dressed in black and armed with sub-machine guns equipped with lamps, inspecting part of the garden, and a man in civilian clothing who appears at the door. The man goes back inside the house followed by the two special officers. The fourth sequence shows two special officers running towards the house, leaving behind a uniformed police officer and a man in civilian clothing. The last two men appear to be looking up at the top of the house. A further sequence, filmed by a reporter, shows the state of the glass door of the house after the police officers’ forced entry: the glass panes are intact but the handle, the lock and the latch have been broken off.
  22. The Government’s version
  23. 22.  On 30 March 2010 the Varna regional head of the organised crime squad and the Varna regional public prosecutor approved plans for an operation in the context of criminal proceedings against a person or persons unknown for misappropriation of public funds belonging to the Varna municipal public transport company (see paragraph 9 above). The plan entailed arresting five individuals suspected of committing the offences in question, including Mr Gutsanov, and searching the suspects’ homes and offices. The operations were to be carried out the following morning, 31 March 2010, and to be conducted simultaneously by five teams made up of investigating officers, uniformed officers and armed and masked special officers.
  24. 23.  The team selected for the operation at the applicants’ home received instructions from their superior officers at 5.30 a.m. on the day of the police operation. The officers were warned that Mr Gutsanov was the lawful owner of a Glock 17C pistol which he kept at home.
  25. 24.  At 6.30 a.m. on 31 March 2010 the team, made up of plain-clothes officers, two uniformed officers and four special officers dressed in black and wearing bullet-proof vests marked “Police”, went to the applicants’ home. The officers knocked at the metal gate of the property, which was opened by a man who said he was the security guard. He explained that he did not have the keys to the door of the house and that the only people in there were Mr Gutsanov, his wife and their two children. Two special officers then walked around the outside of the house in order to secure other possible exits, while the other two officers ran towards the front door of the house and began knocking and shouting “Police! Open up!”. The uniformed officers stayed in the garden outside the front door.
  26. 25.  After five minutes, the police officers saw the outline of a man through the panoramic windows of the house. They called out “Police. Come down! Open the door!”. Mr Gutsanov was seen twice through a window but did not come down. The special officers forced the front door and entered the house. One of them saw Mr Gutsanov in the stairwell and called out to him: “Police! Move over here slowly! Show your hands!”. The applicant refused to comply and ran up to the floor above. The officers followed him, calling out “Police! Stop!”. The applicant went through a door on the second floor and when they got nearer the officers saw that he had gone into a bedroom where his wife and two daughters were. At that point the applicant came out of the room and was handcuffed. He asked permission to get dressed and was taken into the same bedroom by one of the masked officers.
  27. 26.  At no point during the operation did the police officers speak to Mrs Gutsanova or her two daughters. The officer who went into the bedroom was not carrying a firearm but had only a Taser electroshock weapon. The officer stayed in the bedroom for just long enough to allow Mr Gutsanov to find some clothes, and they then left the room together. The applicant was handed over to the other police officers, and the special officers left the premises immediately afterwards.
  28. 27.  The Government submitted the following documents in support of their version of events: the plan of action for the operation in question, a report by the regional directorate of the Interior Ministry, three reports by Ministry personnel involved in the operation, including the commanding officer of the special operations team, the search report approved by a judge, and two orders issued by the Varna regional public prosecutor’s office and dated 7 April 2010. The Government also produced press photographs of the applicants’ house which showed, among other things, a glass facade giving onto the garden.
  29. The applicants’ psychological state following the police operation at their home
  30. 28.  Mrs Gutsanova stated that her younger daughter, B., had had a stammer for which she had seen a specialised speech therapist for a year, and that she had begun stammering again following the events of 31 March 2010.
  31. 29.  According to the statement made by the teacher responsible for S., the couple’s elder daughter, the latter had been visibly stressed and unusually quiet on 31 March 2010. Mr Gutsanov’s sister, who had looked after her niece in her own home the same day, observed that the child had been anxious. The girl had apparently spoken a few times that day about what had happened at her house. Since then, she had been fearful whenever she saw police officers.
  32. 30.  On 12 April 2010 Mr and Mrs Gutsanovi’s two daughters were examined by a psychiatrist, who observed that the memory of the events of 31 March 2010 produced anxious reactions in both girls, in the form of anxiety in the case of the elder girl and outbursts of crying in the case of the younger one. The psychiatrist did not observe any other psychological complications in the children.
  33. 31.  Following the events of 31 March 2010, Mrs Gutsanova consulted a psychiatrist on two occasions. She complained, among other things, of insomnia and anxiety and was prescribed tranquillisers.

 ...

  1. RELEVANT DOMESTIC LAW AND PRACTICE

...

  1. State responsibility for damage
  2. 67.  Section 1(1) of the State and Municipalities Responsibility for Damage Act allows individuals to obtain compensation for damage caused by the unlawful decisions, acts or omissions of State or municipal bodies or officials in the performance of their administrative duties. According to the settled case-law of the Bulgarian Supreme Court of Cassation, acts performed by the criminal investigation and prosecuting authorities in the context of criminal proceedings are not classified as administrative duties and are therefore excluded from the scope of this provision (Решение № 615 от 10 юли 2001 г. на ВКС по гр. д. № 1814/2000 г.; Тълкувателно решение № 3 от 22 април 2004 г. на ВКС по тълк. д. № 3/2004 г., ОСГК). Under section 2 of the Act as in force at the relevant time, the criminal investigation and prosecuting authorities and the courts were liable in the following circumstances: unlawful pre-trial detention; charging or conviction followed by discontinuance of the criminal proceedings or acquittal; compulsory admission to hospital or other coercive measures ordered by a court which were later set aside as unlawful; and execution of a sentence exceeding the initial length or amount (see also Iliya Stefanov v. Bulgaria, no. 65755/01, §§ 28 and 29, 22 May 2008; Kandzhov v. Bulgaria, no. 68294/01, §§ 35-39, 6 November 2008; and Bochev v. Bulgaria, no. 73481/01, §§ 37-39, 13 November 2008).

...

THE LAW

...

  1. ALLEGED VIOLATIONS OF ARTICLE 3 OF THE CONVENTION
  2. 77.  The applicants contended that the police operation at their home had subjected them to treatment incompatible with Article 3 of the Convention, which provides:

“No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

  1. 78.  The applicants complained in particular that the manner in which the police operation had been conducted – before daybreak, by masked and heavily armed police officers who had forced their way in and pointed their weapons at them and had handcuffed Mr Gutsanov while forcing him to kneel down – had subjected them to a severe psychological ordeal amounting to degrading treatment.
  2. 79.  In their written observations of 6 January 2012, the applicants complained of the lack of a criminal investigation into their alleged ill‑treatment during the police operation of 31 March 2010.
  3. Admissibility
  4. Complaint concerning the police operation of 31 March 2010

(a)  The Government’s observations

  1. 80.  The Government submitted that this complaint should be rejected for failure to exhaust domestic remedies and failure to comply with the six‑month time-limit, and because it was premature and the applicants did not have victim status.
  2. 81.  They observed firstly that the criminal investigation against Mr Gutsanov was still pending, with the result that the complaint under Article 3 was premature.
  3. 82.  In the Government’s view, the applicants had not raised their complaint alleging degrading treatment before the competent authorities. Furthermore, they had not lodged an action for damages under section 2 of the State and Municipalities Responsibility for Damage Act. They had therefore omitted to exhaust the remedies that were normally available and effective under domestic law.
  4. 83.  The Government went on to observe that, in an order of 7 April 2010, the Varna regional public prosecutor’s office had decided not to commence criminal proceedings against the police officers who had entered the applicants’ home. The prosecuting authorities had noted, inter alia, that the police officers’ actions had not constituted any criminal offence. They further argued that the actions in question had in no sense been intended to undermine the applicants’ dignity or cause them any psychological harm; accordingly, they did not amount to treatment incompatible with Article 3 of the Convention. In the Government’s view, the applicants could not therefore claim to be victims of a violation of their rights under that Article.

(b)  The applicants’ observations

  1. 84.  The applicants did not dispute the fact that they had not lodged a criminal complaint against the police officers who had entered their home on 31 March 2010. However, they argued that such a remedy would be manifestly ineffective for two reasons in particular. Firstly, no provision of Bulgarian criminal law made it a punishable offence to inflict degrading treatment on others stemming from psychological pressure. Secondly, as the Court had found in a series of cases concerning operations by special officers of the national police force, the authorities’ systematic refusal to reveal the identity of the officers concerned would make any criminal investigation concerning them ineffective.
  2. 85.  The decision not to prosecute issued by the regional public prosecutor’s office in the present case merely confirmed that a criminal complaint would have been ineffective. The public prosecutor had taken the decision not to commence criminal proceedings against the police officers shortly after the file had been opened, on the sole basis of two reports by police officers and without having taken statements from any other witnesses or gathered other evidence. The applicants had not been informed of that decision and had been deprived of any opportunity of being involved in the investigation.
  3. 86.  As to a possible action for damages under the State and Municipalities Responsibility for Damage Act, the applicants maintained that this could likewise not be regarded as an effective domestic remedy in their case. According to the settled case-law of the domestic courts, section 1 of the Act, under the terms of which the State could be held liable for damage caused as a result of administrative action, was not applicable to action taken by police officers to enforce investigative measures in the context of criminal proceedings, which formed part of the judicial process rather than the performance of administrative duties. Furthermore, in a binding interpretative judgment delivered in 2005, the Supreme Court of Cassation had made clear that where administrative bodies including the police were implementing measures ordered by the judicial authorities, an action for damages against the State could be brought only against the latter and on the basis of section 2 of the State and Municipalities Responsibility for Damage Act. However, section 2 provided for compensation in only a limited number of situations. The only one that could possibly apply in the present case was Mr Gutsanov’s acquittal or the subsequent discontinuance of the criminal proceedings against him. However, it would be difficult for the applicants to prove their allegations given that all the witnesses to the events were police officers who had taken part in the operation of 31 March 2010.

(c)  The Court’s assessment

  1. 87.  The Court observes at the outset that the Government raised several objections of inadmissibility in relation to the complaint under Article 3 of the Convention. In view of the parties’ submissions, it considers that the issues of compliance with the six-month time-limit and the allegedly premature nature of the application are closely linked to the objection of non-exhaustion raised by the Government. It therefore considers it appropriate first of all to determine whether the applicants in the present case complied with the rule of exhaustion of domestic remedies.

(i)  Objection of failure to exhaust domestic remedies

  1. 88.  The Court reiterates that the rule of exhaustion of domestic remedies referred to in Article 35 § 1 of the Convention obliges applicants to have exhausted the remedies that are normally available and sufficient in the domestic legal system to enable them to obtain redress for the breaches alleged. The existence of the remedies must be sufficiently certain, in practice as well as in theory, failing which they will lack the requisite accessibility and effectiveness (see, among many other authorities, Salman v. Turkey [GC], no. 21986/93, § 81, ECHR 2000‑VII, and İlhan v. Turkey [GC], no. 22277/93, § 58, ECHR 2000‑VII).
  2. 89.  It is incumbent on the Government claiming non-exhaustion to satisfy the Court that the remedy was an effective one available in theory and in practice at the relevant time. Once that has been demonstrated, it falls to the applicant to establish that the remedy advanced by the Government was in fact exhausted or was for some reason inadequate and ineffective in the particular circumstances of the case or that there existed special circumstances absolving him or her from the requirement (see Akdivar and Others v. Turkey, 16 September 1996, § 68, Reports of Judgments and Decisions 1996‑IV).
  3. 90.  According to the Court’s established case-law, the remedy normally available in Bulgarian law in respect of inhuman and degrading treatment allegedly caused by police officers is a complaint to the prosecuting authorities (see, among many other authorities, Assenov and Others v. Bulgaria, 28 October 1998, § 86, Reports 1998‑VIII; Osman and Osman v. Bulgaria (dec.), no. 43233/98, 6 May 2004; and Kemerov v. Bulgaria (dec.), no. 44041/98, 2 September 2004). The applicants in the present case did not lodge such a complaint with the public prosecutor against the police officers who entered their home on the morning of 31 March 2010. They contended in that regard that a complaint to the prosecuting authorities could not be regarded as an effective remedy in their case, in view of the nature of the ill-treatment to which they had been subjected and the deficiency of the domestic criminal-law provisions (see paragraph 84 above).
  4. 91.  The Court observes that in its judgment in Hristovi v. Bulgaria (no. 42697/05, § 95, 11 October 2011), it noted with concern the treatment accorded in Bulgarian criminal law to acts causing psychological suffering. It noted in particular that, with the exception of the very specific case of death threats, the Bulgarian Criminal Code did not provide for the criminalisation of acts by police officers giving rise to this kind of suffering, resulting, for example, from an aggressively conducted search, seizure and arrest operation. Hence, unless a complainant alleged that he or she had sustained physical injury at the hands of the police, the authorities could not be required to commence criminal proceedings in relation to the acts complained of. The Court noted that this deficiency in the criminal law allowed those responsible for inflicting psychological trauma to escape criminal accountability for their actions.
  5. 92.  The applicants in the present case complained exclusively of the adverse psychological effects of the police operation carried out at their home on the morning of 31 March 2010. They did not claim to have been physically assaulted by the police officers. It therefore appears that if they had lodged a criminal complaint against the police officers in question, the prosecuting authorities would have inevitably refused to institute criminal proceedings because of the same legal deficiency observed by the Court in Hristovi (cited above). It follows that the criminal-law remedy that was normally available and effective in cases of physical violence inflicted by the police was bound from the outset to fail in the particular circumstances complained of by the applicants. The Court cannot therefore criticise them for not having lodged a complaint with the prosecuting authorities against the officers involved in the police operation.
  6. 93.  The Court further observes that in its judgment in Mirosław Garlicki v. Poland (no. 36921/07, § 77, 14 June 2011), it acknowledged that the civil claim for compensation provided for by Polish law in cases of violations of personal rights such as the right to health, liberty, honour and human dignity constituted appropriate redress in respect of the alleged violation of Article 3, in a case in which the applicant complained exclusively of the adverse psychological effects of his arrest by masked officers, which had taken place in front of a large number of people and had subsequently received extensive media coverage. It observes that the applicants in the present case also complained of the psychological effects of the police operation targeting them. The Government contended that the applicants could have lodged a claim for compensation under the State and Municipalities Responsibility for Damage Act (see paragraph 82 above). However, the Court considers that, in contrast to the case of Mirosław Garlicki (cited above, §§ 77 and 78), where the applicant had available to him several effective domestic remedies, any action for compensation lodged by the four applicants under section 1 or 2 of the above-mentioned Bulgarian Act would have had no prospect of success, for the reasons outlined below.
  7. 94.  The Court points out in this regard that section 1 of the State and Municipalities Responsibility for Damage Act allows individuals to bring proceedings in tort against the State on account of unlawful decisions, acts or omissions of State authorities or officials in the performance of their administrative duties. According to the settled case-law of the highest courts in Bulgaria, acts performed by the investigating and prosecuting authorities in the context of criminal proceedings do not form part of their administrative duties and thus do not come within the ambit of section 1 of the above-mentioned Act (see paragraph 67 above and Iliya Stefanov, cited above, § 28). The Court observes that the police operation at the applicants’ home was carried out in the context of criminal proceedings and was aimed at arresting Mr Gutsanov and searching his home for evidence. Hence, according to the case-law of the domestic courts, the operation formed part of the investigative measures taken in the course of those proceedings and did not engage the State’s liability in tort under section 1 of the above-mentioned Act.
  8. 95.  As regards the applicability of section 2 of the same Act, the Court observes that the only situations that might have been applicable in the circumstances of the case were a finding that Mr Gutsanov’s detention was unlawful and the discontinuance of the criminal proceedings against him or his acquittal at first instance or on appeal (see paragraph 67 above). However, the Court notes that the courts to which Mr Gutsanov applied for release found his detention to be in accordance with domestic law ... It further notes that, according to the latest information received by the first applicant, the criminal proceedings in question are still pending at the preliminary investigation stage ... In these circumstances, an action under section 2 of the State and Municipalities Responsibility for Damage Act as in force at the relevant time would have been bound to fail.
  9. 96.  The Court also notes that any action lodged under section 2 of the above-mentioned Act in the event of the discontinuance of the criminal proceedings against Mr Gutsanov or his acquittal would not have amounted to express or tacit acknowledgment of the breach of his right not to be subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment. Any such action would have had to establish that the damage in question had occurred as a result of charges being brought for a criminal offence in proceedings which were subsequently discontinued or ended in an acquittal. Accordingly, the examination of the facts by the domestic courts would have been confined to purely formal findings and would not have encompassed the actual substance of the applicants’ complaints, namely what they saw as the unnecessary nature of the methods employed by the police in order to achieve the objective of the operation, and the adverse psychological effects of the law-enforcement operation on the four applicants.
  10. 97.  In sum, the Court considers that, because of the deficiencies in the domestic legislation, neither the criminal complaint nor the action for damages against the State referred to by the Government would have constituted sufficiently effective domestic remedies in the instant case. The criminal remedy would have been bound to fail because of the absence of any provisions in Bulgarian law making it an offence to inflict psychological suffering (see paragraphs 90-92 above), while an action for compensation against the State would have been ineffective because of the limited scope of the domestic courts’ review in the context of such proceedings (see paragraphs 94-96 above). The Government did not refer to any other remedy capable of affording redress to the applicants for the alleged violation of their rights under Article 3 of the Convention. In view of these considerations and of the arguments outlined above, the Court considers that the Government’s rejection of non-exhaustion should be rejected.

(ii)  Compliance with the other conditions of admissibility

  1. 98.  The Government also maintained that the complaint under Article 3 of the Convention had been lodged prematurely as the preliminary investigation concerning Mr Gutsanov was still pending. The Court can discern no direct link between the criminal proceedings to which the Government referred and the applicants’ complaint: the proceedings in question are not designed to establish whether the agents of the State safeguarded the applicants’ physical well-being or dignity, but rather to ascertain whether Mr Gutsanov was guilty of conspiracy and of various other criminal offences linked to his position as chairman of Varna municipal council ...
  2. 99.  Even assuming that the Government expect the criminal proceedings to be discontinued or Mr Gutsanov to be acquitted, which would allow him to lodge a claim for damages under section 2 of the State and Municipalities Responsibility for Damage Act (see paragraph 95 above), the Court reiterates that an action of this kind could not lead to a finding of a violation of the applicants’ right not to be subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment during the police operation at their home (see paragraph 96 above). In view of these considerations, the Court cannot criticise the applicants for having applied to it before the criminal proceedings against Mr Gutsanov were concluded. It follows that the present complaint is not premature and that the Government’s preliminary objection should be rejected.
  3. 100.  The Government also contended that the applicants had not complied with the six-month time-limit laid down by Article 35 § 1 of the Convention. The Court reiterates that the six-month rule is closely linked to the rule of exhaustion of domestic remedies, as the six-month period runs from the date of the decision considered as final for the purposes of exhaustion of domestic remedies (see, among other authorities, Edwards v. the United Kingdom (dec.), no. 46477/99, 7 June 2001). Nevertheless, where no adequate remedy is available in domestic law, the six-month period in principle starts to run from the date on which the act complained of took place (see Gongadze v. Ukraine, no. 34056/02, § 155, ECHR 2005‑XI).
  4. 101.  In examining the objection of non-exhaustion raised by the Government, the Court noted that none of the remedies they referred to satisfied the effectiveness requirement under Article 35 § 1 of the Convention. Thus, in the present case, the start of the six-month period should be the date of the events giving rise to the complaint under Article 3, that is to say 31 March 2010. As the applicants lodged their application on 21 May 2010, the Court notes that the six-month time-limit for lodging an application with it was complied with in the instant case. The objection as to inadmissibility raised in this regard must therefore also be rejected.
  5. 102.  Lastly, the Government disputed the applicants’ victim status, arguing that they had not been subjected to treatment contrary to Article 3. The Court considers that this objection should be joined to the examination of the merits of the complaint under Article 3 of the Convention. It notes that this complaint is not manifestly ill-founded within the meaning of Article 35 § 3 (a) of the Convention and that it is not inadmissible on any other grounds. It must therefore be declared admissible.
  6. Complaint concerning the lack of a criminal investigation into the events
  7. 103.  The Court observes that the applicants raised this complaint in their written observations of 6 January 2012. In examining the admissibility of their application under the substantive aspect of Article 3, however, it noted that any criminal complaint seeking the opening of an investigation into the events would be bound to fail from the outset in view of the absence of any provision in domestic law laying down criminal penalties in respect of acts committed by police officers which cause psychological suffering (see paragraph 92 above); this argument was, moreover, advanced by the applicants themselves (see paragraph 84 above).
  8. 104.  The Court reiterates that, according to its settled case-law, the starting-point of the six-month period for lodging an application with it is the date on which the act complained of occurred, where domestic law does not afford appropriate remedies (see paragraph 100 above). It therefore considers that, in the present case, the six-month period for lodging an application under the procedural limb of Article 3 started on 31 March 2010. The applicants formulated their complaint one year and nine months later. It follows that this complaint was submitted out of time and must be rejected under Article 35 §§ 1 and 4 of the Convention.
  9. Merits
  10. The parties’ submissions

(a)  The applicants

  1. 105.  The applicants submitted that the manner in which the police operation at their home had been carried out was incompatible with Article 3 of the Convention. On 31 March 2010, before dawn, a group of masked and heavily armed police officers had forced their way into their house without prior authorisation. The special officers had entered Mr and Mrs Gutsanovi’s bedroom and pointed their weapons at the couple’s two minor daughters. Mr Gutsanov, an influential and respected politician, had been forced to kneel down and been handcuffed.
  2. 106.  In the applicants’ view, there had been no reason for the police operation to be planned and carried out in this manner, in particular as Mr and Mrs Gutsanovi were respectable people who were well known in the city. Neither of them had a criminal record and there had been no reason to suppose that they would offer resistance to the law-enforcement officers. The search of their home did not constitute an urgent investigative measure under Article 161 § 2 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. According to the applicants, all these elements pointed to a real intention to intimidate them, undermine their dignity and induce a feeling of powerlessness in the face of the actions of the law-enforcement officers.
  3. 107.  The police officers’ actions had had an adverse psychological impact on the applicants. In particular, Mrs Gutsanova and her two daughters, aged five and seven, had been subjected to considerable psychological pressure, as noted by the psychiatrists who had examined them shortly after the events in issue. Mr Gutsanov, a respected politician belonging to an opposition political party, had been the victim of a brutal arrest which had been widely covered in the media and which, together with the arrests of other politicians, formed part of a propaganda campaign by the ruling party. The psychological effects of the treatment complained of had been sufficiently severe to exceed the threshold required by Article 3 and for the treatment in question to be characterised as “degrading”.

(b)  The Government

  1. 108.  The Government contested the applicants’ allegations and their version of events. They submitted that the police operation of 31 March 2010 had been planned meticulously and carried out in a way which respected the applicants’ dignity and their rights. Mr Gutsanov’s arrest and the search of his home had been carried out in the context of a criminal investigation into serious offences involving several suspected accomplices. The police had been informed that Mr Gutsanov kept a gun in his home.
  2. 109.  The police operation had been launched after sunrise, that is to say after 6 a.m. The police had knocked on the gate of the applicants’ property, announced their presence and requested that the metal gate be opened. The security guard had opened the gate but explained that he did not have a key to the front door of the house. The police had run towards the door and knocked on it, demanding that it be opened immediately. Mr Gutsanov had appeared twice at the window of the house; he had seen and identified the police by their uniforms but had not come down to open the door. At that point, fearing that he might destroy evidence, fetch his firearm or try to escape, the special officers had forced open the door of the house. They had apprehended Mr Gutsanov on the second floor while he was trying to enter a bedroom where his wife and two children were.
  3. 110.  According to the Government, Mr Gutsanov had not been forced to kneel down. The officers had placed the handcuffs on him without using special immobilisation techniques and they had not pointed their weapons at his wife and daughters. The only officer who had gone into the bedroom on the second floor had been carrying only an electric stun gun and had not addressed the children or Mrs Gutsanova. The special officers had stayed in the house for only a few minutes and had left the premises after Mr Gutsanov’s arrest. Shortly afterwards, the applicant’s handcuffs had been removed.
  4. 111.  The police officers’ actions had complied with domestic law. The search had been approved by a judge within twenty-four hours of being carried out and the regional public prosecutor’s office, on the basis of the information supplied by the authorities, had found that the police officers had not committed any criminal offence.
  5. 112.  The Government conceded that the entry of the police into their home, and the search of the house, had undoubtedly aroused negative feelings in the applicants. However, they submitted that these were the normal and inevitable consequence of this kind of investigative measure; hence, the unpleasantness caused had not exceeded the threshold of severity beyond which Article 3 of the Convention applied. This was borne out, for instance, by the fact that the elder of the two girls had been taken to school as usual. The Government also maintained that if Mr Gutsanov had opened the front door of the house, the police officers would not have needed to resort to special measures to enter his home, which would have spared the members of his family the unpleasantness they had experienced.
  6. The Court’s assessment

(a)  Establishment of the facts

  1. 113.  The Court reiterates that allegations of ill-treatment contrary to Article 3 of the Convention must be supported by appropriate evidence. To establish the facts, the Court applies the standard of proof “beyond reasonable doubt” (see Ireland v. the United Kingdom, 18 January 1978, § 161 in fine, Series A no. 25). However, such proof may follow from the coexistence of sufficiently strong, clear and concordant inferences or of similar unrebutted presumptions of fact (see Salman, cited above, 100).
  2. 114.  The Court notes that the events surrounding the police operation at the home of the four applicants were not the subject of any review by the domestic courts. When faced with similar situations, the Court has carried out its own assessment of the facts while complying with the rules laid down by its own case-law (see, by way of example, Sashov and Others v. Bulgaria, no. 14383/03, § 48, 7 January 2010).
  3. 115.  On the basis of these principles, the Court deems it appropriate to take as the starting-point of its analysis the circumstances not disputed between the parties and the evidence adduced by them. It will also take into account those allegations by the parties which are sufficiently corroborated by the undisputed facts and the evidence adduced.
  4. 116.  It is not disputed between the parties that the police operation at the applicants’ home began shortly after 6.30 a.m. on 31 March 2010. The footage from the property’s CCTV cameras made available to the Court, and the weather report from the Varna meteorological service, corroborated the applicants’ allegation that the operation took place before sunrise, mainly around dawn (see paragraphs 20 and 21 above).
  5. 117.  The parties also agree that the police operations team was made up of uniformed officers, plain clothes officers and special officers who were armed and masked. The video footage submitted by the applicants (see paragraph 21 above) and the reports submitted by the Government (see paragraphs 22, 24 and 27 above) corroborate this.
  6. 118.  The fact that there was a firearm and ammunition in the applicants’ home is also undisputed and is established by the search report. It is clear from the Government’s observations and the reports they submitted that the police officers had been alerted by their superior officers to the presence of the weapon (see paragraphs 23 and 27 above).
  7. 119.  It is also common ground between the parties that the gate to the applicants’ property was opened voluntarily by the security guard at the request of the police officers (see paragraphs 13 and 24 above). Moreover, the scene was filmed and recorded by the property’s CCTV system (see paragraph 21 above). The parties also agree that the security guard informed the police officers of the identity of those present in the house and the fact that he did not have a key to the front door, and that the door was forced by the special officers who entered the house and arrested Mr Gutsanov (see paragraphs 13, 14, 24 and 25 above).
  8. 120.  Neither of the parties disputes the fact that the applicants were not physically injured during the police operation. The certificates attesting to the psychiatric examinations carried out on Mrs Gutsanova and her two daughters (see paragraphs 30 and 31 above) were not disputed by the Government.
  9. 121.  The first discrepancy between the parties’ version of events concerns the description of Mr Gutsanov’s conduct. According to the Government, he appeared twice at one of the windows of the house, saw the police officers and heard their calls but did not open the front door (see paragraph 25 above). The first applicant, meanwhile, stated that he had not realised that it was a police operation until the special officers entered the house and began to climb the stairs (see paragraph 16 above).
  10. 122.  The evidence available to the Court does not enable it to determine whether the applicant did actually appear at the window of his house and deliberately refused to open the front door to the police officers. However, it notes that it is not disputed that the police officers knocked at the front gate of the property and announced their presence to the security guard by calling out. According to the police officers, they then knocked on the front door of the house and called out “Police! Open up!”. This assertion is corroborated by the statements made by Mr and Mrs Gutsanovi, according to which they were woken by shouts and knocking at the door of the house (see paragraph 15 above). Mr Gutsanov stated that he had gone down to the first floor of the house to fetch the two children before going back up to the bedroom on the second floor. This claim was corroborated by the version of the police officers who saw the outline of a man through the windows of the house (see paragraph 25 above).
  11. 123.  As to the exact place in which Mr Gutsanov was arrested, the Court observes that he himself admitted in his statement that when the police officers forced the door and issued verbal warnings, he had run up to the bedroom on the second floor where his wife and children were (see paragraph 16 above). The Court is not in a position to determine whether Mr Gutsanov was arrested inside the bedroom on the second floor of the house, as he claimed, or on the second-floor landing after he had come out of the bedroom of his own volition, as claimed by the Government. Nor has it been established beyond any reasonable doubt that the police officers spoke to Mrs Gutsanova and asked her to cover the children with the duvet. In any event the Court observes that, according to the witness evidence given by the special officers (see paragraphs 25 and 27 above), they saw Mr Gutsanov’s wife and children inside the bedroom when they went up to the second floor of the house in pursuit of Mr Gutsanov. The Court accepts that Mrs Gutsanova and her two daughters also saw the armed and masked men, if only through the bedroom door.
  12. 124.  In the Court’s view, Mr Gutsanov’s claim that he was forced to kneel down so that the police officers could place the handcuffs on him has not been proved beyond all reasonable doubt. As regards the handcuffing, it is not disputed that the special officers placed handcuffs on Mr Gutsanov downstairs (see paragraph 16 above). However, the Court observes that neither of the parties specified the length of time for which Mr Gutsanov remained in handcuffs. In any event, it cannot but observe that there is no evidence in the file to demonstrate that the first applicant was made to appear in handcuffs before the cameras of the journalists who had gathered outside the entrance to the property that day. Furthermore, the photograph taken as he was leaving the house, at around 1 p.m., shows no signs of him being handcuffed ... Accordingly, the Court considers that the present case falls to be distinguished in that regard from the case of Mirosław Garlicki, (cited above, § 75), in which the applicant was arrested at his workplace in front of his colleagues and patients, placed in handcuffs and filmed.

(b)  Compliance with Article 3 in the instant case

  1. 125.  The Court reiterates that ill-treatment must attain a minimum level of severity if it is to fall within the scope of Article 3. The assessment of this minimum is relative: it depends on all the circumstances of the case, such as the duration of the treatment, its physical and mental effects and, in some cases, the sex, age and state of health of the victim. Treatment has been held by the Court to be “inhuman” because, inter alia, it was premeditated, was applied for hours at a stretch and caused either actual bodily injury or intense physical and mental suffering, and also “degrading” because it was such as to arouse in its victims feelings of fear, anguish and inferiority capable of humiliating and debasing them (see Labita v. Italy [GC], no. 26772/95, § 120, ECHR 2000‑IV). Psychological suffering may result from a situation in which State agents deliberately instil fear in individuals by threatening to kill or ill-treat them (see Hristovi, cited above, § 80).
  2. 126.  Article 3 does not prohibit the use of force by police officers during an arrest. Nevertheless, the use of force must be proportionate and absolutely necessary in the circumstances of the case (see, among many other authorities, Rehbock v. Slovenia, no. 29462/95, § 76, ECHR 2000‑XII, and Altay v. Turkey, no. 22279/93, § 54, 22 May 2001). In this regard, it is of importance for instance whether there is reason to believe that the person concerned would resist arrest or abscond, cause injury or damage or suppress evidence (see Raninen v. Finland, 16 December 1997, § 56, Reports 1997‑VIII). The Court reiterates in particular that any recourse by agents of the State to physical force against a person which has not been made strictly necessary by his or her own conduct diminishes human dignity and is in principle an infringement of the right set forth in Article 3 (see Rachwalski and Ferenc v. Poland, no. 47709/99, § 59, 28 July 2009). This strict proportionality test has also been applied by the Court in situations where the individuals concerned were already in the hands of the law‑enforcement agencies (see, among other authorities, Klaas v. Germany, 22 September 1993, § 30, Series A no. 269; Rehbock, cited above, §§ 68-78; and Milan v. France, no. 7549/03, §§ 52-65, 24 January 2008).
  3. 127.  Turning to the facts of the present case, the Court observes that the operation pursued the legitimate aim of carrying out an arrest, a search and a seizure of items as well as the public-interest objective of prosecuting criminal offences. The Court must be satisfied that a fair balance was struck in the circumstances of the case between the demands of the general interest and the requirements of the protection of the individual’s fundamental rights. It notes that, although the four applicants were not physically injured in the course of the impugned police operation, the latter necessarily entailed a degree of physical force. The front door of the house was forced open by the special operations team, Mr Gutsanov was immobilised by masked armed officers, led downstairs by force and handcuffed. The Court must therefore establish whether this use of physical force was proportionate and absolutely necessary in the instant case.
  4. 128.  The aim of the police operation at the applicants’ home that day was to arrest Mr Gutsanov, who was a suspect in a criminal case concerning misappropriation of public funds, and to carry out a search of the premises to look for physical and documentary evidence in the context of the same criminal investigation. It emerges from the evidence in the file that the investigation in question had been opened five months previously, that there were several suspects in the case and that the authorities suspected the existence of a conspiracy (see paragraph 9 ... above). The case clearly did not concern a group of individuals suspected of committing violent criminal acts.
  5. 129.  With regard to Mr Gutsanov’s personality, the Court observes that he was a well-known political figure in Varna: at the material time he was Chairman of the city’s municipal council. Furthermore, there is no evidence in the file to suggest that he had a history of violence or that he might have presented a danger to the police officers conducting the operation at his home.
  6. 130.  It is true that Mr Gutsanov was the lawful owner of a firearm and ammunition which he kept at his home. This fact was known to the police and had been specifically mentioned at the briefing of the police team before the operation (see paragraph 23 above). This was undoubtedly a relevant factor which had to be taken into account by the officers during the operation at the applicants’ home. However, the Court considers that the presence of the weapon in the applicants’ home was not sufficient in itself to justify the deployment of a special operations team or the degree of force that was used in the instant case.
  7. 131.  It is clear from the file that the possible presence of Mr Gutsanov’s wife and minor children was not taken into consideration at any stage in planning and carrying out the police operation. The fact was not mentioned during the pre-operation briefing (see paragraph 23 above) and the police officers apparently paid no heed to the warning by the security guard that young children were present in the house (see paragraph 24 above).
  8. 132.  Of course, the Court cannot go so far as to require the law‑enforcement agencies not to arrest persons suspected of criminal offences in their homes whenever their children or spouses are present. However, it considers that the possible presence of family members at the scene of an arrest is a circumstance that must be taken into consideration in planning and carrying out this type of police operation. This was not done in the present case and the law-enforcement agencies did not contemplate any alternative means of carrying out the operation at the applicants’ home, such as staging the operation at a later hour or even deploying a different type of officer in the operation. Consideration of the legitimate interests of Mrs Gutsanova and her daughters was especially necessary since the former was not under suspicion of involvement in the criminal offences of which her husband was suspected, and her two daughters were psychologically vulnerable because they were so young (five and seven years of age).
  9. 133.  The Court also observes that the lack of prior judicial review of the necessity and lawfulness of the search left the planning of the operation entirely at the discretion of the police and the criminal investigation bodies and did not enable the rights and legitimate interests of Mrs Gutsanova and her two minor daughters to be taken into consideration. In the Court’s view, such prior judicial review, in the specific circumstances of the present case, would have enabled their legitimate interests to be weighed against the public-interest objective of arresting persons suspected of committing a criminal offence.
  10. 134.  As regards the psychological effects of the police operation on the applicants, the Court observes that police operations which entail intervention in the home and the arrest of suspects inevitably arouse negative emotions in the persons targeted. However, in the present case, there is concrete, undisputed evidence that Mrs Gutsanova and her two minor daughters were very severely affected by the events. Mrs Gutsanova consulted a psychiatrist on two occasions complaining of insomnia and acute anxiety and was prescribed tranquillisers (see paragraph 31 above). The two girls were also examined by a psychiatrist who observed that, when recalling the events, they reacted by crying or displaying acute anxiety (see paragraph 30 above). Mrs Gutsanova stated that her younger daughter, B., had started stammering again (see paragraph 28 above). As for S., the couple’s elder daughter, the statements by her aunt and her schoolteacher indicated that she had been deeply affected by the police operation at her home and by her father’s arrest (see paragraph 29 above). The Court also considers that the fact that the police operation took place in the early morning and involved special officers wearing masks, who were seen by Mrs Gutsanova and her two daughters, served to heighten the feelings of fear and anxiety experienced by these three applicants, to the extent that the treatment to which they were subjected exceeded the threshold of severity required for Article 3 of the Convention to apply. The Court therefore considers that these three applicants were subjected to degrading treatment.
  11. 135.  As regards the adverse psychological effects of the police operation on Mr Gutsanov, the Court cannot but observe that the first applicant did not produce any medical evidence to this effect. Nevertheless, he stated that the humiliation and anxiety he had experienced during the heavy-handed operation to arrest him, in front of the members of his family, had been sufficiently intense for Article 3 to apply in his case (see paragraph 107 above).
  12. 136.  The Court reiterates its findings to the effect that the police operation in question was planned and carried out without regard for a number of relevant factors such as the nature of the criminal offences of which Mr Gutsanov was suspected, the fact that he had no history of violence, and the possible presence of his wife and daughters in the family home. All these elements point clearly to the excessive nature of the deployment of special officers and special procedures in order to arrest the first applicant and enable the police to enter his home. The Court considers that, in the light of these circumstances, the manner in which Mr Gutsanov’s arrest was carried out – very early in the morning, by several armed and masked officers who forced their way in through the door of the house, and under the frightened gaze of Mr Gutsanov’s wife and two young daughters – aroused strong feelings of fear, anguish and powerlessness in the first applicant, capable of humiliating and debasing him in his own eyes and in the eyes of his close relatives. The Court considers that the intensity of these feelings exceeded the threshold of severity required for Article 3 to apply. Accordingly, Mr Gutsanov too was subjected to degrading treatment.
  13. 137.  In conclusion, having taken into account all the relevant circumstances in the present case, the Court considers that the police operation at the applicants’ home was not planned and carried out in such a way as to ensure that the means employed were strictly necessary in order to attain the ultimate objectives of arresting a person suspected of committing criminal offences and gathering evidence in the context of a criminal investigation. The four applicants were subjected to a psychological ordeal which aroused in them strong feelings of fear, anguish and powerlessness and which, on account of its adverse effects, amounted to degrading treatment for the purposes of Article 3. There has therefore been a violation of that provision in the present case.

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FOR THESE REASONS, THE COURT

  1. Decides to join to the merits the Government’s objection regarding the applicants’ victim status in respect of the complaint under Article 3 of the Convention;
  2. Declares, unanimously, the complaints concerning Article 3 admissible ...;
  3. Holds, unanimously, that there has been a violation of Article 3 in respect of the four applicants;

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Done in French, and notified in writing on 15 October 2013, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.

Françoise Elens-Passos                                                          Ineta Ziemele  Registrar       President

 

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