Dvorski protiv Hrvatske

Država na koju se presuda odnosi
Hrvatska
Institucija
Evropski sud za ljudska prava
Stepen važnosti
Referentni slučaj
Jezik
Hrvatski
Datum
20.10.2015
Članovi
6
6+6-3-c
6-1
6-3-c
41
Kršenje
6
6+6-3-c
6-1
6-3-c
Nekršenje
nije relevantno
Ključne reči
(Čl. 6) Pravo na pravično suđenje
(Čl. 6) Krivični postupak
(Čl. 6-1) Pravična rasprava
(Čl. 6-3-c) Odbrana putem branioca
(Čl. 6-3-c) Branilac koga sam optuženi izabere
(Čl. 41) Pravično zadovoljenje - opšte
(Čl. 41) Pravično zadovoljenje
(Čl. 41) Nematerijalna šteta
Broj predstavke
25703/11
Zbirke
Sudska praksa
Presuda
Veliko veće
Sažetak
U predmetu Dvorski protiv Hrvatske, Evropski Sud za ljudska prava, zasedao je u Velikom Veću.
Predmet je formiran na osnovu predstavke podnete od strane hrvatskog državljanina, rodjenog 1986. godine i živi u Rijeci.
U ranim jutarnjim satima dana 13. marta 2007. godine u Rijeci, dogodilo se trostruko ubistvo, razbojništvo i paljenje solitera. Istog dana, podnosilac je priveden u policijsku stanicu, gde je ostao sve dok sledećeg dana nije formalno uhapšen.
Podnosilac tvrdi da je tokom jutra 14. marta 2007. godine njegova majka kontaktirala advokata G.M., i zatražila da zastupa njenog sina. Advokat G.M. je stigao u policijsku stanicu u 10.45, ali ga je policija sprečila da vidi podnosioca. Advokat G.M. je hteo da podnese krivičnu prijavu zbog zloupotrebe službenog položaja, tim povodom, ali su policijski službenici odbili da prijavu prime. On je zatim ovaj događaj prijavio zamenicima Županijskog državnog odvjetnika u Rijeci i sudu. Oko 13.30 sati podnosiočev otac je potpisao punomoćje advokatu, G.M. za zastupanje njegovog sina. Tokom istog dana, advokat G.M. je još jednom pokušao da stupi u kontakt s podnosiocem, ali bez uspeha. Advokat G.M. je o tome obavestio načelnika policijske uprave.
U večernjim satima, dana 14. marta 2007. godine podnosilac je dao iskaz u prisustvu advokata M.R., kojeg je, prema zapisniku o policijskom ispitivanju, sam izabrao.
Dana 16. marta 2007. godine pokrenuta je istraga protiv podnosioca, a 12. jula 2007. godine, podignuta je optužnica, zbog tri teška ubistva i požara. Podnosilac je uložio prigovor protiv optužnice, u kom nije spominjao probleme u pogledu zastupanja, prilikom ispitivanja u policiji.
Dana 2. aprila 2008. godine podnosilac je predložio da sud pozove advokata G.M. kao svedoka, radi davanja iskaza o navodno nezakonito pribavljenom priznanju pred policijom. Naveo je kako je advokatu G.M. bio zabranjen kontakt s njim i kako ga je policija prisilila na davanje priznanja. Sud je odbio taj predlog, navodeći da su sve relevantne činjenice već utvrđene.
Dana 30. juna 2008. godine, sud je proglasio podnosioca krivim prema optužnici i osudio ga na 40 godina zatvora. Žalbe podnosioca, odbijene su od strane suda, u drugom i trećem stepenu.
Ustavni sud je utvrdio da je krivični postupak protiv podnosioca bio pravičan, kao i da nema dokaza da je podnosilac bio zlostavljan za vreme boravka u policiji.
Podnosilac je tvrdio da mu nije bilo omogućeno da se tokom ispitivanja pred policijom brani uz pravnu pomoć advokata G.M., te da zbog toga nije imao pravično suđenje.
Dana 28. novembra 2013. godine Veće Evropskog Suda za ljudska prava, donelo je presudu u kojoj je utvrdilo da nije došlo do povrede Čl. 3. (zabrana mučenja), kao ni povrede Ćl. 6 stav 1. i 3. Konvencije. Po zahtevu podnosioca, predmet je upućen Velikom Veću na ponovno razmatranje.
Evropski Sud za ljudska prava, koji je zasedao u Velikom Veću, utvrdio je, sa šesnaest glasova prema jednom, povredu Čl. 6 stav 1. i Čl. 3 (c) Konvencije. U dodatku presude, nalaze se izdvojena mišljenja.

 preuzmite presudu u pdf formatu

 

VELIKO VIJEĆE

PREDMET DVORSKI protiv HRVATSKE

(Zahtjev br. 25703/11)

PRESUDA

STRASBOURG
20. listopada 2015. godine

Ova je presuda konačna, no može podlijegati uredničkim izmjenama.

U predmetu Dvorski protiv Hrvatske, Europski sud za ljudska prava, zasjedajući u Velikom vijeću u sastavu: 

Dean Spielmann, predsjednik,
Josep Casadevall,
Guido Raimondi, Mark Villiger,
Boštjan M. Zupančič,
Ján Šikuta,
Päivi Hirvelä,
Luis López Guerra,
Zdravka Kalaydjieva,
Paulo Pinto de Albuquerque, Helen Keller,
Paul Mahoney,
Johannes Silvis,
Valeriu Griţco,
Faris Vehabović,
Ksenija Turković,
Jon Fridrik Kjølbro, suci,
i Lawrence Early, pravni savjetnik,

nakon vijećanja zatvorenog za javnost održanog 21. siječnja i 26. kolovoza 2015., donosi sljedeću presudu koja je usvojena zadnje navedenog datuma:

POSTUPAK

1. Postupak u ovome predmetu pokrenut je na temelju zahtjeva (br. 25703/11) protiv Republike Hrvatske koji je hrvatski državljanin, g. Ivan Dvorski („podnositelj zahtjeva”) podnio Sudu na temelju članka 34. Konvencije za zaštitu ljudskih prava i temeljnih sloboda („Konvencija”) dana 16. travnja 2011.

2. Podnositelja zahtjeva zastupala je gđa S. Maroševac Čapko, odvjetnica iz Rijeke. Hrvatsku Vladu („Vlada”) zastupala je njezina zastupnica, gđa Š. Stažnik.

3. Podnositelj zahtjeva posebno navodi da nije imao pošteno suđenje jer mu nije dopušteno da ga zastupa odvjetnik po njegovom vlastitom odabiru tijekom policijskog ispitivanja te da su inkriminirajuće izjave koje je dao upotrijebljene kako bi ga se osudilo.

4. Zahtjev je dodijeljen u rad Prvom odjelu Suda (pravilo 52. stavak 1. Poslovnika Suda). Dana 28. lipnja 2011. godine predsjednik Prvog odjela odlučio je Vladu obavijestiti o zahtjevu. Dana 5. studenoga 2013. vijeće tog odjela, zasjedajući u sastavu Isabelle Berro, Predsjednica, Mirjana Lazarovska-Trajkovska, Julia Laffranque, Linos-Alexandre Sicilianos, ErikMøse, Ksenija Turković i Dmitry Dedov, suci, i Søren Nielsen, tajnik odjela, donijelo je presudu. Jednoglasno su utvrdili da je prigovor prema članku 6. stavku 1. Konvencije dopušten, a ostatak zahtjeva nedopušten. Odlukom većine presudili su da nije došlo do povrede članka 6. stavka 1. Konvencije. Zajedničko suprotno izdvojeno mišljenje sutkinja Berro i Laffranque pridodano je presudi.

5. Podneskom od 21. veljače 2014. godine, podnositelj zahtjeva zatražio je da se predmet uputi Velikom vijeću u skladu s člankom 43. Konvencije. Odbor Velikog vijeća prihvatio je taj zahtjev dana 14. travnja 2014. godine.

6. Sastav Velikog vijeća određen je u skladu s odredbama članka 26. stavaka 4. i 5. Konvencije i pravila 24.

7. Sutkinja Işil Karakaş naknadno je bila spriječena sudjelovati u predmetu i zamijenio ju je sudac Ján Šikuta, prva zamjena(pravilo 28.).

8. I podnositelj zahtjeva i Vlada podnijeli su dodatna pisana očitovanja (pravilo 59. stavak 1.) o osnovanosti zahtjeva.

9. Dana 21. siječnja 2015. održana je javna rasprava u Zgradi ljudskih prava u Strasbourgu (pravilo 59. stavak 3.).

Pred sudom su se pojavili:

(a) za Vladu
Gđa Š. STAŽNIK, Gđa N.KATIĆ, Gđa M.BRIŠKI, Gđa S. RAGUŽ, G. Z. BUDIMIR,

(b) za podnositelja zahtjeva
Gđa S.MAROŠEVAC-ČAPKO,zastupnica,savjetnici; savjetnica.

Sud je saslušao obraćanja gđe Maroševac-Čapko i gđe Stažnik, kao i njihove odgovore na pitanja koja su postavili suci Griţco, López Guerra, Vehabović, Hirvelä, Pinto de Albuquerque, Zupančič, Kalaydjieva i Šikuta.

 

ČINJENICE

I. OKOLNOSTI PREDMETA

10. Podnositelj je rođen 1986. godine i živi u Rijeci.

 A. Pozadina predmeta

11. Dana 13. ožujka 2007., između 2:00 i 3:30 sati u noći, na Vežici, stambenoj četvrti Rijeke, počinjena su tri ubojstva, oružana pljačka i palež.

12. Kasnije tog istog dana brojne su osobe s Vežice privedene na ispitivanje u Policijsku upravu Primorsko-goransku, Treću policijsku postaju Rijeka (dalje u tekstu: „Policijska postaja Rijeka”).

13. Oko 13:00 sati tog istog dana podnositelj zahtjeva doveden je u Policijsku postaju Rijeka radi ispitivanja. Uzeti su mu uzorci krvi za analizu DNK i policija je pretražila njegov stan i mobilni telefon te zaplijenila niz njegovih osobnih predmeta.

14. Podnositelj zahtjeva zadržan je Policijskoj postaji Rijeka do njegovog formalnog uhićenja 14. ožujka 2007. u 9:50 sati u vezi s prethodno navedenim kaznenim djelima.

 B. Ispitivanje podnositelja zahtjeva od strane policije dana 14. ožujka 2007.

1. Podnositeljeva verzija događaja

15. Prema podnositelju zahtjeva, 14. ožujka 2007. oko 10:40 sati, njegova je majka, koja je živjela i radila u Italiji, pozvala odvjetnika G.M. i zatražila od njega da zastupa podnositelja zahtjeva. G.M. je došao u Policijsku postaju Rijeka u 10:45 sati, no policijski službenici odbili su mu dopustiti da vidi podnositelja zahtjeva. G.M. je ostao u Policijskoj postaji Rijeka do podneva. Želio je podnijeti kaznenu prijavu protiv nepoznate osobe zbog zloporabe ovlasti i nezakonitog iznuđivanja priznanja, no policijski službenici odbili su zaprimiti njegovu prijavu na temelju toga što nije imao punomoć i izgurali su ga van iz policijske postaje. G.M. je odmah obavijestio zamjenike Županijskog državnog odvjetnika u Rijeci, D.K. i I.B. o incidentu i oni su načinili zabilješku u svojem spisu predmeta. Županijski sud u Rijeci također je odmah obaviješten.

16. Oko 13:30 sati otac podnositelja zahtjeva potpisao je punomoć kojom se odvjetnik G.M. ovlašćuje za obranu njegovog sina. Odvjetnički vježbenik B.P. tada je pokušao podnijeti tu punomoć policiji, no rečeno mu je da ode.

17. U određenom trenutku između 15:00 i 15:30 sati G.M. je opet pokušao kontaktirati podnositelja zahtjeva u Policijskoj postaji Rijeka, no uskraćen mu je pristup k njemu.

18. Oko 15:30 sati G.M. je prijavio prethodno opisane događaje načelniku Policijske uprave Primorsko-goranske, g. V., koji je načinio zabilješku o njihovom razgovoru.

19. Podnositelj zahtjeva ni u jednom trenutku nije obaviješten da je G.M. angažiran i da je on došao u Policijsku postaju Rijeka.

20. Prema podnositelju zahtjeva, on je više puta tražio od policijskih službenika Policijske postaje Rijeka da se pozove G.M., no rečeno mu je da su ga pokušali kontaktirati, ali nisu dobili nikakav odgovor.

2. Vladina verzija događaja

21. Prema Vladi, 14. ožujka 2007. u 18:00 sati, podnositelj zahtjeva pristao je da ga zastupa odvjetnik M.R., bivši načelnik Policijske uprave Primorsko-goranske. On je došao u Policijsku postaju Rijeka oko 19:45 sati. Vlada navodi kako je podnositelj zahtjeva odabrao M.R.-a iz popisa odvjetnika Riječke odvjetničke komore koji mu je dala policija te da je ispitivanje podnositelja zahtjeva počelo u 20:10 sati. Prema zapisniku o ispitivanju podnositelja zahtjeva, policija ga je upozorila na njegovo pravo da ne inkriminira samoga sebe i njegovo pravo na šutnju, a on je izrijekom naveo na zapisnik da je njegov odvjetnik M.R.

3. Izvadak iz zapisnika o ispitivanju podnositelja zahtjeva

22. Mjerodavan dio zapisnika o policijskom ispitivanju podnositelja zahtjeva od strane službenika T.K. i Z.N. dana 14. ožujka 2007., koje je počelo u 20:10 sati i završilo u 23:00 sata, glasi kako slijedi:

„Obaviješten sam o razlozima za moje uhićenje, kaznenim djelima za koje sam optužen, mojim pravima, pravu da ne dajem odgovore i pravu na branitelja, kao i o pravu da članovi moje obitelji budu obaviješteni o mojem uhićenju. Odabrao sam i dao punomoć branitelju iz Rijeke, M.R., da me zastupa u ovom postupku i savjetovao sam se s njim nasamo. Nakon savjetovanja s odvjetnikom [M.]R., odlučio sam dati svoj iskaz.

...”

Zapisnik potom sadrži opis mjerodavnih događaja, što ga je dao podnositelj zahtjeva, što se odnosi na optužbe protiv njega: priznao je da je u noći 13. ožujka 2007., zajedno s L.O. i R.Lj., otišao u stan Đ.V. na Vežici, gdje je od Đ.V. uzeo određeni novčani iznos i potom pucao i ubio njega, njegovu djevojku i njegova oca. Potom je zapalio njihov stan kako bi uništio svaki trag da je bio tamo. Također je izjavio da je L.O. i R.Lj. obećao da će priznati zločine i preuzeti krivicu ako ih uhite.

Završni dio izvješća glasi:

„Nemam nikakvih simptoma apstinencijskog sindroma ili bilo koje druge krize. Dao sam svoj iskaz svojevoljno i u prisutnosti svog odvjetnika i županijskog državnog odvjetnika. Pročitao sam cjelokupnu izjavu i nakon toga je potpisujem kao istinitu.”

Podnositelj zahtjeva potpisao je svaku stranicu zapisnika o svojoj izjavi.

C. Ispitivanje od strane istražnog suca dana 15. ožujka 2007. u 13:15 sati

23. Mjerodavni dio pisanog zapisnika o ispitivanju podnositelja zahtjeva od strane istražnog suca glasi:

Kao odgovor na pitanje suda o odabiru branitelja zbog toga što spis predmeta uključuje zapisnik o ispitivanju osumnjičenika u prisutnosti branitelja M.R. te također punomoć koju su potpisali roditelji u korist odvjetnika G.M., osumnjičenik odgovara:

,Potpisat ću punomoć u korist g. G.M., odvjetnika iz Rijeke i ovime povlačim punomoć danu u korist odvjetnika M.R.’

...

Na pitanje branitelja je li on angažirao odvjetnika [M.]R., osumnjičenik odgovara:

,Ne, ja ga nisam angažirao. Izričito sam rekao policijskim službenicima da želim da me zastupa G.M.

Ne znam ništa o tome da je G.M. dolazio u prostore policije.’
...
Na dodatno pitanje branitelja je li bio pod utjecajem droga, osumnjičenik odgovara: ,Bio sam pod utjecajem alkohola i droga.’
...”

24. Dana 16. ožujka 2007. G.M. je podnio zahtjev istražnom sucu za izuzeće Županijskog državnog odvjetnika u Rijeci i svih njegovih zamjenika. Istražni sudac proslijedio je zahtjev Županijskom državnom odvjetništvu u Rijeci. Mjerodavni dio zahtjeva glasi:

„Prije otprilike trideset minuta branitelj je saznao da je Županijski državni odvjetnik u Rijeci, D.H., prisustvovao ispitivanju Ivana Dvorskog kao osumnjičenika koje su policijski službenici Policijske postaje Rijeka vodili 14. ožujka 2007. oko 19:00 sati u prisutnosti ,branitelja’ M. R.

Istoga je datuma oko 10:40 sati Lj.D., majka Ivana Dvorskog koja živi i radi u Italiji, nazvala [G.M.] i zamolila ga da brani njezina sina Ivana koji je bio osumnjičen za kazneno djelo teškog ubojstva. [G.M.] je oko 10:45 sati stigao u Policijsku postaju Rijeka, ali mu policijski službenici nisu dopustili da vidi Ivana Dvorskog i također [Ivanu Dvorskom] nisu rekli da je njegova majka angažirala odvjetnika. [G.M.] je ostao u Policijskoj postaji Rijeka do podneva. Želio je podnijeti kaznenu prijavu protiv nepoznate osobe zbog zloporabe ovlasti i nezakonitog iznuđivanja priznanja, no policijski službenici odbili su zaprimiti njegovu prijavu na temelju toga što nije imao punomoć i izgurali su ga van iz policijske postaje. G.M. je odmah obavijestio zamjenike Županijskog državnog odvjetnika u Rijeci, D.K. i I.B. o incidentu i oni su načinili službenu zabilješku u svojem spisu predmeta.

Stoga je Županijski državni odvjetnik u Rijeci oko 12:30 sati već znao da je majka [Ivana Dvorskog] angažirala [G.M.] te da on nije mogao stupiti u kontakt sa svojim klijentom.

Županijski sud [u Rijeci] također je odmah obaviješten.

Oko 13:30 sati otac Ivana Dvorskog potpisao je punomoć za obranu svojega sina. Odvjetnički vježbenik B.P. [tada] pokušao je podnijeti tu punomoć policiji, no policija mu je rekla da ,odjebe s tom punomoći’ te ona stoga nije predana.

Između otprilike 15:00 i 15:30 sati branitelj [G.]M. opet je pokušao kontaktirati sa svojim klijentom u Policijskoj postaji Rijeka, no uskraćen mu je pristup k njemu... Međutim, branjenik nije ni u jednom trenutku bio obaviješten da je branitelj angažiran i da je došao u Policijsku postaju Rijeka.

Oko 15:30 sati [G.M.] je obavijestio načelnika Policijske uprave Primorsko- goranske... g. V. koji je očito sastavio službenu zabilješku o njihovom razgovoru. Međutim, branjenik nije ni u jednom trenutku bio obaviješten da je angažiran branitelj i nikada mu nije postavljeno pitanje želi li da ga zastupa odvjetnik kojega je angažirala njegova obitelj.

Osim toga, sve vrijeme od kada je doveden u Policijsku postaju Rijeka, [Ivan Dvorski] je više puta tražio da se pozove [G.M.], no policijski su mu službenici rekli da su ga pokušali kontaktirati, ali nisu dobili nikakav odgovor. Kada je doveden u policijsku postaju, branjeniku su uzeti uzorci krvi. Oni dokazuju da je u krvi imao visoku razinu alkohola i droge.

Između 13:00 sati 13. ožujka 2007. i otprilike 19:00 sati 14. ožujka 2007. (ovo je vremensko razdoblje poznato [G.M.-u] samo iz neformalnih izvora jer nije imao pristup spisu predmeta Županijskog državnog odvjetnika u Rijeci) branjeniku nije dana hrana.

Jasno je da je Državni odvjetnik u Rijeci, D.H., zanemario sve ove činjenice iako su mu bile poznate i, iako je osobno bio prisutan, dopustio je da se branjenik ispita u prisutnosti odvjetnika kojega [niti je on zatražio] niti ga je ... angažirala njegova obitelj. To znači da je priznanje iznuđeno nezakonito, suprotno članku 225. stavku 8. Zakona o kaznenom postupku s obzirom da je državni odvjetnik u Rijeci znao od otprilike 12:30 sati [14. ožujka 2007.] tko je branitelj [po izboru podnositelja zahtjeva].

[G.M.] je istoga datuma poslao punomoć Policijskoj upravi Primorsko-goranskoj, a pisani su prigovori također poslani Vrhovnom sudu Republike Hrvatske, Glavnom državnom odvjetniku Republike Hrvatske, Županijskom državnom odvjetništvu u Rijeci, Hrvatskoj odvjetničkoj komori, Ministarstvu pravosuđa, Ministarstvu unutarnjih poslova, načelniku Policijske uprave Primorsko-goranske i Županijskom sudu u Rijeci. ...”

D. Istraga

25. Dana 16. ožujka 2007. otvorena je istraga protiv podnositelja zahtjeva, L.O. i R.Lj. pod sumnjom da su 13. ožujka 2007. na Vežici počinili tri teška ubojstva i palež.

26. Dana 23. ožujka 2007. Glavni državni odvjetnik Republike Hrvatske odbacio je zahtjev G.M. za izuzeće Županijskog državnog odvjetnika u Rijeci na temelju toga što nije bilo razloga za njegovim izuzećem u tom predmetu. Mjerodavni dio odluke glasi:

„... pribavljena je izjava D.H., Županijskog državnog odvjetnika u Rijeci.

U svojoj izjavi Županijski državni odvjetnik u Rijeci kaže da je dana 14. ožujka 2007. oko 10:00 sati bio u prostorijama Treće policijske postaje u Rijeci zajedno sa svojim kolegom I.B.-L., gdje su ih obavijestili o dokazima pribavljenima do tog trenutka i svim dokazima koje je preostalo prikupiti u vezi s predmetnim događajima. Vratio se u prostorije Županijskog državnog odvjetnika oko 13:00 sati, kada su ga zamjenici D.K. i I.B. obavijestili da je u prostorije Županijskog državnog odvjetnika došao odvjetnik G.M. i požalio se na postupak policijskih službenika Treće policijske postaje Rijeka koji su mu odbili pristup Ivanu Dvorskom premda mu je majka Ivana Dvorskog [koja ga je nazvala iz] Italije, dala usmenu punomoć. Odvjetnik nije dao nikakav dokaz o punomoći za zastupanje Ivana Dvorskog ili o svom telefonskom razgovoru s majkom Ivana Dvorskog. Nije mogao stupiti u vezu s ocem osumnjičenika jer ga nije mogao pronaći zbog toga što nije imao stalnu adresu.

Nakon što je [Županijski državni odvjetnik u Rijeci D.H.] napustio prostorije Županijskog državnog odvjetništva, nije imao nikakvih dodatnih informacija o postupcima prethodno spomenutog odvjetnika.

U 17:00 sati [D.H.] se vratio u Treću policijsku postaju Rijeka u vezi s dotičnim predmetom. Tamo mu je jedan inspektor Policijske uprave Primorsko-goranske rekao da je osumnjičenik Ivan Dvorski voljan iznijeti svoju obranu u prisutnosti svog branitelja, M.R., i postignut je dogovor da će ispitivanje početi oko 19:00 sati. M.R. je stigao u Treću policijsku postaju u 18:40 sati i zajedno su otišli u sobu gdje je bio osumnjičenik Ivan Dvorski. Tamo je osumnjičenik potpisao punomoć u korist odvjetnika M.R. te se složio da će [M.R.] biti prisutan tijekom njegovog policijskog ispitivanja. Nakon toga, na zahtjev M.R., osumnjičeniku je dopušten razgovor s tim odvjetnikom nasamo. Nakon deset minuta svi su se preselili u drugu sobu, gdje jeosumnjičenik, u prisutnosti svojeg odvjetnika, Županijskog državnog odvjetnika, dva policijska inspektora i daktilografa iznio svoju obranu, koja je zabilježena u pisanom obliku, a sve to je trajalo više od tri sata. Nakon toga svi su potpisali pisani zapisnik [o ispitivanju] i napustili sobu zajedno s odvjetnikom M.R.

...”

27. Dana 26. ožujka 2007. Županijski državni odvjetnik u Rijeci odbacio je zahtjev za izuzeće svojih zamjenika na istom temelju. Mjerodavni dio te odluke glasi:

„Zamjenica Županijskog državnog odvjetnika u Rijeci I.B.-L. rekla je da uopće nije sudjelovala u policijskom ispitivanju Ivana Dvorskog te da nije imala nikakvih saznanja o toj fazi postupka i posebice da nije imala nikakvih informacija o zastupanju Ivana Dvorskog ili njegovom odabiru branitelja tijekom njegovog ispitivanja. Znala je jedino da je 14. ožujka 2007. odvjetnik G.M. došao u prostorije Županijskog državnog odvjetnika u Rijeci gdje se srela s njim. On se požalio na odabir branitelja za Ivana Dvorskog. Rekao je da je on branitelj Ivana Dvorskog nakon što mu je njegova majka dala punomoć putem telefonskog razgovora. Ona [I.B.-L.] je primijetila da to ne može predstavljati valjanu punomoć ...

Izjave zamjenika Županijskog državnog odvjetnika u Rijeci D.K. i I.B. dokazuju da su jedine informacije koje su imalo o postupanju policije došle od odvjetnika [G.]M. koji je želio iznijeti pritužbu na postupanje policijskih službenika u vezi s odabirom odvjetnika koji zastupa i brani Ivana Dvorskog. ... D.K. je načinio službenu zabilješku o tome i pokazao ju je odvjetniku G.M. Izjave zamjenika Županijskog državnog odvjetnika u Rijeci D.K. i I.B. dokazuju da je [G.M.] spomenuo punomoć koju mu je dala majka Ivana Dvorskog, koja je živjela u Italiji i s kojom je G.M. razgovarao putem telefona. Zamjenici su mu rekli da punomoć dana putem telefona ne može biti smatrana valjanom. Nisu imali nikakvih saznanja o bilo kakvim drugim postupcima, uključujući pribavljanja punomoći od oca Ivana Dvorskog...”

28. Dana 28. ožujka 2007. G.M. je obavijestio Županijski sud u Rijeci da više neće zastupati podnositelja zahtjeva te je predsjednik Županijskog suda u Rijeci 30. ožujka 2007. imenovao S. Maroševac-Čapko da po službenoj dužnosti zastupa podnositelja zahtjeva.

29. Tijekom istrage saslušano je nekoliko svjedoka, a istražni sudac dobio je izvješće o uvidu na mjestu zločina te pretrazi i pljenidbi, kao i izvješća medicinskih vještaka, vještaka za požar i balističkih vještaka.

E. Postupak po optužnici

30. Dana 12. srpnja 2007. Županijsko državno odvjetništvo u Rijeci podiglo je na Županijskom sudu u Rijeci optužnicu protiv podnositelja zahtjeva, L.O. i R.Lj. po tri točke optužnice za teško ubojstvo i jednoj točki za palež počinjene 13. ožujka 2007. na Vežici.

31. Podnositelj zahtjeva, kojeg je zastupala odvjetnica po službenoj dužnosti S.M.Č., uložio je 24. srpnja 2007. Županijskom sudu u Rijeci prigovor protiv optužnice na temelju brojnih materijalnih i postupovnih nedostataka sadržanih u optužnici. Također je obrazložio da je svoju izjavu na policiji dao pod utjecajem alkohola i droga. Nije iznio nikakve primjedbe u pogledu svog branitelja tijekom policijskog ispitivanja.

32. Vijeće od triju sudaca Županijskog suda u Rijeci odbacilo je 28. kolovoza 2007. prigovor podnositelja zahtjeva protiv optužnice kao neosnovan.

33. Dana 9. listopada 2007., prvoga dana suđenja, podnositelj zahtjeva i ostali optuženi izjasnili su se da nisu krivi po svim točkama optužbe i prvostupanjski je sud saslušao svjedočenja sedmero svjedoka.

34. Druga rasprava održana je 11. listopada 2007. i na njoj je sud pregledao videozapise istrage na mjestu zločina i autopsije žrtava.

35. Daljnje rasprave održane su 12. studenoga 2007. i 11. siječnja 2008., a prvostupanjski sud na njima je saslušao svjedočenja devetero svjedoka.

36. Na raspravi održanoj 14. siječnja 2008. svjedočila su dva vještaka za toksikologiju, vještak za otiske prsta, vještak za balistiku i vještak za DNK. Obrana nije uložila prigovor na njihova svjedočenja. Na istoj raspravi svjedočilo je još četvero svjedoka.

37. Na raspravi 15. siječnja 2008. prvostupanjski sud saslušao je svjedočenja još jednog vještaka za toksikologiju i patologa, kao i trinaest drugih svjedoka. Obrana nije uložila prigovor glede svjedočenja vještaka, no od prvostupanjskog je suda zatražila da naloži psihijatrijsko izvješće o podnositelju zahtjeva.

38. Na istoj raspravi braniteljica je zatražila da se naloži izvješće vještaka za rukopis glede potpisa podnositelja zahtjeva na zapisniku o njegovoj izjavi danoj policiji 14. ožujka 2007. Obrazložila je da podnositelj zahtjeva nije potpisao nikakav zapisnik tijekom svojeg policijskog ispitivanja.

39. Prvostupanjski sud smatrao je da u tom trenutku nije potrebno nalagati psihijatrijsko izvješće te je stoga odbacio zahtjev podnositelja u tom pogledu. Međutim, naložio je izvješće vještaka za rukopis glede potpisa na zapisniku o izjavi podnositelja zahtjeva danom policiji.

40. Dana 23. siječnja 2008. vještakinja za rukopis podnijela je svoje izvješće. Zaključila je da je podnositelj zahtjeva potpisao zapisnik o svojoj izjavi danoj policiji 14. ožujka 2007.

41. Još jedna rasprava održana je 12. ožujka 2008. i na njoj su svjedočili medicinski vještak, vještak za požare i još jedan drugi svjedok. Vještakinja za rukopis također je usmeno svjedočila, potvrđujući svoje prethodne zaključke. Odvjetnica podnositelja zahtjeva osporila je vjerodostojnost tih zaključaka i uputila zahtjev da se naloži dodatno izvješće, no prvostupanjski je sud zahtjev odbio. Prvostupanjski sud naložio je na istoj raspravi psihijatrijsko izvješće o podnositelju zahtjeva i ostalim optuženicima.

42. Dana 2. travnja 2008. podnositelj zahtjeva zatražio je od Županijskog suda u Rijeci da pozove odvjetnika G.M. kao svjedoka u vezi s navodnom nezakonitom policijskom iznudom njegovog priznanja. Istaknuo je da G.M.-u nije bilo dopušteno da ga vidi dok je bio u policijskom pritvoru te je izjavio da su ga policijski službenici natjerali da prizna.

43. Dana 24. travnja 2008. svoje su izvješće Županijskom sudu u Rijeci podnijela dva psihijatrijska vještaka. Zaključili su da podnositelj zahtjeva pati od graničnog poremećaja ličnosti i ovisnosti o heroinu i alkoholu. Međutim, nisu otkrili nikakav izraziti psihički poremećaj ili bolest. Zaključili su da je, čak i pod pretpostavkom da je u vrijeme počinjenja ubojstava bio pod utjecajem opojnih sredstava, bio dovoljno ubrojiv da bi razumio prirodu svojih djela iako je ta ubrojivost bila donekle smanjena. Što se tiče njegove ubrojivosti prilikom podmetanja požara, zaključili su da je podnositelj zahtjeva u vrijeme kada je kazneno djelo počinjeno bio sposoban razumjeti prirodu svojih djela i kontrolirati svoje postupke.

44. Na raspravi održanoj 26. lipnja 2008. psihijatrijski vještaci potvrdili su svoje zaključke i stranke nisu imale prigovore na njihova svjedočenja. Prvostupanjski sud također je odbacio zahtjev podnositelja za saslušanjem odvjetnika G.M. kao svjedoka na temelju toga što su sve mjerodavne činjenice već utvrđene.

45. Na istoj raspravi jedan od optuženih, R.Lj., potvrdio je tijek događaja koji je podnositelj zahtjeva opisao u svojoj izjavi danoj policiji 14. ožujka 2007. Međutim, R.Lj. je tvrdio da nije osobno sudjelovao u ubijanjima jer se uspaničio i napustio stan kad je čuo svađu.

46. Nakon što je R.Lj. dao svoj iskaz, zamjenik Županijskog državnog odvjetnika izmijenio je optužnicu. Podnositelj zahtjeva optužen je za tri teška ubojstva, oružanu pljačku i palež, dok su L.O. i R.Lj. optuženi za oružanu pljačku te pomaganje i poticanje počinitelja kaznenog djela. Podnositelj zahtjeva i ostali optuženici izjasnili su se da nisu krivi za optužbe navedene u izmijenjenoj optužnici.

47. Dana 27. lipnja 2008. usmeno je svjedočio L.O., potvrđujući tijek događaja kako ga je opisao R.Lj. Izjavio je da je nakon što se podnositelj zahtjeva posvađao s Đ.V. čuo pucnjeve, nakon čega se uspaničio i napustio stan.

48. Na istoj su raspravi stranke održale završne riječi. Braniteljica podnositelja zahtjeva argumentirala je kako nije dokazano da je podnositelj zahtjeva počinio kaznena djela za koja je optužen. Međutim, istaknula je da bi, smatra li prvostupanjski sud drugačije, prilikom izricanja osude u obzir trebalo uzeti podnositeljevo priznanje policiji i njegovo iskreno kajanje.

49. Dana 30. lipnja 2008. Županijski sud u Rijeci proglasio je podnositelja zahtjeva krivim za tri optužbe za teško ubojstvo i za optužbe za oružanu pljačku i palež te ga je osudio na kaznu zatvora u trajanju od četrdeset godina. Prvostupanjski sud najprije je ispitao podnositeljevo priznanje u odnosu na priznanja ostalih suoptuženika, L.O. i R.Lj., te je zaključio da je njegovo priznanje u osnovi bilo u skladu s njihovim svjedočenjima. Prilikom proglašavanja podnositelja zahtjeva krivim, prvostupanjski sud također je uzeo u obzir njegovo priznanje i usporedio ga je s dokazima iz spisa predmeta.

50. Prvostupanjski sud posebice se oslanjao na zapisnike o pretrazi i pljenidbi te fotografije na kojima optuženi L.O. drži isti tip pištolja koji je bio upotrijebljen za ubojstva. Na temelju iskaza svjedoka i snimaka obližnje kamere za video nadzor prvostupanjski sud zaključio je da su podnositelj zahtjeva i ostali suoptuženici kritičnog datuma došli u stan Đ.V. Nadalje, balistička izvješća i izvješća s mjesta zločina ukazivala su na to da su detalji iskaza podnositelja zahtjeva i njegovih suoptuženika bili točni te je tijek događaja bio utvrđen na temelju izvješća o požaru, balističkih i toksikoloških izvješća te izvješća o DNK. Prvostupanjski sud također je zaključio da iskaze optuženika u pogledu načina na koji su izvršena ubojstva podupiru izvješće o autopsiji, svjedočenje patologa dano tijekom suđenja, izvješće s mjesta zločina te izjave svjedoka o pucnjevima koji su se čuli u stanu Đ.V. Nadalje, glede optužbi za palež, prvostupanjski sud ispitao je materijale s mjesta zločina i dokaze iz izvješća vještaka za požare, kao i medicinska izvješća i izvješća o šteti koja su predale žrtve te izjave više stanara zgrade u kojoj je došlo do požara.

51. Glede policijskog ispitivanja podnositelja zahtjeva i zahtjeva obrane da se sasluša odvjetnik G.M. (vidi prethodne stavke 41. i 43.), Županijski sud u Rijeci zabilježio je:

„Prvooptuženi Ivan Dvorski priznao je kaznena djela oružane pljačke, teškog ubojstva Đ.V., M.Š. i B.V. ... točno kako je navedeno u izreci ove presude pred policijom i u prisutnosti branitelja. On je kasnije pokušao osporiti taj iskaz, tvrdeći da nije angažirao odvjetnika M.R. i da je rekao policijskim službenicima da je želio G.M. za svog odvjetnika, da je u vrijeme kada je odveden u policijsku postaju bio pod utjecajem alkohola i droga i tako dalje. Ipak, ova obrana nije prihvatljiva. Pisani zapisnik o uhićenju dokazuje da je prvooptuženi Ivan Dvorski uhićen 14. ožujka 2007. u 9:50 sati u Trećoj policijskoj postaji Rijeka, i da je odvjetnik [M.]R., u čiju je korist prvooptuženi Ivan Dvorski potpisao punomoć, došao u policijsku postaju 14. ožujka 2007. u 19:45 sati. Pisani zapisnik o ispitivanju tada osumnjičenog Ivana Dvorskog dokazuje da je M.R. obaviješten u 18:15 sati, a da je ispitivanje počelo u 20:10 sati. Osim službenika riječke policije, daktilografa i branitelja tada osumnjičenika Ivana Dvorskog, tijekom ispitivanja bio je prisutan i Županijski državni odvjetnik. Uvodni dio pisanog zapisnika [ukazuje] da je tada osumnjičenik Ivan Dvorski jasno naveo da je odabrao i opunomoćio M.R. da postupa kao njegov branitelj te se savjetovao s njime, nakon čega je odlučio dati svoj iskaz. Pisani zapisnik pravilno je potpisan od strane prisutnih osoba. Prvooptuženi Ivan Dvorski pročitao je pisani zapisnik prije no što ga je potpisao. Stoga prethodno dokazuje, bez sumnje, da je osporavanje od strane prvooptuženog Ivana Dvorskog da nije angažirao M.R. kao svog odvjetnika neosnovano. Tijekom suđenja, na zahtjev braniteljice Ivana Dvorskog, vještakinja za rukopis dala je svoje mišljenje o potpisu Ivana Dvorskog na pisanom zapisniku o njegovom policijskom ispitivanju. Mišljenje vještakinje dokazalo je, izvan svake sumnje, da je osporavani potpis upravo potpis Ivana Dvorskog. Vijeće prihvaća takve zaključke u njihovoj cijelosti. Te zaključke dodatno je obrazložila vještakinja Lj.Z. na raspravi. Njeni su zaključci dani na objektivan, nepristran i profesionalan način. Stoga je policijsko ispitivanje prvooptuženog Ivana Dvorskog izvršeno u skladu s odredbama Zakona o kaznenom postupku.

...

Zahtjev braniteljice [Ivana Dvorskog] da se kao svjedok sasluša odvjetnik G.M. ... odbijen je kao nevažan. Naime, dokumenti iz spisa predmeta ne otkrivaju da je bilo riječi o policijskoj iznudi priznanja, već samo [bilježe] vrijeme kada je odvjetnik [M.]R. došao [u policijsku postaju], nakon čega je započelo ispitivanje [Ivana Dvorskog] u prisutnosti odvjetnika kojemu je potpisao punomoć ... Nitko, uključujući branitelja [Ivana Dvorskog] koji je bio prisutan tijekom policijskog ispitivanja – odvjetnika [M.]R. – nije naveo ništa o nezakonitoj iznudi priznanja i ne postoje indikacije o tome u zapisniku o ispitivanju Ivana Dvorskoga [koji] je tada [bio] samo osumnjičenik.”

52. Podnositelj zahtjeva uložio je 6. studenoga 2008. žalbu Vrhovnom sudu Republike Hrvatske protiv presude prvostupanjskog suda. Žalio se, inter alia, da je osuda bila temeljena na njegovom priznanju policiji koje nije dano u prisutnosti odvjetnika po vlastitom izboru, odnosno G.M., već u prisutnosti odvjetnika M.R. kojeg mu je dodijelila policija. Podnositelj zahtjeva također je uputio na zahtjev za izuzeće Županijskog državnog odvjetnika u Rijeci i svih njegovih zamjenika koji je 16. ožujka 2007. predao G.M., ističući dio tog zahtjeva u kojem se navodi da mu je tijekom policijskog pritvora uskraćena hrana. Mjerodavni dio žalbe podnositelja zahtjeva glasi:

„Iskaz koji je prvooptuženi dao policiji nezakonito je pribavljen zbog sljedećih razloga. Kada je prvooptuženi doveden u Treću policijsku postaju Rijeka, ozbiljno su kršena njegova prava na obranu. Ipak, tijekom suđenja to je kršenje zanemareno. Dana 14. ožujka 2007. majka prvooptuženika i potom i njegov, sada pokojni, otac angažirali su G.M.-a kao njegovog branitelja pred policijom nakon što je on uhićen. Ipak, G.M.-u nije bilo dopušteno pristupiti optuženiku i kasnije je obavijestio mjerodavna tijela vlasti o istome, no ona su to zanemarila. G.M. je stoga uložio tužbu pred Općinskim sudom u Rijeci u pogledu nezakonitog postupanja, kao i zahtjev za izuzeće Županijskog državnog odvjetnika u Rijeci i svih njegovih zamjenika. U tom je zahtjevu ustvrdio da prvooptuženom policija nije dala nikakvu hranu od 13. ožujka 2007. u 13:00 sati, kada je doveden u Treću policijsku postaju Rijeka, sve dok nije pristao da ga zastupa odvjetnik M.R. dana 14. ožujka oko 19:00 sati kako bi dao iskaz kojim bi se inkriminirao, što je suprotno odredbama članka 225. stavaka 8. Zakona o kaznenom postupku. Zbog toga je braniteljica zatražila da se odvjetnik G.M. ispita [na suđenju] jer je on imao saznanja o policijskom ispitivanju prvooptuženog.”

53. Dana 8. travnja 2009. Vrhovni sud je odbio žalbu podnositelja zahtjeva kao neosnovanu. Glede njegovih žalbi o izjavi danoj policiji, sud je zabilježio:

„... Zakonitost [izjave dane policiji] nisu doveli u pitanje prigovori žalitelja da M.R. nije bio njegov odvjetnik i da je njegov odvjetnik bio G.M. kojega su istoga dana angažirali njegovi otac i majka, niti su njezinu zakonitost u pitanje doveli prigovori da je žalitelju uskraćena hrana u razdoblju između 13:00 sati 13. ožujka 2007. i 19:00 sati 14. ožujka 2007., dok nije pristao angažirati M.R. kao odvjetnika jer je, prema zapisniku o njegovu uhićenju (stranice ...), žalitelj uhićen u 9:50 sati 14. ožujka 2007., dok je odvjetnik M.R. [u policijsku postaju] stigao u 18:45 sati istoga dana.”

54. Podnositelj zahtjeva uložio je 14. rujna 2009. daljnju žalbu Vrhovnom sudu protiv drugostupanjske presude ponavljajući prethodne argumente. Mjerodavni dio žalbe glasi:

„Prvooptuženi se mora osvrnuti na zaključke žalbenog suda da tvrdnja da mu je hrana uskraćena od 13:00 sati 13. ožujka 2007. sve dok nije pristao da ga zastupa odvjetnik M.R. u 19:00 sati 14. ožujka 2007. nema utjecaja na zakonitost dokaza [zapisnik o njegovom ispitivanju] jer je pisanimzapisnikom o njegovom uhićenju dokazano da je on uhićen 14. ožujka 2007. u 9:50 sati, dok je odvjetnik M.R. došao istoga dana u 18:45 sati. Bilješka o prisutnosti F/949 koja se nalazi u spisu predmeta, dokazuje da je prvooptuženi doveden u policijsku postaju 13. ožujka 2007. u 14:00 sati te je ondje zadržan. Uhićen je sljedećeg dana, kako je to utvrdio prvostupanjski sud. Ipak, nije točno da je odvjetnik M.R. došao u policijsku postaju u 18:45 sati – došao je u 19:45 sati, što dokazuje kako su navodi prvooptuženog istiniti. Tu se činjenicu moglo provjeriti svjedočenjem odvjetnika G.M. koji je zastupao prvooptuženog tijekom istrage ...”

55. Dana 17. prosinca 2009. Vrhovni sud je, u svojstvu suda posljednje instance, odbio žalbu podnositelja zahtjeva kao neosnovanu. Sud je istaknuo da je zapisnik o iskazu podnositelja zahtjeva upućivao da je odabrao M.R.-a da ga zastupa tijekom policijskog ispitivanja i da mu je M.R. dao odgovarajući pravni savjet. Vrhovni sud je također zabilježio da ništa u spisu predmeta ne ukazuje na to da se s podnositeljem zahtjeva loše postupalo ili da je prisiljavan na priznanje. Mjerodavni dio presude glasi:

„Nije u pravu žalitelj kada tvrdi da je sud prvog stupnja počinio apsolutno bitnu postupovnu povredu iz članka 367. stavka 2. Zakona o kaznenom postupku, kada je osuđujuću presudu temeljio na obrani optuženika pred redarstvenim vlastima u nazočnosti branitelja, a radi se [prema viđenju žalitelja] o nezakonitom dokazu u smislu članka 9. stavka 2. Zakona o kaznenom postupku, zbog čega je zapisnik o ispitivanju osumnjičenika pred redarstvenim vlastima (u nazočnosti branitelja) trebalo i izdvojiti iz spisa predmeta. Pritom žalitelj osporava obrazloženje drugostupanjske presude o tome da na zakonitost dokaza nije bila od utjecaja tvrdnja žalitelja, da mu je tijekom prethodnog privođenja i uhićenja bila uskraćena hrana sve do trenutka dok nije pristao da ga zastupa M.R. Ove tvrdnje žalitelja drugostupanjski sud pobio je svim onim formalno utvrđenim podacima sadržanim u zapisniku o [njegovom] ispitivanju u nazočnosti odvjetnika 14. ožujka 2007. godine.

Ovaj trećestupanjski sud primjećuje da se [prigovor] u vezi s pitanjem obavezne nazočnosti branitelja [tijekom ispitivanja], kao zakonskog uvjeta za dokaznu valjanost dokaza, pribavljenih na ovaj način tijekom policijske istrage, odnosi na dva prigovora. Prvi prigovor se odnosi na uskratu pristupa odvjetniku prema [tuženikovom] vlastitom odabiru, dok se drugi prigovor odnosi na pritisak izvršen nad osumnjičenikom uskratom hrane (članak 225. stavak 8. Zakona o kaznenom postupku), zbog čega je on u konačnici, po stajalištu žalbe, i prihvatio nametnutog branitelja u osobi M.R. iako su mu roditelji još tijekom jutra 14. ožujka 2007. angažirali branitelja u osobi odvjetnika G.M.

Potrebno je naglasiti da je u okviru policijske kriminalističke istrage došlo je do uhićenja nekoliko osoba koje su poznate zbog zloporabe opojnih droga i vezama s oštećenikom Đ.V., posebno na području Gornje Vežice, i u okviru te akcije priveden je i optuženik Ivan Dvorski. Tek kada je ustanovljena osnovana sumnja da bi optuženik mogao biti mogući počinitelj odnosnih kaznenih djela, on je i uhićen 14. ožujka 2007. u 9:50 sati.

Istovremeno je otac optuženika, koji je bio u Hrvatskoj, dok je optuženikova majka bila u Italiji, bio obaviješten [o uhićenju] od strane redarstvenih vlasti u 14:10 sati, što dokazuje da je od tog vremena otac optuženika (nakon obavljenog telefonskog razgovora s majkom optuženika) mogao angažirati branitelja optuženiku, za što mu je svakako bilo potrebno određeno vrijeme. U takvim okolnostima, ovaj trećestupanjski sud donio je ocjenu da roditelji optuženika nisu mogli već potpisati punomoć odvjetniku po odabiru optuženika do 13:30 sati predmetnog dana.

Ostali podaci sadržani u izvješću o uhićenju optuženika, kao i podaci sadržani u zapisniku o njegovom ispitivanju pred policijom dokazuju da je optuženik 14. ožujka 2007., prema sadržaju izvješća o uhićenju, doveden u Treću policijsku postaju u Rijeci, a iz zapisnika o policijskom ispitivanju Ivana Dvorskog vidljivo je da je branitelj M.R. obaviješten u 18:15 sati, a u prostorije te policijske postaje pristupio je u 19:45 sati. Samo ispitivanje je započelo u 20:10 sati, a završeno je u 23:00 sata, uz prekid koji je uslijedio između 22:35 sati i 22:38 sati.

Treba naglasiti, da je u uvodnom dijelu zapisnika [o njegovom ispitivanju] osumnjičeni Ivan Dvorski izričito izjavio da je odabrao M.R. kao svog branitelja i potpisao punomoć u njegovu korist, dok zapisnik o ispitivanju dokazuje da je branitelj imao na raspolaganju skoro pola sata za savjetovanje s osumnjičenikom prije ispitivanja te ga je u tom vremenu mogao poučiti o njegovim pravima.

Stoga, ono bitno što proizlazi iz tako obavljene procesne formalne radnje opisane u zapisniku o ispitivanju osumnjičenika jest da je izabrani branitelj došao najmanje pola sata prije početka ispitivanja i u razgovoru s [osumnjičenikom], prije ispitivanja, mogao je dati [osumnjičeniku] pravni savjet kao njegov izabrani branitelj.

Treba primijetiti da se suština osumnjičenikovog prava na prisutnost branitelja tijekom ispitivanja pred redarstvenim vlastima nalazi u potrebi za pravnom zaštitom njegovih prava, zbog čega se početak, tijek i završetak takve formalne [postupovne] radnje u cijelosti unosi u zapisnik [o ispitivanju].

To je i razlog zbog kojega sve suprotne tvrdnje, sada sadržane i u žalbi na drugostupanjsku presudu, a posebno one koje se odnose na potrebu saslušanja odvjetnika G.M., kao konkurirajućeg drugog [od strane osumnjičenika] izabranog branitelja, nema uporišta u sadržaju formalnog zapisnika o ispitivanju osumnjičenika od 14. ožujka 2007., kada taj zapisnik sadrži formalno unijet podatak o kontaktu s izabranim braniteljem, vremenu kada je izabrani branitelj pristupio u prostorije Treće policijske postaje u Rijeci, vremenu kada je započelo ispitivanje osumnjičenika, vremenu kratkotrajnog prekida, kao i vremenu završetka procesne radnje, koje su potvrdili i osumnjičenik i njegov izabrani branitelj potpisivanjem zapisnika, bez stavljanja ikakvih primjedbi na njegov sadržaj.

Međutim, neovisno o tome što je obrana optuženika u kontekstu policijskog ispitivanja u formalnom smislu zadovoljila uvjete iz članka 177. stavka 5. Zakona o kaznenom postupku, opći pravac obrane, kao i sadržaj te obrane glede konkretno poduzetih radnji, te priznanje djela, svojevoljno je dao osumnjičenik, i njegov odabrani odvjetnik posve sigurno nije mogao utjecati na to, što istovremeno isključuje mogućnost svake psihičke prisile nad osumnjičenikom, kao i kasnije teze o nametnutom mu odvjetniku u fazi policijske istrage. Naprotiv, prava na obranu osumnjičenika u potpunosti su osigurana sukladno odredbama Ustava i Zakona o kaznenom postupku.

Stoga nema povrede iz članka 367. stavka 2. Zakon o kaznenom postupku u svezi s člankom 9. stavkom 2. Zakon o kaznenom postupku. Odbijanje dokaznog prijedloga obrane da se iz spisa predmeta izdvoji zapisnik o ispitivanju osumnjičenika pred policijom u nazočnosti izabranog branitelja kao nezakoniti dokaz, nije istovremeno povreda njegovih prava obrane, jer je zapisnikom o ispitivanju osumnjičenika pred policijom jasno i nedvojbeno dokazano da je odvjetnik koji je bio prisutan [tijekom ispitivanja] bio branitelj izabran optuženikovom slobodnom voljom, a to također proizlazi iz potpisane punomoći tom branitelju, koji je štitio prava osumnjičenika tijekom ispitivanja. Sukladno tome, odbijanje tog dokaznog prijedloga obrane ničim nije utjecao na zakonitost i pravilnost presude. Istovremeno, ne postoji potreba za saslušanjem novog izabranog branitelja u svojstvu svjedoka, a iz razloga koji su prethodno izloženi, činjenično stanje u tom predmetu nije ostalo nepotpuno ili netočno utvrđeno kako se to navodi u žalbi optuženika na drugostupanjsku presudu.”

56. Podnositelj zahtjeva podignuo je 11. ožujka 2010. ustavnu tužbu pred Ustavnim sudom Republike Hrvatske. Žalio se, inter alia, da su tijekom policijskog pritvora s njim loše postupali te da je bio prisiljen da prizna. Žalio se i da mu je uskraćena mogućnost da njegovu obranu vodi odvjetnik njegova izbora. Ponovio je tvrdnje iz svojih prethodnih žalbi i dodao:

„Također je važno naglasiti da je na zasjedanju Vrhovnog suda, kao trećestupanjskog suda, održanom 17. prosinca 2009., obrana navela da je podnositelj zahtjeva doveden u policijsku postaju u 14:00 sati 13. ožujka 2007. i da je ta činjenica prikazana u bilješci o prisutnosti F/949 koja je bila u spisu predmeta. Obrana je zatražila vijeće [Vrhovnog suda] da pogleda tu bilješku. Ipak, nakon kratkog ispitivanja spisa predmeta, utvrđeno je da dotični dokument nije moguće pronaći te da će se isti pregledati kasnije. Ipak, presuda Vrhovnog suda, u svojstvu trećestupanjskog suda, dokazuje da taj dokument [još uvijek] nije pronađen ...”

57. Dana 16. rujna 2010., Ustavni sud je odbacio podnositeljevu ustavnu tužbu. Potvrđujući obrazloženje Vrhovnog suda, Ustavni sud zabilježio je da je postupak u cjelini bio pošten i da u spisu predmeta nema dokaza u prilog tome da je s podnositeljem zahtjeva loše postupano tijekom policijskog pritvora.

 

II. MJERODAVNO PRAVO

A. Domaće pravo

58. Mjerodavne odredbe Ustava Republike Hrvatske (Narodne novine br. 56/1990, 135/1997, 113/2000, 28/2001, 76/2010) glase kako slijedi:

Članak 23.

„Nitko ne smije biti podvrgnut bilo kakvu obliku zlostavljanja ...”

Članak 29.

„Svatko ima pravo da zakonom ustanovljeni neovisni i nepristrani sud pravično i u razumnom roku odluči o njegovim pravima i obvezama, ili o sumnji ili optužbi zbog kažnjivog djela.

U slučaju sumnje ili optužbe [podignute] zbog kažnjivog djela osumnjičenik, okrivljenik ili optuženik ima pravo:

...

– da se brani sam ili uz branitelja po vlastitom izboru, a ako nema dovoljno sredstava da plati branitelja, ima pravo na besplatnog branitelja pod uvjetom propisanim zakonom,

...”

59. Mjerodavne odredbe Kaznenog zakona („Narodne novine“, br: 110/1997, 27/1998, 129/2000, 51/2001, 105/2004, 84/2005, 71/2006) glase:

TEŠKO UBOJSTVO

Članak 91.

„Kaznom zatvora najmanje deset godina ili kaznom dugotrajnog zatvora kaznit će se:

...
6. tko drugoga usmrti radi počinjenja ili prikrivanja drugog kaznenog djela, ...”

RAZBOJNIŠTVO

Članak 218.

„(1) Tko uporabom sile protiv neke osobe ili prijetnjom da će izravno napasti na njezin život ili tijelo oduzme tuđu pokretnu stvar s ciljem da je protupravno prisvoji, kaznit će se kaznom zatvora od jedne do deset godina.

(2) Ako je razbojništvo počinjeno u sastavu grupe ili zločinačke organizacije, ili ako je uporabljeno kakvo oružje ili opasno oruđe, počinitelj će se kazniti kaznom zatvora od tri do petnaest godina.”

DOVOĐENJE U OPASNOST ŽIVOTA I IMOVINE OPĆEOPASNOM RADNJOM ILI SREDSTVOM

Članak 263.

„(1) Tko požarom, ... izazove opasnost za život ili tijelo ljudi ili za imovinu većeg opsega, kaznit će se kaznom zatvora od šest mjeseci do pet godina.”

...

(3) Ako su kaznena djela iz stavka 1. i 2. ovoga članka počinjena na mjestu gdje je okupljeno više osoba ... počinitelj će se kazniti kaznom zatvora od jedne do osam godina.

...”

TEŠKA KAZNENA DJELA PROTIV OPĆE SIGURNOSTI

Članak 271.

„(1) Ako je kaznenim djelom iz članka 263. stavka 1. ..., ovoga Zakona prouzročena teška tjelesna ozljeda neke osobe ili imovinska šteta velikih razmjera, počinitelj će se kazniti kaznom zatvora od jedne do osam godina.”

60. Mjerodavne odredbe Zakona o kaznenom postupku („Narodne novine“, br. 110/1997, 27/1998, 58/1999, 112/1999, 58/2002, 143/2002 i 62/2003) određuju kako slijedi:

Članak 62.

„(1) Okrivljenik može imati branitelja tijekom cijeloga kaznenog postupka, a i prije njegova početka, kad je to ovim Zakonom propisano. ...

(4) Branitelja okrivljeniku, osim ako se on tome izričito ne protivi, mogu uzeti i njegov zakonski zastupnik, bračni ili izvanbračni drug, srodnik u uspravnoj liniji, posvojitelj, posvojenik, brat, sestra i hranitelj.

...

(6) Branitelj je dužan podnijeti punomoć tijelu pred kojim se vodi postupak. Okrivljenik može branitelju dati i usmenu punomoć na zapisnik kod tijela pred kojim se vodi postupak.”

„ ...

Članak 177.

(5) Tijekom istrage policijska tijela obavještavaju osumnjičenika u skladu s člankom 225. stavkom 2. ovog Zakona. Na osumnjičenikov zahtjev, redarstvene će mu vlasti omogućiti da uzme branitelja i u tu svrhu zastati s prikupljanjem obavijesti od osumnjičenika do dolaska branitelja a najkasnije do tri sata od kada je osumnjičenik izjavio da želi uzeti branitelja. ... Ako je iz okolnosti vidljivo da izabrani branitelj u tom roku ne može doći, redarstvene će vlasti osumnjičeniku omogućiti da uzme branitelja s liste dežurnih odvjetnika koju za područje županije sastavlja Hrvatska odvjetnička komora i dostavlja nadležnim policijskim upravama uz izvješće županijskom sudu. Ako osumnjičenik ne uzme branitelja ili pozvani branitelj u tom roku ne dođe, redarstvene vlasti mogu nastaviti s prikupljanjem obavijesti od osumnjičenika ... Državni odvjetnik ima pravo biti nazočan ispitivanju. Zapisnici redarstvenih vlasti o [svakom] iskazu osumnjičenika u nazočnosti branitelja mogu se upotrijebiti kao dokaz u kaznenom postupku.

...”

„...

Članak 225.

(2) Okrivljeniku će se priopćiti zašto se okrivljuje i koje su osnovne sumnje protiv njega, a upozorit će se da nije dužan iznijeti svoju obranu nitiodgovarati na pitanja.

...”

61. Zakon o kaznenom postupku, s izmjenama iz 2011. godine, određuje kako slijedi:

Članak 502.

„...

(2) Odredbe o obnovi kaznenog postupka će se primijeniti i u slučaju kada je podnesen zahtjev za izmjenu pravomoćne sudske odluke na temelju konačne presude Europskog suda za ljudska prava kojom je utvrđena povreda prava i sloboda iz Konvencije za zaštitu ljudskih prava i temeljnih sloboda.

(3) Zahtjev za obnovom postupka na temelju konačne presude Europskog suda za ljudska prava može se podnijeti u roku od trideset dana od datuma konačnosti presude Europskog suda za ljudska prava.”

Članak 574.

„...

(2) Ako je do stupanja na snagu ovog Zakona donesena kakva odluka protiv koje je po odredbama zakona po kojem je postupak vođen dopušten pravni lijek ili još teče rok za podnošenje pravnog lijeka, ili je pravni lijek podnesen, ali o njemu još nije odlučeno, u tom postupku primijenit će se odredbe zakona po kojem je donesena odluka, osim ako ovim Zakonom nije drukčije propisano.

(3) Odredbe članka 497. – 508. ovog Zakona na odgovarajući način će se primjenjivati i u postupcima povodom zahtjeva za obnovu kaznenog postupkapodnesenima po odredbama Zakona o kaznenom postupku (,Narodne novine’, br. 110/97., 27/98., 58/99., 112/99., 58/02., 143/02., 62/03. i 115/06.).”

 

B. Mjerodavni materijali međunarodnog prava

Pravo pristupa odvjetniku po vlastitom izboru tijekom policijskog zadržavanja

(a) Vijeće Europe

(i) Pravila usvojena od strane Odbora ministara

62. Pravilo 93 Standardnih minimalnih pravila za postupanje sa zatvorenicima (Rezolucija (73)5 Odbora ministara Vijeća Europe) navodi:

Zatvorenik kojem nije suđeno ima pravo, odmah po pritvaranju, izabrati svojeg pravnog zastupnika ... i primati posjete svojeg pravnog stručnjaka s ciljem obrane i kako bi se pripremao te mu davao i od njega primao povjerljive upute. Na njegov zahtjev dobiva sve potrebne prostore u tu svrhu. ... Razgovori između zatvorenika i njegova pravna savjetnika mogu biti u vidnom, ali ne i u slušnom, izravnom ili neizravnom, polju policije ili službenika institucije.”

63. Nadalje, preporuka Odbora ministara državama članicama Vijeća Europe o Europskim zatvorskim pravilima Rec (2006)2, usvojenim 11. siječnja 2006. na 952. sjednici zamjenika ministara, u mjeri u kojoj su mjerodavna glase:

„Pravna pomoć

23.1 Svi zatvorenici imaju pravo na pravnu pomoć, a uprave zatvora će osigurati im prikladne prostorije kako bi imali pristup takvoj pomoći.

23.2 Zatvorenici se o bilo kojoj pravnoj stvari mogu savjetovati s pravnim stručnjakom po vlastitom izboru i o svom trošku.

...

23.5 Sudbene vlasti mogu u iznimnim okolnostima odrediti ograničenja povjerljivosti u svrhu sprječavanja ozbiljnog kaznenog djela ili teškog narušavanja sigurnosti zatvorenika i osiguranja zatvora.”

 

(ii) Izvješće Vladi Republike Hrvatske o posjeti Europskog odbora za sprečavanje mučenja i nečovječnog ili ponižavajućeg postupanja ili kažnjavanja (CPT) Hrvatskoj od 4. do 14. svibnja 2007.

64. Relevantan dio ovog izvješća glasi kako slijedi:

18. Većina osoba, s kojima je delegacija vodila razgovor tijekom posjete 2007. godine navela je da su bili obaviješteni o svojem pravu pristupa odvjetniku ubrzo nakon njihova privođenja. Ipak, kao i tijekom prethodnih posjeta, ispostavilo se da je brojnim osobama koje je policija privela dopušteno uživati to pravo tek neko vrijeme nakon privođenja, posebice nakon što je od njih pribavljena izjava o određenom kaznenom djelu.

Činjenica da osobama pozvanima u policijsku postaju radi ,informativnih razgovora’ još uvijek nije dopušten pristup odvjetniku još je jedno pitanje koje zabrinjava Odbor. Policijski službenici s kojima je delegacija razgovarala naveli su da se, u kontekstu takvih ,razgovora’, pristup odvjetniku može biti odobren samo kada se osoba formalno proglasi osumnjičenikom.

U svjetlu prethodno navedenoga, CPT ponovno poziva hrvatske vlasti da poduzmu učinkovite korake, bez ikakvog dodatnog odlaganja, kako bi seosiguralo da pravo pristupa odvjetniku (uključujući pravo da odvjetnik bude prisutan tijekom policijskog ispitivanja) uživaju sve osobe koje policija pritvori, od samog početka uskraćivanja njihove slobode. Ovo pravo treba se primijeniti ne samo na osumnjičenike za počinjenje kaznenih djela koji su zakonski obvezni prisustvovati – i ostati – u prostorima policije. Ako je to nužno, zakon treba izmijeniti. Naravno, činjenica da je pritvorena osoba izjavila da želi imati pristup odvjetniku ne treba sprečavati policiju pri započinjanju ispitivanja/razgovora s njom o hitnim pitanjima prije nego što odvjetnik dođe. Također je moguće načiniti odredbe za zamjenu odvjetnika koji onemogućuje ispravno vođenje ispitivanja uz razumijevanje da se takva mogućnost treba strogo ograničiti i podvrgavati odgovarajućim zaštitnim mehanizmima.

19. CPT je zabrinut zbog toga što je, tijekom posjete 2007. godine, hrvatski sustav pravne pomoći prikazivao iste nedostatke kao 2003. godine. U brojnim slučajevima odvjetnici po službenoj dužnosti nisu imali nikakvog kontakta s pritvorenim osobama do prve sudske rasprave. Pored toga, u nekim su slučajevima pritvorene osobe izrazile skepticizam u pogledu neovisnosti odvjetnika po službenoj dužnosti o policiji. CPT ponavlja svoje preporuke da sustav besplatne pravne pomoći pritvorenim osobama bude preispitan kako bi se osigurala njegova učinkovitost od samog početka policijskog pritvora. Posebnu pažnju treba posvetiti pitanju neovisnosti odvjetnika po službenoj dužnosti o policiji.”

(iii) Izvješće Vladi Republike Hrvatske o posjeti CPT-a Hrvatskoj od 19. do 27. rujna 2012.

65. Relevantan dio ovog izvješća glasi kako slijedi:

„19. Delegacija CPT-a je također zaprimila neke navode kako pritvorene osobe nisu imale mogućnost pristupa odvjetniku kojega su imenovale jer su policijski službenici smatrali da je njihova jedina dužnost kontaktirati odvjetnike po službenoj dužnosti sa standardnog popisa umjesto da izravno kontaktiraju određenog odvjetnika.

CPT preporuča da se policijske službenike podsjeti da osobe kojima je policija uskratila slobodu imaju pravo pristupa odvjetniku po njihovom vlastitom odabiru; ako pritvorena osoba zatraži pristup određenom odvjetniku, tada taj kontakt treba omogućiti; odvjetnika po službenoj dužnosti sa standardnogpopisa treba kontaktirati samo ako prvog imenovanog odvjetnika nije moguće kontaktirati ili ako se on ne pojavi.”

(b) Ujedinjeni narodi

Međunarodni pakt o građanskim i političkim pravima

66. Članak 14. stavak 3.(b) Međunarodnog pakta o građanskim i političkim pravima (ICCPR) navodi da svatko tko je optužen za kazneno djelo ima pravo na to da „ima dovoljno vremena i prostorija na raspolaganju za pripremu svoje obrane i za konzultacije s braniteljem po svojem izboru”.

PRAVO

I. NAVODNE POVREDE ČLANKA 6. STAVAKA 1. I 3.(c) KONVENCIJE

67. Podnositelj zahtjeva žalio se da nije imao pravedno suđenje jer mu nije dopušteno da ga zastupa odvjetnik G.M. tijekom policijskog ispitivanja. Poziva se na članak 6. stavke 1. i 3.(c) Konvencije koji u mjerodavnom dijelu glasi kako slijedi:

„1. Radi utvrđivanja ... optužnice za kazneno djelo protiv njega svatko ima pravo da ... sud pravično ... ispita njegov slučaj.

3. Svatko optužen za kazneno djelo ima najmanje sljedeća prava:

...

(c) da se brani sam ili uz branitelja po vlastitom izboru, a ako nema dovoljno sredstava platiti branitelja, ima pravo na besplatnog branitelja, kad to nalažu interesi pravde;

...”

A. Zaključci Vijeća

68. Vijeće je koncentriralo svoje razmatranje na pitanje prava podnositelja zahtjeva da angažira branitelja prema vlastitom odabiru i na pitanje je li uslijed izostanka te prigode na njega izvršen utjecaj, u okruženju prisile, da se inkriminira bez upotrebe učinkovite pravne pomoći. Zaključilo je, imajući na umu da se podnositelj zahtjeva nije nikada požalio na kvalitetu usluge što ju je pružio odvjetnik M.R., da je prvostupanjski sud odgovorio na prigovor podnositelja zahtjeva u pogledu njegova zastupanja tijekom policijskog ispitivanja; priznanje podnositelja zahtjeva nije imalo središnju ulogu za predmet tužiteljstva, i nije bilo nikakvog dokaza da je izvršen ikakav pritisak na podnositelja zahtjeva da prizna počinjenje kaznenog djela. Promatrajući poštenost postupka kao cjeline, Vijeće je utvrdilo da prava podnositelja zahtjeva na obranu nisu bila nepopravljivo ugrožena, niti je izvršen nepovoljan utjecaj na njegovo pravo na pošteno suđenje na temelju članka 6. Konvencije. Vijeće je odlučilo da nije došlo do povrede članka 6.

 

B. Tvrdnje stranaka pred Velikim vijećem

1. Podnositelj zahtjeva

69. Podnositelj zahtjeva je tvrdio da je prilikom policijskog ispitivanja želio da ga zastupa odvjetnik G.M. jer je G.M. bio njegov odvjetnik u drugom predmetu i podnositelj zahtjeva mu je vjerovao. Štoviše, njegovi su roditelji angažirali G.M. da ga zastupa. Ipak, policija je spriječila G.M. da ga vidi.

70. Policija mu nije dala popis odvjetnika iz kojega bi odabrao svog branitelja. Policija je pozvala drugog odvjetnika, M.R., i dala mu samo dvadeset i pet minuta da razgovara s podnositeljem zahtjeva što, uzimajući u obzir složenost i ozbiljnost optužbi protiv njega, jasno da nije bilo dovoljno. M.R. je zahtijevao da policija počne ispitivanje što je ranije moguće s obzirom na kasno doba dana.

2. Vlada

71. Vlada je tvrdila da je podnositelj zahtjeva već oko 14:00 sati 13. ožujka 2007. bio svjestan da ga policija želi ispitati u vezi s tri ubojstva, oružanom pljačkom i paležom, no nije pokušao kontaktirati odvjetnika G.M. prije ispitivanja.

72. Kada ga je policija uhitila u 9:50 sati ujutro 14. ožujka 2007., podnositelj zahtjeva se prvo odrekao svog prava na odvjetnika. Oko osam sati kasnije, promijenio je mišljenje i zatražio odvjetnika. Policija mu je tada dala popis odvjetnika iz područja kaznenog prava u Primorsko-goranskoj županiji, s kojega je on odabrao M.R. svojom slobodnom voljom. Po dolasku M.R.-a potpisao je punomoć, a da ga policija nije prisilila da to učini. Stoga je M.R. bio odvjetnik po vlastitom izboru podnositelja zahtjeva. Vlada je naglasila da su to činjenice i da sve druge tvrdnje podnositelja zahtjeva, napose one što se odnose na odvjetnika G.M., predstavljaju puko nagađanje.

73. Vlada je nadalje tvrdila da nije bilo dokaza da je G.M. 14. ožujka 2007. imao punomoć potpisanu od ijednog roditelja podnositelja zahtjeva. Čak i da je G.M. bio odvjetnik imenovan od strane bilo kojeg od roditelja podnositelja zahtjeva, nije bio odvjetnik prema vlastitom izboru podnositelja zahtjeva jer je podnositelj zahtjeva odabrao M.R. da ga zastupa.

74. Policija je ispitivala podnositelja zahtjeva u brojnim ranijim prigodama (u prošlosti je uhićen dvadeset i dva puta) i stoga je bio upoznat sa situacijom u kojoj se našao. U svakoj od tih prigoda zastupao ga je različiti odvjetnik. Da je želio da ga zastupa G.M., ukazao bi tako policiji. Međutim, on to nije učinio.

75. Podnositelj zahtjeva nikada nije prigovorio domaćim sudovima u pogledu kvalitete usluge što ju je pružio odvjetnik M.R. Vlada je tvrdila da su domaći sudovi osigurali dovoljno obrazloženje kao odgovor na prigovor podnositelja zahtjeva da ga nije zastupao odvjetnik prema njegovom vlastitom izboru tijekom ispitivanja u policijskoj postaji. Činjenica da je podnositelj zahtjeva odabrao dati priznanje po optužbama protiv njega nije bila neobična jer je podnositelj zahtjeva prethodno priznao počinjenje tri kaznena djela za koja je bio optužen u drugim kaznenim postupcima, jedne prigode i u prisutnosti odvjetnika G.M.

 

C. Ocjena Velikog vijeća

1. Opća načela

76. Sud ponavlja da, čak i ako je prvenstvena svrha članka 6. Konvencije, u onoj mjeri u kojoj se odnosi na kaznene postupke, osigurati pošteno suđenje od strane „suda” nadležnog za utvrđivanje „podizanja optužnice za kazneno djelo”, ne slijedi da članak nema nikakvu primjenu u istražnim postupcima. Stoga članak 6. – posebno stavak 3. istoga – može biti mjerodavan prije nego što se predmet uputi na suđenje ako, i u onoj mjeri u kojoj, poštenost suđenja može biti ozbiljno ugrožena početnim nepridržavanjem njegovih odredbi. Kako je Sud već presudio u svojim prethodnim presudama, pravo opisano u članku 6. stavku 3.(c) Konvencije je jedan element, između ostalih, koncepta poštenog suđenja u kaznenim postupcima sadržanog u članku 6. stavku 1. (vidi Imbrioscia protiv Švicarske, 24. studenoga 1993., st. 36. i 37., serija A, br. 275, i Salduz protiv Turske[VV], br. 36391/02, st. 50., ESLJP 2008.).

77. Sud je presudio da kako bi uživao svoje pravo na obranu, okrivljenik treba inače imati učinkovitu pomoć odvjetnika od početnih faza postupka zbog toga što nacionalni zakoni mogu pridodati posljedice pristupu okrivljenika u početnim fazama policijskog ispitivanja koje su odlučujuće za uspjeh obrane u svim naknadnim kaznenim postupcima (vidi Salduz, prethodno navedeno, st. 52.). Sud je također prepoznao da se okrivljenik često nađe u posebno ranjivom položaju u toj fazi postupka, i u većini slučajeva to se jedino može na odgovarajući način kompenzirati putem usluge odvjetnika čiji je zadatak, između ostaloga, pomoći osigurati da se poštuje pravo okrivljenika da ne inkriminira samoga sebe (ibid., st. 54.; vidi i Pavlenko protiv Rusije, br. 42371/02, st. 101., 1. travnja 2010.).

78. U takvim okolnostima, Sud smatra važnim da od početnih faza postupaka osoba optužena za počinjenje kaznenog djela, koja se ne želi sama braniti, mora imati mogućnost pravne pomoći prema vlastitom izboru (za detaljnije obrazloženje vidiMartin protiv Estonije, br. 35985/09, st. 90. i 93., 30. svibnja 2013.). Ovo proistječe iz same formulacije članka 6. stavka 3.(c) koji jamči da „[s]vatko optužen za kazneno djelo ima najmanje sljedeća prava: ... da se brani ... uz branitelja po vlastitom izboru ...”, i općenito je priznato u međunarodnim normama o ljudskim pravima kao mehanizam za osiguravanje učinkovite obrane okrivljenika. Sud naglašava da poštenost postupka zahtijeva da okrivljenik treba moći pribaviti cijeli niz usluga posebice povezanih s pravnom pomoći (vidi Dayanan protiv Turske, br. 7377/03, st. 32., 13. listopada 2009., i stavak 110. u nastavku).

79. Bez obzira na važnost povjerljivosti odnosa između odvjetnika i njegovog klijenta, ovo pravo nije apsolutno. Ono nužno podliježe određenim ograničenjima gdje se ono povezuje s besplatnom pravnom pomoći i također gdje je na sudovima da odluče zahtijevaju li interesi pravde da okrivljenika brani branitelj kojega oni imenuju (vidi Croissant protiv Njemačke, 25. rujna 1992., st.29., serija A, br.237-B). Sud je dosljedno presuđivao da nacionalne vlasti moraju uzimati u obzir želje tuženika u pogledu njegovog izbora pravnog zastupnika, no mogu postupiti suprotno tim željama kada postojivažna i dostatna podloga da bi se to smatralo nužnim u interesu pravde (ibid., st. 29.; vidi i Meftah i drugi protiv Francuske[VV], br. 32911/96, 35237/97 i 34595/97, st. 45., ESLJP 2002-VII; Mayzit protiv Rusije, br. 63378/00, st. 66., 20. siječnja 2005.; Klimentyev protiv Rusije, br. 46503/99, st. 116., 16. studenog 2006.; Vitan protiv Rumunjske, br. 42084/02, st. 59., 25. ožujka 2008.; Pavlenko, prethodno navedeno, st. 98.; Zagorodniy protiv Ukrajine, br. 27004/06, st. 52., 24. studenog 2011.; iMartin, prethodno navedeno, st. 90.). Kada takve podloge nema, ograničenje slobodnog izbora branitelja bi uključivalo kršenje članka 6. stavka 1. zajedno sa stavkom 3.(c) kada bi se time nepovoljno utjecalo na obranu podnositelja zahtjeva, uzimajući u obzir postupak kao cjelinu (ibid., st. 31.; vidi i Meftah i drugi, prethodno navedeno, st. 46.–47.; Vitan, prethodno navedeno, st. 58.–64.; Zagorodniy, prethodno navedeno, st. 53.–55.; i Martin, prethodno navedeno, st. 90.–97.).

80. Štoviše, uzimajući u obzir prethodno spomenuta pitanja, kako je Sud potvrdio u svojoj presudi u predmetu Salduz, kako bi pravo na pošteno suđenje ostalo „praktično i učinkovito”, članak 6. stavak 1. zahtijeva da, u pravilu, pristup odvjetniku treba osigurati od prvog policijskog ispitivanja osumnjičenika osim ukoliko je pokazano u svjetlu posebnih okolnosti svakog predmeta da postoje uvjerljivi razlozi da se ograniči ovo pravo. Čak i kada uvjerljivi razlozi mogu iznimno opravdati uskraćivanje pristupa odvjetniku, takvo ograničenje – bez obzira na njegovo opravdanje – ne smiju neopravdano ugroziti prava okrivljenika na temelju članka 6. Prava na obranu u načelu će biti nepovratno ugrožena kada se inkriminirajuće izjavedane tijekom policijskog ispitivanja bez pristupa odvjetniku upotrebljavaju za pribavljanje osuđujuće presude (vidi Salduz, prethodno navedeno, st. 55.–57. i vidi i Panovits protiv Cipra, br. 4268/04, st. 66., 11. prosinca 2008.).

81. Za razliku od predmeta Salduz, gdje je okrivljeniku, držanom u pritvoru, uskraćen pristup odvjetniku tijekom policijskog ispitivanja, ovaj se predmet odnosi na situaciju gdje je podnositelju zahtjeva omogućen pristup odvjetniku od njegovog prvog ispitivanja, no ne – prema njegovom prigovoru – odvjetniku prema njegovom izboru. Za razliku od predmeta koji uključuju uskraćivanje pristupa, u situacijama iz kojih proistječe manje ozbiljno pitanje „uskraćivanja izbora” primjenjuje se blaži zahtjev „mjerodavnih i dovoljnih” razloga. U takvim predmetima zadatak Suda će biti ocijeniti je li, u svjetlu postupka kao cjeline, na prava obrane izvršen „nepovoljan utjecaj” u onakvoj mjeri kakva bi potkopala njegovu sveukupnu poštenost (vidi, na primjer, Croissant, prethodno navedeno, st. 31.; Klimentyev, prethodno navedeno, st. 117.–118.; i Martin, prethodno navedeno, st. 96.–97.).

82. Na ovaj se predmet primjenjuje potonji test. U svjetlu prethodno navedenoga, Sud smatra da prvi korak treba biti ocjenjivanje je li prikazano u svjetlu posebnih okolnosti svakog predmeta da su postojali važni i dostatni razlozi za ometanje ili postupanje suprotno željama tuženika u pogledu njegovog ili njezinog izbora pravnog zastupnika. Tamo gdje takvi razlozi postoje, Sud treba dalje ocijeniti sveukupnu poštenost kaznenog postupka. Pri donošenju ocjene, Sud može uzeti u obzir različite činitelje, uključujući prirodu postupka i primjenu određenih profesionalnih uvjeta (vidi Meftah i drugi, prethodno navedeno, st. 45.–48., i Martin, prethodno navedeno, st. 90.); okolnosti dodjeljivanja branitelja i postojanje prigoda za osporavanje istoga (ibid., st. 90.–97.); učinkovitost braniteljeve pomoći (vidi Croissant, prethodno navedeno, st. 31., i Vitan, prethodno navedeno, st. 58.–64.); je li poštovano pravo okrivljenika da ne inkriminira sam sebe (vidi Martin, prethodno navedeno, st. 90.); starost okrivljenika (ibid., st. 92.); i upotreba, od strane prvostupanjskog suda, svih izjava što ih jeokrivljenik dao u relevantno vrijeme (vidi, na primjer, Croissant, prethodno navedeno, st. 31., Klimentyev, prethodno navedeno, st. 117.–118.; i Martin, prethodno navedeno, st. 94.–95.). On nadalje ima na umu da je namjena Konvencije zajamčiti prava koja su praktična i učinkovita, a ne teoretska i iluzorna (vidi, između brojnih drugih izvora, Airey protiv Irske, 9. listopada 1979., st. 24., serija A, br. 32; Imbrioscia, prethodno navedeno, st. 38.; Goddi protiv Italije, 9. travnja 1984., st. 30., serija A, br. 76; i Salduz, prethodno navedeno, st. 55.) te da se pri utvrđivanju konvencijskih prava često mora promatrati dalje od privida i koncentrirati se na realnost situacije (vidi, inter alia, Delcourt protiv Belgije, 17. siječnja 1970., st. 31., serija A, br. 11; De Jong, Baljet i Van den Brink protiv Nizozemske, 22. svibnja 1984., st. 48., serija A, br. 77; Pavlenko, prethodno navedeno, st. 112.; i Erkapić protiv Hrvatske, br. 51198/08, st. 80.–82., 25. travnja 2013.). U predmetima gdje okrivljenik nema pravnog zastupnika Sud je također uzeo u obzir mogućnost danu optuženiku da ospori autentičnost dokaza i suprotstavi se njihovom korištenju (vidi Panovits, prethodno navedeno, st. 82.), je li okrivljenik u pritvoru (Salduz, prethodno navedeno, st. 60.); predstavljaju li takve izjave značajan element na kojemu se temeljila osuđujuća presuda i snagu drugih dokaza u predmetu (Salduz, prethodno navedeno, st. 57.; i Panovits, prethodno navedeno, st. 76. i 82.).

 

2. Primjena ovih načela na ovaj predmet

(a) Je li podnositelja zahtjeva zastupao odvjetnik odabran na temelju njegovog vlastitog informiranog odabira?

83. Dana 14. ožujka 2007 između 20:10 sati i 23:00 sata, policija je ispitala podnositelja zahtjeva kao osumnjičenika u prisutnosti odvjetnika M.R. (vidi prethodne stavke 20. i 21.). Izjava koju je podnositelj zahtjeva dao policiji upotrijebljena je kao dokaz u kaznenom postupku protiv njega (vidi, nasuprot tome, Bandaletov protiv Ukrajine, br. 23180/06, st. 60. i 68., 31. listopada 2013.).

84. Prema Vladi, jedna sigurna činjenica koja se odnosi na zastupanje podnositelja zahtjeva tijekom policijskog ispitivanja bila je da je on po svojoj slobodnoj volji odabrao da ga zastupa M.R.; svi navodi u pogledu želje podnositelja zahtjeva da ga zastupa drugi odvjetnik, G.M., bili su čisto nagađanje (vidi prethodne stavke 68.–70.).

85. Vijeće je tvrdnje podnositelja zahtjeva o prisili proglasilo nedopuštenima (vidi presudu Vijeća od 28. studenog 2013., st.73.). Sud također primjećuje da su nacionalni sudovi utvrdili, uz pomoć vještaka za rukopis, da je podnositelj zahtjeva zaista potpisao punomoć u korist odvjetnika M.R. (vidi prethodni stavak 39.).

86. Ipak, Sud primjećuje da je već u jutro 14. ožujka 2007., odvjetnik G.M. obavijestio zamjenike Županijskog državnog odvjetnika u Rijeci, D.K. i I.B., o svom neuspješnom pokušaju stupanja u kontakt s podnositeljem zahtjeva, koji je bio u Policijskoj postaji Rijeka. U tom je smislu načinjena službena bilješka i Županijski sud u Rijeci je također odmah obaviješten(vidjeti prethodni stavak 14.). U njegovom prigovoru, podnesenom tijekom poslijepodneva 14. ožujka 2007. načelniku Policijske uprave Primorsko- goranske g. V., G.M. je tvrdio da je opet pokušao vidjeti podnositelja zahtjeva između 15:00 sati i 15:30 sati, no opet mu je policija rekla da se udalji.

87. Dan nakon policijskog ispitivanja, kada je podnositelj zahtjeva doveden istražnom sucu i upitan tko je njegov odvjetnik, požalio se da nije angažirao M.R. i da je izričito zahtijevao da ga G.M. zastupa tijekom policijskog ispitivanja. Tvrdio je da ga policija nikada nije obavijestila da ga je G.M. pokušao kontaktirati. U tom trenutku, dok ga je ispitivao istražni sudac, podnositelja zahtjeva više nije zastupao M.R. već G.M. (vidi prethodni stavak 22.).

88. U svom dodatnom zahtjevu istražnom sucu od 16. ožujka 2007., G.M. je detaljno opisao postupanje policije i iznio svoje primjedbe u tom pogledu (vidi prethodni stavak 23.).

89. Također, tijekom suđenja podnositelj zahtjeva se požalio da je policija odbila dopustiti odvjetniku G.M. da ga kontaktira 14. ožujka 2007. i zatražio je od prvostupanjskog suda da sasluša svjedočenje G.M., no njegov je zahtjev odbijen kao nebitan (vidi prethodni stavak 44.).

90. U svim podnescima je navedeno da je G.M. angažiran od strane roditelja podnositelja zahtjeva da zastupa podnositelja zahtjeva tijekom policijskog ispitivanja i da je policija uskratila G.M. pristup podnositelju zahtjeva premda je on zaista došao u policijsku postaju prije nego što je ispitivanje podnositelja zahtjeva počelo i prije nego što je odvjetnik M.R. pozvan u policijsku postaju. Također se tvrdi da, premda je u jutro 14. ožujka 2007. G.M. imao samo usmeno ovlaštenje majke podnositelja zahtjeva, to je poslijepodne njegov odvjetnički vježbenik pokazao pisanu punomoć koju je dao otac podnositelja zahtjeva (vidi prethodni stavak 16.).

91. Stoga je podnositelj zahtjeva, putem njegovih vlastitih postupaka i onih njegovog odvjetnika, jasno skrenuo pozornost na okolnosti u kojima je G.M. pokušao stupiti u kontakt s njim prije njegovog policijskog ispitivanja.

92. U tim okolnostima, Sud smatra utvrđenim u dovoljnoj mjeri da je G.M. angažiran od strane jednog ili oba roditelja podnositelja zahtjeva, da je on pokušao u više od jednog navrata tijekom 14. ožujka 2007. vidjeti podnositelja zahtjeva u Policijskoj postaji Rijeka i da su mu policijski službenici rekli da ode bez da su obavijestili podnositelja zahtjeva da je G.M. došao kako bi ga vidio. Nadalje, sud se uvjerio da su posjete i zahtjevi G.M. da vidi podnositelja zahtjeva u policijskoj postaji nastupili prije nego što je policijsko ispitivanje podnositelja zahtjeva počelo.

93. Stoga, premda je podnositelj zahtjeva formalno odabrao da ga odvjetnik M.R. zastupa tijekom policijskog ispitivanja, taj odabir nije bio informirani odabir zbog toga što podnositelj zahtjeva nije imao saznanja da je drugi odvjetnik, kojega su angažirali njegovi roditelji, došao u policijsku postaju kako bi ga vidio, vjerojatno kako bi ga zastupao.

(b) Jesu li postojali važni i dostatni razlozi u interesu pravde da se ograniči pristup podnositelja zahtjeva do G.M.?

94. Sud primjećuje da je jedini razlog kojega je Vlada navela za nedopuštanje pristupa G.M. podnositelju zahtjeva bila činjenica da G.M., prema viđenju Vlade, nije imao ispravnu punomoć za njegovo zastupanje. Istovremeno, Vlada nije osporavala da podnositelj zahtjeva nije bio obaviješten u mjerodavno vrijeme da ga je G.M. pokušavao vidjeti u policijskoj postaji.

95. Ipak, Sud primjećuje da je G.M. tvrdio pred nacionalnim tijelima vlasti da su mu roditelji podnositelja zahtjeva zapravo dali pisanu punomoć 14. ožujka 2007. Čini se da te tvrdnje nikada nisu uvjerljivo opovrgnute u domaćem postupku. Štoviše, u spis predmeta, koji je sastavio istražni sudac 15. ožujka 2007. kada je mu je policija dovela podnositelja zahtjeva, zaprimljenaje pisana punomoć.

96. Mjerodavno domaće pravo jasno je u pogledu činjenice da branitelja može angažirati sam osumnjičenik ili njegovi rođaci, uključujući njegove roditelje (vidi članak 62. Zakona o kaznenom postupku, prethodni stavak 59.). U skladu s člankom 62. stavkom 6. osumnjičenim može usmeno ovlastiti odvjetnika da postupa u njegovo ime tijekom postupka. Cilj članka 62. stavka 4. Zakona o kaznenom postupku, koji određuje da bliski rođaci okrivljenika mogu angažirati odvjetnika, no da okrivljenik može izričito odbiti odabranog odvjetnika, ne može biti postignut osim ako je okrivljenik obaviješten da su njegovi ili njezini bliski rođaci angažirali odvjetnika za njega odnosno nju. To je, u svakom slučaju, obvezivalo policiju da bar obavijesti podnositelja zahtjeva da je G.M. došao u policijsku postaju i da su ga njegovi roditelji ovlastili da ga zastupa. Ipak, policija je propustila obavijestiti podnositelja zahtjeva o tome, te je također odbila G.M.-u pristup k njemu.

97. Taj propust i odbijanje teško može biti objašnjeno činjenicom da je podnositelj zahtjeva kasnije potpisao punomoć kojom ovlašćuje M.R. da bude prisutan tijekom njegovog policijskog ispitivanja. Kako je već spomenuto, tako je postupio niti u jednom trenutku ne bivajući svjestan da mu odvjetnik G.M. pokušava pomoći nakon što su ga tako uputili njegovi roditelji.

98. Niti dokumenti u spisu kaznenog predmeta ne otkrivaju nikakvo opravdanje za propuste i postupke policije koji su doveli do toga da je podnositelju zahtjeva uskraćena mogućnost odabira želi li da mu G.M. pomaže tijekom ispitivanja. Štoviše, sukladno pisanom zapisniku o usmenom svjedočenju podnositelja zahtjeva danoga pred istražnim sucem 15. ožujka 2007., dan nakon njegovog uhićenja, podnositelj zahtjeva je naveo da je njegov odabrani odvjetnik G.M. i da su mu policijski službenici uskratili pristup do G.M. Također je rekao da nije angažirao M.R. kao svog odvjetnika (vidi prethodni stavak 22.).

99. U tim okolnostima, Sud nije uvjeren da je osporavano ograničenje mogućnosti podnositelja zahtjeva da imenuje G.M. da ga zastupa od početne faze policijskog ispitivanja, koje ograničenje je proisteklo iz postupka policije, imalo uporište u važnimi dostatnim razlozima (za primjere važnih i dostatnih razloga vidi Meftah i drugi, prethodno navedeno, st. 45.; Mayzit, prethodno navedeno, st. 68.; Popov protiv Rusije, br. 26853/04, st. 173., 13. srpnja 2006.; i također Zagorodniy, prethodno navedeno, st. 53., u vezi s manjkom kvalifikacija zastupnika; Vitan, prethodno navedeno, st. 59.–63., gdje se odvjetnik po odabiru tuženika nije pojavio na suđenju, bez opravdanog razloga; Croissant, prethodno navedeno, st. 30., u vezi s imenovanjem dodatnog odvjetnika radi osiguravanja ispravnog provođenja postupka; Prehn protiv Njemačke (odluka), br. 40451/06, 24. kolovoza 2010., u vezi sa zamjenom odvjetnika koji nije djelovao u istom sudu i nalazi se daleko, čime se ometa ispravno odvijanje postupka; i Klimentyev, prethodno navedeno, st. 118., gdje je tuženika zastupalo nekoliko odvjetnika, pri čemu neki od njih nisu mogli sudjelovati u postupku).

(c) Je li se podnositelj zahtjeva odrekao svog prava da ga zastupa odvjetnik po njegovom vlastitom odabiru?

100. Sud je presudio da članak 6. Konvencije ni slovom ni svojim duhom ne sprječava osobu da se vlastitom voljom, bilo izričito ili prešutno, odrekne prava jamstva na pošteno suđenje. Međutim, takvo odricanje mora, da bi proizvodilo učinke za potrebe Konvencije, biti utvrđeno na nedvosmislen način i ne smije biti suprotno bilo kojem važnom javnom interesu (vidiSejdovic protiv Italije [VV], br. 56581/00, st. 86., ESLJP 2006-II), i mora biti praćeno minimalnim jamstvima koja su razmjerna njegovoj važnosti (vidi Poitrimol protiv Francuske, 23. studenoga 1993., st. 31., serija A, br. 277-A).

101. S tim u vezu, može se ponoviti da je pravo na branitelja, kao temeljno pravo među onima koja sačinjavaju pojampoštenog suđenja i osiguravanja učinkovitosti ostalih jamstava opisanih u članku 6. Konvencije, najbolji primjer onih prava koja zahtijevaju posebnu zaštitu standarda „poznavanja i inteligentnog odricanja” utvrđenog u sudskoj praksi Suda (vidiPishchalnikov protiv Rusije, br. 7025/04, st. 77.–79., 24. rujna 2009.). Prema viđenju Suda, takav se standard treba primjenjivati na odabir odvjetnika podnositelja zahtjeva u ovom predmetu.

102. Kako je Sud već primijetio, podnositelj zahtjeva nije imao saznanja da je G.M., kojega su angažirali njegovi roditelji, došao u policijsku postaju kako bi se susreo s njim. Sud također primjećuje da je podnositelj zahtjeva osporavao ono što je okarakterizirao kao „nametanje” odvjetnika M.R. tijekom policijskog ispitivanja, prvo prilikom njegovog početnog ispitivanja pred istražnim sucem i kasnije tijekom cijelog postupka. U tim okolnostima, nije moguće tvrditi da se potpisivanjem punomoći i davanjem izjave policiji podnositelj zahtjeva nedvojbeno odrekao, bilo prešutno ili izrijekom, bilo kojeg prava koje je imao na temelju članka 6. Konvencije da ga zastupa odvjetnik odabran na temelju njegovog informiranog odabira.

(d) Je li ugrožena pravednost postupka kao cjeline?

103. Posvetivši se potom pitanju je li posljedično ograničenje uživanja informiranog odabira odvjetnika podnositelja zahtjeva nepovoljno utjecalo na poštenost postupka kao cjeline, Sud odmah primjećuje da je iskaz podnositelja zahtjeva policiji upotrijebljen za njegovo osuđivanje, premda taj iskaz nije imao središnju ulogu u optužnici tužiteljstva (vidi, za razliku,Magee protiv Ujedinjene Kraljevine, br. 28135/95, st. 45., ESLJP 2000-VI). Također je točno da je prvostupanjski sud promatrao njegov iskaz u svjetlu složenog tijela dokaza izvedenih pred njim (usporedi Bykov protiv Rusije [VV], br. 4378/02, st.103., 10. ožujka 2009.). Konkretno, prilikom osuđivanja podnositelja zahtjeva prvostupanjski sud pozivao se na izjavebrojnih svjedoka koji su tijekom suđenja unakrsno ispitani, izvješća brojnih vještaka i zapisnika o istrazi na mjestu zločina te na pretrage i pljenidbe, kao i na mjerodavne fotografije i ostale fizičke dokaze. Dodatno, prvostupanjski sud na raspolaganju je imao priznanja podnositeljevih suoptuženika dana tijekom suđenja te ni podnositelj zahtjeva ni nijedan od suoptuženika nikada nisu tvrdili da je bilo koje njihovo pravo bilo povrijeđeno kad su dali te izjave.

104. Također, podnositelj zahtjeva tijekom kaznenog postupka nikad nije prigovorio da mu odvjetnik M. R. nije pružio odgovarajuću pravnu pomoć. Štoviše, u njenoj završnoj riječi na kraju suđenja, zastupnica podnositelja zahtjeva je zatražila da sud – u slučaju odbacivanja izjave njenog klijenta da nije kriv – uzme u obzir, prilikom izricanja osude podnositelja zahtjeva, njegovo priznanje dano policiji i njegovo iskreno kajanje (vidi prethodni stavak 47.).

105. U pogledu načina na koji je M.R. odabran da zastupa podnositelja zahtjeva, Sud ukazuje na članak 177. stavak 5. Zakona o kaznenom postupku, koji zahtijeva da okrivljenik treba biti prvo pozvan da angažira odvjetnika prema svom vlastitom odabiru (vidi prethodni stavak 60.). Samo u slučajevima kada odvjetnik kojega ga je osumnjičenik isprva odabrao ne može prisustvovati policijskom ispitivanju u određenom vremenskom roku, treba odabrati zamjenskog odvjetnika s popisa dežurnih odvjetnika danog nadležnom policijskim tijelima od strane županijskih podružnica Hrvatske odvjetničke komore. Ipak, nema uvjerljivog dokaza u dokumentima podnesenima Sudu je li se pridržavalo tih postupaka u predmetu podnositelja zahtjeva. Sud smatra nezadovoljavajućom okolnost da upotrijebljene procedure i donesene odluke nisu pravilno dokumentirane kako bi se izbjegle sve sumnje što su proistekle zbog neopravdanog pritiska u pogledu poštivanja odabira odvjetnika (vidi, mutatis mutandis, Martin, prethodno navedeno, st. 90., i Horvatić Hrvatske, br. 36044/09, st. 80.–82., 17. listopada 2013.).

106. Sud primjećuje da zapisnik o policijskom ispitivanju podnositelja zahtjeva ukazuje da je M.R. došao u policijsku postaju oko 19:45 sati 14. ožujka 2007. i da je ispitivanje podnositelja zahtjeva počelo u 20:10 sati (vidi prethodni stavak 21.). Nema naznake točnog vremena kada su podnositelj zahtjeva i M.R. stvarno počeli razgovarati, niti tamo postoji ikakvo objašnjenje zašto ta informacija nije dana u zapisniku o ispitivanju. Sud također primjećuje da izjava D.H., Županijskog državnog odvjetnika u Rijeci, ukazuje da je M.R. razgovarao s podnositeljem zahtjeva nasamo približno deset minuta (vidi prethodni stavak 25.). Presuda Županijskog suda u Rijeci ukazuje da je M.R. došao u policijsku postaju u 19:45 sati i da je ispitivanje podnositelja zahtjeva počelo u 20:10 sati (vidi prethodni stavak 50.). To je potvrđeno u presudi Vrhovnog suda (vidi prethodni stavak 54.). Prema mišljenju Suda, bez nagađanja o učinkovitosti pravne pomoći što ju je pružio M.R., ovo razdoblje se čini razmjerno kratko imajući na umu opseg i ozbiljnost optužbi što uključuju tri točke optužnice za teška ubojstva i dodatne točke optužnice za oružanu pljačku i palež. U ovom kontekstu treba uzeti u obzir i zahtjeve iz članka 6. stavka 3.(b) da okrivljeniku treba dati dovoljno vrijeme i prostor za pripremu njegove ili njezine obrane.

107. G.M. bi već bio dostupan da pomogne podnositelju zahtjeva ujutro, dugo prije no što je ispitivanje počelo i bio je odvjetnik koga je podnositelj zahtjeva poznavao iz ranijeg predmeta. Da je bio obaviješten od strane policije da je G.M. prisutan i da je stvarno odabrao G.M. da ga zastupa, podnositelj zahtjeva bi imao znatno više vremena da se pripremi zaispitivanje.

108. U vezi s time, Sud ponovno naglašava važnost istražne faze za pripremu kaznenog postupka jer dokazi prikupljeni u ovoj fazi određuju okvir u sklopu kojeg će se na suđenju razmatrati kazneno djelo koje se stavlja na teret (vidi Salduz, prethodno navedeno, st. 54.), i naglašava da osobi optuženoj za počinjenje kaznenog djela treba već u ovoj fazi omogućiti pribjegavanje pravnoj pomoći prema njegovom ili njezinom odabiru (vidi Martin, prethodno navedeno, st. 90.). Poštenost postupka zahtijeva da okrivljenik treba moći pribaviti cijeli niz usluga posebice povezanih s pravnom pomoći. U ovom pogledu, branitelj mora moći osigurati, bez ograničenja, temeljne aspekte obrane te osobe: razgovor o predmetu, organiziranje obrane, prikupljanje dokaza koji su u prilog okrivljeniku, pripremanje za ispitivanje, potpora okrivljeniku u nepovoljnom položaju i provjeravanje uvjeta pritvora (vidi Dayanan, prethodno navedeno, st. 32.).

109. Kada osumnjičenik, kao u ovom predmetu, tvrdi da je imenovanje ili njegov odabir odvjetnika utjecao na ili doveo do davanja inkriminirajuće izjave od strane osumnjičenika na samom početku kaznene istrage, potreban je pažljiv nadzor od strane tijela vlasti, posebno nacionalnih sudova. Ipak, obrazloženje koje su nacionalni sudovi upotrebljavali u ovom predmetu u vezi s pravnim osporavanjem što ga je iznio podnositelj zahtjeva u odnosu na način na koji je policija pribavila njegovo priznanje bilo je daleko od značajnoga. Niti prvostupanjski sud ni istražni sudac ni bilo koje drugo nacionalno tijelo vlasti nisu poduzeli nikakve korake kako bi se pribavilo svjedočenje G.M. ili uključenih policijskih službenika kako bi se utvrdile mjerodavne okolnosti što se odnose na posjet G.M. Policijskoj postaji Rijeka dana 14. ožujka 2007. u vezi s policijskim ispitivanjem podnositelja zahtjeva. Posebice, nacionalni sudovi nisu pokušali dati pravo obrazloženje kojim se potkrepljuje ili opravdava njihova odluka, u smislu vrijednosti poštenog suđenja za kazneno djelo, kako je ugrađeno u članak 6. Konvencije.

110. U tim okolnostima, uzimajući u obzir cilj Konvencije, koji je zaštititi prava koja su praktična i učinkovita (vidi Lisica protiv Hrvatske, br. 20100/06, st. 60, 25. veljače 2010.), Sud nije uvjeren da je podnositelj zahtjeva imao učinkovitu priliku osporiti okolnosti u kojima je M.R. odabran da ga zastupa tijekom policijskog ispitivanja.

111. Pri određivanju je li, uzimajući u obzir kazneni postupak kao cjelinu, podnositelj zahtjeva imao prigodu da se „pravično ... ispita njegov slučaj” u smislu članka 6. stavka 1., Sud mora uzeti u obzir aktivnosti policije u pogledu učinkovitog sprečavanja pristupa podnositelja zahtjeva, na samom početku istrage, odvjetniku kojega je odabrala njegova obitelj i sprečavanja slobodnog odabira njegovog vlastitog odvjetnika, i posljedice postupka policije na kasniji postupak. Primjerice, ako osumnjičenik primi pomoć kvalificiranog odvjetnika, kojega obvezuje profesionalna etika, umjesto drugog odvjetnika kojega bi on ili ona moguće radije imenovao, to samo po sebi nije dovoljno da pokaže kako je cijelo suđenje bilo nepravedno – pod uvjetom da nema dokaza očigledne nesposobnosti ili pristranosti (vidi Artico protiv Italije, 13. svibnja 1980., st. 33., serija A, br. 37). U ovom se predmetu možepretpostaviti da je posljedica postupka policije bila ta da je u njegovom prvom iskazu danom policiji, umjesto da se branio šutnjom što je mogao učiniti, podnositelj zahtjeva izvršio priznanje koje je kasnije upotrijebljeno kao dokaz protiv njega. Također je značajno da se tijekom istrage i kasnijeg suđenja podnositelj zahtjeva nije oslanjao na svoje priznanje, osim u smislu ublažavanja nepovoljne situacije u vezi s kaznom, no iskoristio je prvu prigodu, pred istražnim sucem, da ospori način na koji je policija pribavila priznanje od njega (vidi prethodni stavak 23.). Premda je bilo drugih dokaza protiv njega, Sud ne može zanemariti značajan vjerojatan utjecaj njegovog početnog priznanja na daljnji razvoj kaznenog postupka protiv njega. Ukupno uzevši, prema viđenju suda, objektivna posljedica postupka policije, u sprečavanju odvjetnika kojega je odabrala obitelj podnositelja zahtjeva da ostvari pristup k njemu, bila je takva da je potkopala poštenost kasnijeg kaznenog postupka u onoj mjeri u kojoj je početni inkriminirajući iskaz podnositelja zahtjeva prihvaćen kao dokaz.

(e) Zaključak

112. Sud je utvrdio da policija nije obavijestila podnositelja zahtjeva niti o dostupnosti odvjetnika G.M. da ga savjetuje ni da je G.M. prisutan u Policijskoj postaji Rijeka; da je podnositelj zahtjeva, tijekom policijskog ispitivanja, priznao počinjenje kaznenih djela za koje je optužen i to je priznanje prihvaćeno kao dokaz na njegovom suđenju; i da nacionalni sudovi nisu ispravno obradili to pitanje, a posebice nisu poduzeli odgovarajuće korektivne mjere kojima bi osigurali poštenost. Ti faktori,promatrani kumulativno, nepovratno su ugrozili prava podnositelja zahtjeva na obranu i potkopali poštenost postupka kao cjeline.

113. U skladu s tim, Sud utvrđuje da je u okolnostima ovog predmeta došlo do povrede članka 6. stavaka 1. i 3.(c) Konvencije.

 

II. PRIMJENA ČLANKA 41. KONVENCIJE

114. Člankom 41. Konvencije propisano je:

Ako Sud utvrdi da je došlo do povrede Konvencije i dodatnih protokola, a unutarnje pravo dotične visoke ugovorne stranke omogućava samo djelomičnu odštetu, Sud će, prema potrebi, dodijeliti pravičnu naknadu povrijeđenoj stranci.”

A. Šteta

115. Podnositelj zahtjeva potraživao je 1.795.200,00 hrvatskih kuna (kn) u pogledu nematerijalne štete i dodatni iznos od 400,00 kn za svaki dan, počevši od 26. prosinca 2011., do njegovog puštanja iz zatvora za trpljenje što mu je prouzročeno kaznenim postupkom i kaznom zatvora.

116. Vlada se u vezi s time nije očitovala.

117. Sud ne može nagađati kakav će biti ishod postupka protiv podnositelja zahtjeva. Utvrđivanje kršenja članka 6. stavaka 1. i 3.(c) u ovom predmetu ne implicira da je podnositelj zahtjeva krivo osuđen. Sud smatra da utvrđivanje kršenja predstavlja dovoljnu i pravičnu naknadu. Primjećuje da članak 502. Zakona o kaznenom postupku dopušta mogućnost obnove kaznenog postupka (vidi prethodni stavak 61.). Stoga odbija zahtjev podnositelja za pravednu naknadu (vidi Moser protiv Austrije, br. 12643/02, st. 108., 21. rujna 2006.; Maresti protiv Hrvatske, br. 55759/07, st. 75., 25. lipnja 2009.; Baloga protiv Ukrajine, br. 620/05, st. 38., 16. rujna 2010.; Hanif i Khan protiv Ujedinjene Kraljevine, br. 52999/08 i 61779/08, st. 155., 20. prosinca 2011.; Gürkan protiv Turske, br. 10987/10, st. 26., 3. srpnja 2012.; Denk protiv Austrije, br. 23396/09, st. 24., 5. prosinca 2013.; i Aras protiv Turske (br. 2), br. 15065/07, st. 62., 18. studenog 2014.).

B. Troškovi i izdaci

118. Podnositelj zahtjeva je pred Vijećem potraživao 5.000,00 kn u pogledu troškova podnošenja svoje ustavne tužbe. Osim toga je potraživao 15.683,00 kn u pogledu troškova koji su mu nastali na Sudu.

119. Vlada je prigovorila na potraživanje u pogledu troškova u domaćem postupku.

120. Dana 31. srpnja 2014. i 21. siječnja 2015., podnositelj zahtjeva je podnio dodatan zahtjev u pogledu troškova i izdataka uz onaj koji je podnio pred Vijećem. Dodatno se potraživanje odnosilo na trošak pripreme i zastupanja na raspravi 21. siječnja 2015. Dodatni su troškovi iznosili ukupno 29.279,60 kn.

121. Prema sudskoj praksi Suda, podnositelj zahtjeva ima pravo na naknadu troškova i izdataka samo ukoliko je dokazano da su oni stvarno i nužno nastali i bili razumni glede iznosa. U ovom predmetu, Sud primjećuje da je ustavna tužba koju je podnositelj zahtjeva uložio u vezi s predmetnim kaznenim postupkom bila usmjerena na otklanjanje kršenja koja je Sud utvrdio na temelju članka 6. stavaka 1. i 3.(c) Konvencije. Uzimajući u obzir dokumente koje ima u posjedu i svoju sudsku praksu, Sud razumnim smatra iznos od 6.500,00 EUR u smislu pokrića troškova po svim osnovama, i dodjeljuje ga podnositelju zahtjeva, uvećanog za sve poreze koji bi mu mogli biti zaračunati.

C. Zatezne kamate

122. Sud smatra primjerenim da se stopa zatezne kamate temelji na najnižoj kreditnoj stopi Europske središnje banke uvećanoj za tri postotna boda.

 

IZ TIH RAZLOGA SUD

1. Presuđuje, s omjerom šesnaest glasova naprema jednom glasu, da je došlo do povrede članka 6. stavaka 1. i 3.(c) Konvencije;

2. Presuđuje, s omjerom šesnaest glasova naprema jednom glasu, da samo utvrđivanje kršenja predstavlja dovoljnu i pravičnu naknadu za svu nematerijalnu štetu što ju je pretrpio podnositelj zahtjeva;

3. Presuđuje, s omjerom šesnaest glasova naprema jednom glasu,

(a) da tužena država podnositelju zahtjeva ima, u roku od tri mjeseca isplatiti 6.500,00 EUR (šest tisuća i pet stotina eura) na ime troškova i izdataka, uvećano za sve poreze koji bi se mogli zaračunati podnositelju zahtjeva, a koji iznos je potrebno preračunati u nacionalnu valutu tužene države po tečaju važećem na dan namirenja;
(b) da se od proteka naprijed navedena tri mjeseca do namirenja na prethodno spomenute iznose plaća obična kamata prema stopi koja je jednaka najnižoj kreditnoj stopi Europske središnje banke tijekom razdoblja neplaćanja, uvećanoj za tri postotna boda;

4. Odbija, jednoglasno, preostali dio zahtjeva podnositelja za pravičnu naknadu.

Sastavljeno na engleskom i francuskom jeziku i objavljeno na javnoj raspravi u Zgradi ljudskih prava u Strasbourgu dana 20. listopada 2015.

Lawrence Early pravni savjetnik

Dean Spielmann  predsjednik

 

U skladu s člankom 45. stavkom 2. Konvencije i pravilom 74. stavkom 2. Poslovnika Suda, ovoj se presudi prilažu sljedeća izdvojena mišljenja:

(a) suglasno mišljenje suca Zupančiča;

(b) zajedničko suglasno mišljenje sudaca Kalaydjieve, Pinto de Albuquerquea i Turkoviċa;

(c) suglasno mišljenje suca Silvisa, kojem se pridružio sudac Spielmann; (d) suprotno mišljenje suca Vehabovića.

D.S. T.L.E.

 

PRESUDA DVORSKI PROTIV HRVATSKE – IZDVOJENA MIŠLJENJA

SUGLASNO MIŠLJENJE SUCA ZUPANČIČA

1. Slažem se s ishodom u ovom predmetu. Ipak, želim potaknuti pitanje koje se odnosi na domaću provedbu ove presude –koje se, očigledno, sastoji u suđenju de novo, što je prirodni pravni lijek kada Europski sud za ljudska prava (ESLJP) utvrdi postupovne povrede.

2. Članak 502. hrvatskog Zakona o kaznenom postupku, s izmjenama iz 2011. godine, određuje da će obnova postupka biti primjenjivo na zahtjev za izmjenu pravomoćne domaće presude zbog toga što je ESLJP utvrdio povredu prava. Ovaj zahtjev za obnovu može se podnijeti u roku od 30 dana koji počinje teći na dan kada presuda ESLJP-a postala konačna (stavak 60.glavne presude).

3. Ipak, u svim sličnim predmetima pitanje nije puka obnova postupka. Jasno, svrha domaćeg suđenja de novo u takvim okolnostima jest ispraviti kobne pogreške, srodne „apsolutno bitnim povredama postupka” u domaćem pravu, koje su dovele do toga da smo uopće utvrdili povredu. Priznajem, ovaj je predmet granična situacija što se tiče prava osumnjičenika na odvjetnika po vlastitom odabiru. Ipak, to ne umanjuje domaću dužnost ispravljanja postupovnih pogrešaka koje su dovele do toga da utvrdimo povredu. Presuda donesena većinom glasova utvrđuje pretpostavku prava na nedavanje inkriminirajućih izjava protiv samoga sebe i stavlja naglasak na ponovno suđenje, no ona ne određuje postupovne parametre unutar kojih se ima pokušati provesti novi postupak.

4. U ovom je predmetu počinjena pogreška ispitivanja bez pomoći u takozvanoj kritičnoj fazi istražnog kaznenog postupka, tj. u fazi čiji ishod može unaprijed odrediti ishod samog suđenja. Kako je to rekao George Feifer: „Sovjetski kazneni zakon ne dopušta da odvjetnik bude prisutan tijekom istrage. Sovjetsko je suđenje stoga prikladno opisano kao ,žalba na istragu provedenu prije suđenja’.” (Feifer, Justice in Moscow, 1964., str. 86.) Tu je metaforu ponovio sudac Vrhovnog suda SAD A. J. Goldberg u poznatom predmetu Escobedo protiv Illinoisa, 378 U.S. 478 (1964.), koji je prethodio predmetu Miranda protiv Arizone, 384U.S. 436 (1966.). Četrdeset dvije godine kasnije, naš predmet Salduz protiv Turske, 36391/02 (2008.), st. 50., također je ustvrdio: „Sud ponavlja da, čak i ako je prvenstvena svrha članka 6. Konvencije, u onoj mjeri u kojoj se odnosi na kaznene postupke, osigurati pošteno suđenje od strane ,suda’ nadležnog za utvrđivanje ,podizanja optužnice za kazneno djelo’, ne slijedi da članak nema nikakvu primjenu u istražnim postupcima. Stoga članak 6. – posebno stavak 3. istoga – može biti mjerodavan prije nego što se predmet uputi na suđenje ako i u onoj mjeri u kojoj poštenost suđenja može biti ozbiljno ugrožena početnim nepridržavanjem njegovih odredbi [...] Kako je Sud već presudio u svojim prethodnim presudama, pravo opisano u članku 6. stavku 3.(c) Konvencije je jedan element, između ostalih, koncepta poštenog suđenja u kaznenim postupcima sadržanog u članku 6. stavku 1. [...].”

5. Na ovom mjestu suočavamo se s pitanjem odgovarajućeg postupovnog lijeka što ga domaći sudovi imaju primijeniti po ponovnom suđenju u ovom predmetu. Što učiniti s dokazima koje policija ne bi pribavila da nije bilo izostanka legitimnog branitelja osumnjičenika tijekom tih ispitivanja? Pitanje će također biti i u kojoj su mjeri dokazi pribavljeni tijekom suđenja podnositelju zahtjeva „plodovi otrovne voćke” očigledne primarne povrede konvencijskih prava podnositelja zahtjeva. Kako je prethodno implicirano, test koji se ima primijeniti je sine qua non test, tj. upit se primjenjuje na sve dokaze koji proistječu izravno ili neizravno iz nepravilnog ispitivanja u ključnom početku ovog domaćeg postupka.

6. Pitanje je stoga o ekskluzijskom pravilu. Na novom suđenju, da bi prvo na branitelja imalo ikakvog značenja, prethodno pribavljeni kontaminirani dokazi – „kontaminirani” jer su pribavljeni uz izostanak legitimnog branitelja – trebaju biti pažljivo izbrisani iz spisa što se odnosi na podnositelja zahtjeva i štoviše, novi sud koji se bavi predmetom ne bi trebao imati nikakvih saznanja o kontaminiranim dokazima na koje bi se mogao osloniti tijekom kasnijeg suđenja.

7. U kontinentalnom pravnom sustavu to nije tako lako postići uzimajući u obzir da kazneni postupak ne poznaje postupak ispitivanja nepristranosti potencijalnih porotnika (voir dire) radi odabira članova porote. U okviru voir dire procedure, porotnici mogu biti preventivno isključeni i moguće ih je isključiti zbog nekog razloga. Primjerice, u našem predmetu porotnici, koji su na temelju prethodnog znanja o ovom zloglasnom predmetu formirali mišljenje o kaznenoj odgovornosti itd. tuženika bi bili isključeni iz predmeta. Krajnji rezultat ovoga bi tada bio sastav porote koja ne bi imala, bar u onoj mjeri u kojoj se to odnosi na predmet Dvorski, unaprijed formirano mišljenje.

8. U domaćem pravu, predmet će vjerojatno biti dodijeljen novoj grupi sudaca od kojih će neki biti profesionalni suci, dok će ostali biti suci porotnici – obojica odabrani sukladno ustavnom pravu tuženika na nasumičnog suca. Ipak, uzimajući u obzir koliko je predmet poznat, nema jamstva da ti suci neće imati prethodno formirano mišljenje i da će biti sposobni, sukladno tome, promotriti predmet otvorenog uma. Jednom kada se duh oslobodi iz boce, nemoguće ga je vratiti natrag.

9. S druge strane, ekskluzijsko pravilo proistječe iz sustava, anglosaksonskog prava, u kojemu osuđujuću ili oslobađajuću presudu donosi porota. Porota ima pristup određenim dijelovima dopuštenih dokaza. Ako su dokazi nedopustivi, također sukladno ekskluzijskom pravilu, porota ih nikada neće vidjeti odnosno čuti. Postupovna uloga suca u sustavu anglosaksonskog prava jest nadzor nad dopustivošću dokaza sukladno dobro razrađenoj doktrini prava dokaza.

10. U kontinentalnom sustavu, ovaj korpus prava što se odnosi na dopustivost dokaza jednostavno ne postoji. Umjesto toga imamo prevladavajućem načelu koje se zove „slobodna ocjena dokaza” što je bio povijesni odgovor ranijim mehaničkim pravilima što određuju vrijednost određenog dokaza. Poznati hrvatski profesor i pravni teoretičar Vladimir Bayer tvrdio je, prije puno desetljeća, da se odustalo od pokušaja uvođenja sustava porote u kontinentalno pravo upravo zbog toga što nije postojalo dovoljno pravila o dopuštenosti dokaza koja bi regulirala zakonitost dokaza tijekom suđenja u kaznenom postupku.

11. Jasno, to stavlja pred nas problem isključivanja kontaminiranih dokaza, tj. ekskluzijsko pravilo, tijekom određenog suđenja jer jednom kada se dokazi izvedu nema načina za njihovo isključivanje iz opsega spoznaje sudaca u predmetu.

12. Njemačko pravilo, u smislu da se sudac ne može osloniti na takve dokaze u njegovom ili njezinom obrazloženju presude je, u najmanju ruku, naivno u onoj mjeri u kojoj ono pretpostavlja da su suci sposobni ignorirati kontaminirane ili na drugi način nedopuštene dokaze.

13. Pogrešna pretpostavka, koju je razotkrio Bishop Berkeley, u smislu da opis dokaza zamisli objašnjava način na koji se došlo do te iste zamisli, nalazi se u zabrani navođenja dokaza koji podliježu ekskluzijskom pravilu u obrazloženju presude. To očigledno neće spriječiti suca u ex post facto opravdavanju njegove „intimne osude”, kako je nazivaju Francuzi.

14. Ako učinkovitost ekskluzijskog pravila u ovoj obnovi suđenja neće biti zajamčena, čini se da će jedino rješenje biti da podnositelj zahtjeva ponovno podnese ovaj predmet ESLJP-u. Ako bi tome bilo tako, Sud bi se tada jasno morao baviti s ovim teškim pitanjem. Ovaj problem, nota bene, nije specifičan za Hrvatsku; većina drugih kontinentalnih jurisdikcija bez porote imala bi isti problem. Ovo je razlog zašto postavljam to pitanje na ovom mjestu: u očekivanju problema isključivanja nedopuštenih i kontaminiranih dokaza.

 

ZAJEDNIČKO SUGLASNO MIŠLJENJE SUDACA KALAYDJIEVE, PINTO DE ALBUQUERQUEA I TURKOVIĊA

1. Slažemo se s mišljenjem većine da je došlo do povrede članka 6. stavaka 1. i 3.(c) Konvencije u ovom predmetu, no ne slažemo se u cijelosti s njihovim obrazloženjem. Prema našem viđenju, ovaj predmet postavlja četiri važna pitanja koja zavrjeđuju principijelan pristup. Prvo: Obuhvaća li pravo na pristup odvjetniku samo po sebi pravo na upotrebu pravne pomoći prema vlastitom odabiru od početnih faza postupka? Drugo: Što sadrži pravo na odabir odvjetnika? Treće: treba li pravo na odvjetnika prema vlastitom odabiru podlijegati nižem standardu zaštite od onoga što se odnosi na pravo na pristup odvjetniku? Četvrto: Treba li Sud ocjenjivati poštenost suđenja kao cjeline i primijeniti ispit uravnoteženosti (analizu neškodljive pogreške) u situaciji gdje je podnositelju zahtjeva uskraćeno pravo na odabir odvjetnika tijekom policijskog ispitivanja u tijeku kojega on ili ona da izjave kojima inkriminira samoga sebe odnosno samu sebe. Obradit ćemo ta pitanja, uzimajući u obzir sudsku praksu Suda i trenutačne norme međunarodnog prava ljudskih prava i međunarodnog kaznenog prava.

Pravo na pristup odvjetniku prema vlastitom odabiru od početnih faza postupka

2. U predmetu Salduz Sud je naveo da, u pravilu, pristup odvjetniku treba osigurati od prvog policijskog ispitivanja osumnjičenika osim ukoliko je pokazano u svjetlu posebnih okolnosti predmeta da postoje uvjerljivi razlozi da se ograniči to pravo.1 Čak i u predmetima gdje se osumnjičenik branio šutnjom i nije ispitan u pritvoru, ograničenje njegovog ili njezinog prava na pravnu pomoć od vremena uhićenja može dovesti do neispunjavanja uvjeta članka 6. stavaka 1. i 3.(c) Konvencije.2Razlog za ovo je u tome da nije na Sudu da nagađa o utjecaju koji bi imao pristup podnositelja zahtjeva odvjetniku tijekom zadržavanja u policiji na kasniji postupak3. Ipak, presuda u predmetu Salduz je ostavila pitanje može li i u kojoj mjeri u takvim okolnostima pravo na pristup odvjetniku uključivati pravo na odvjetnika po vlastitom odabiru. Nakon predmeta Salduz, raspravljalo se o pravu na odvjetnika prema vlastitom odabiru tijekom istražnog postupka, no nikada kao središnjem pitanju.4 Pozdravljamo odluku većine (u stavcima 78. i 108. presude) kojom se izrijekom priznaje pravo na odvjetnika prema vlastitom odabiru od početnih faza postupka i time tumači tekst članka 6. stavka 3.(c) u skladu s međunarodnim pravnim normama. Ipak, vjerujemo da je ovaj zaključak zavrijedio detaljnije obrazloženje.

3. U međunarodnim instrumentima usporedivima s Konvencijom, kao što je Međunarodni pakt o građanskim i političkim pravima (članak 14. stavak 3.(b)), Američka konvencija o ljudskim pravima (članak 8. stavak 2.(d)) i Afrička povelja o ljudskim pravima i pravima naroda (članak 7. stavak 1.(c)), pravo osumnjičenika na pomoć odvjetnika prema njegovom odnosno njezinom odabiru u istražnom postupku nije opisano izrijekom, već je ono priznato u praksi.

4. Vijeće za ljudska prava UN-a (UNHRC) je utvrdilo u nekoliko slučajeva da je dodjeljivanje odvjetnika od strane suda tijekom istrage prije suđenja (čak i na jedan dan) suprotno načeli poštenog suđenja ako je kvalificirani odvjetnik po okrivljenikovom vlastitom odabiru dostupan i spreman zastupati njega ili nju5 i ako se izvršavaju istražne radnje. Štoviše, UNHRC u svom Općem komentaru br. 327 je naglasio da pravo na komuniciranje s braniteljem zahtijeva da se okrivljeniku odobri neodložan pristup branitelju. Osim toga, UNHRC je naveo da „sve osobe koje su uhićene moraju odmah imati pristup branitelju”.8 Slično tome, ovo je pravo dosljedno potvrđivano u sudskoj praksi Međuameričkog suda za ljudskih prava9 i Afričkog povjerenstva za ljudska prava i prava naroda.

6. Pravo na pristup odvjetniku prema vlastitom odabiru u istražnom postupku također se nalazi i u europskim neobvezujućim zakonskim instrumentima (vidi stavke 62.–65. presude)11 i u univerzalnim neobvezujućim zakonskim instrumentima.12 To je u potpunosti u skladu s 1. načelom Osnovnih načela uloge odvjetnika UN-a, koje potvrđuje da „sve osobe imaju pravo upotrijebiti pomoć odvjetnika po njihovom odabiru kako bi zaštitile i utvrdile svoja prava i branile se u svim fazama kaznenog postupka”. 5. načelo Osnovnih načela uloge odvjetnika i 17. načelo teksta Načela prava na pošteno suđenje i pravne lijekove14 posebno određuju da kada je osoba uhićena, optužena ili pritvorena, on ili ona mora odmah biti obaviještena o pravu na pravnu pomoć prema njegovom odnosno njezinom odabiru. Konačno, članak 7. Osnovnih načela o ulozi odvjetnika zahtijeva da vlade osiguraju da sve osobe koje su uhićene ili pritvorene trebaju imati pristup odvjetniku u roku od četrdeset osam sati od trenutka njihovog uhićenja ili pritvaranja.

7. U međunarodnom kaznenom pravu, pravo na odabir odvjetnika u istražnom postupku je dobro utvrđeno, i u statutima i u pravilima o postupanju i dokazima raznih međunarodnih sudova i u praksi. Na temelju članka 21. stavka 4. Statuta Međunarodnog kaznenog suda za bivšu Jugoslaviju (MKSJ), članka 20. stavak 4. Statuta Međunarodnog kaznenog suda za Ruandu (MKSR), članka 17. stavka 4. Statuta Posebnog suda za Sierra Leone (SCSL) i članka 55. stavka 2., članka 56. i članka 67. stavka 1.(d) Statuta Međunarodnog kaznenog suda (MKS), praksa je bila da je samo mali postotak optuženih osoba zastupan od strane privatno financiranih odvjetnika koje su one same odabrale. U većini predmeta, sudovi daju tuženiku popis odobrenih odvjetnika između kojih on ili ona može birati. U takvim slučajevima, sudovi su obvezni brzo dodijeliti odvjetnika za cijelo vrijeme trajanja postupka, uključujući tijekom svakog ispitivanja tuženika. Ako se ne poštuje pravo na odvjetnika, proistekle dokaze se mora isključiti.

Informiran i slobodan odabir odvjetnika

8. Prema našem mišljenju, središnje pitanje u predmetu Dvorski jest jesu li tijela vlasti poduzela nužne aktivne korake kako bi osigurala učinkovito uživanje prava podnositelja zahtjeva na pravnu pomoć prema njegovom vlastitom odabiru – drugim riječima, da mu daju informacije koje su im poznate, koje su mu u kontekstu domaćeg prava bile nužne kako bi izvršio informiran odabir odvjetnika. Kako je većina zaključila, „policija nije obavijestila podnositelja zahtjeva niti o dostupnosti odvjetnika G.M. da ga savjetuje ni da je G.M. prisutan u Policijskoj postaji Rijeka” (vidi stavak 112. presude) i stoga, ako to presuda naglašava (vidi stavak 93.), „premda je podnositelj zahtjeva formalno odabrao da ga odvjetnik M.R. zastupa tijekom policijskog ispitivanja, taj odabir nije bio informirani odabir”.

9. Sukladno hrvatskom Zakonu o kaznenom postupku, policija je obvezna pomoći osumnjičenicima u pribavljanju informacija što su im nužne za informirani odabir zastupnika, dajući im popis prihvatljivih odvjetnika. U svjetlu domaćih pravnih odredbi koje ovlašćuju srodnike tuženika da angažiraju odvjetnike za njih i nakon toga ovlašćuju tuženike da odbiju angažirati odvjetnika kojega su angažirali njihovi srodnici te također usmeno davanje punomoći pred tijelom koje provodi postupak, bilo je nužno – čim je podnositelj zahtjeva izrazio želju da angažira odvjetnika – izvijestiti ga da su njegovi roditelji već angažirali odvjetnika za njega.

10. Tužena država nikada nije osporavala da policija nije izvijestila podnositelja zahtjeva o odvjetniku kojega su angažirali njegovi roditelji, niti je dala ikakvo objektivno razumno obrazloženje za taj propust, dok je podnositelj zahtjeva odbio odvjetnika kojega je on odabrao i povukao svoj iskaz kojim je inkriminirao samoga sebe čim je to bilo moguće – već sljedećeg dana. Niti je Vlada zadovoljila teret dokazivanja pokazavši da je podnositelju zahtjeva osigurana poštena prigoda da uživa svoje pravo na odvjetnika prema vlastitom odabiru.

11. Jedini razlog koji je Vlada navela za neizvješćivanje podnositelja zahtjeva da su njegovi roditelji angažirali G.M. kao njegovog odvjetnika bila je činjenica da G.M., prema viđenju policije i domaćih sudova, nije imao ispravnu punomoć da zastupa podnositelja zahtjeva u mjerodavno vrijeme. U vezi s time, Sud je primijetio da je G.M. tvrdio pred nacionalnimtijelima vlasti da je zapravo imao pisanu punomoć koju su mu dali roditelji podnositelja zahtjeva 14. ožujka 2007. (vidi stavak 24. presude). To je pobijeno u domaćem postupku, premda ne uvjerljivo (vidi stavke 55. i 95. presude). U svakom slučaju, uskraćivanje takve informacije zbog čisto formalnih razloga – na primjer, zbog toga što odvjetnik nije imao pisanu punomoć –u okolnostima u kojima je odvjetnik zastupao podnositelja zahtjeva u prethodnom predmetu i bio je u kontaktu s majkom podnositelja zahtjeva u Italiji putem telefona, i policija je bila upoznata sa svime time, nije bilo moguće objektivno i razumno opravdati.

12. Konačno, Vlada je također tvrdila da je podnositelj zahtjeva imao priliku birati iz popisa dežurnih odvjetnika 14. ožujka 2007., no nisu dali Sudu primjerak tog popisa. Podnositelj zahtjeva je tvrdio da takav popis uopće nije postojao. Vlada je odgovorila da arhiv policijske postaje nije čuvao takve popise. Umjesto toga su podnijeli popis navodno s istim sadržajem kao onaj iz 2007. U svjetlu postojanja dvije proturječne izjave o postojanju popisa iz 2007. godine, vjerujemo da teret dokazivanja treba biti na Vladi u pogledu njihove tvrdnje da je takav popis postojao i da je isti dan podnositelju zahtjeva. Bilo je na Vladi da dokaže pozitivnu činjenicu da je taj popis postojao i da je podnositelj zahtjeva odabrao odvjetnika s tog popisa. Nije bilo na podnositelju zahtjeva da dokaže negativnu činjenicu da taj popis nije postojao i da nije imao priliku odabrati odvjetnika na taj način. Vlada je propustila učiniti mjerodavne dokaze dostupnima Sudu.

13. Prema našem mišljenju, to je dovoljno da opravda zaključak da je neosiguravanje mjerodavnih informacija podnositelju zahtjeva bio štetan propust, uslijed čega je podnositelju zahtjeva na pogrešan način uskraćen njegov branitelj kojega je prvoga odabrao. Drugim riječima, došlo je do miješanja u njegovo pravo na slobodan i informiran odabir odvjetnika. Takvo miješanje neizbježno stvara sumnje da policija možda nije postupala u dobroj vjeri te je stoga možda propustila osigurati učinkovito uživanje prava podnositelja zahtjeva na obranu na temelju članka 6. stavka 3.(c) i poštenost suđenja na temelju članka 6. stavka 1.

Pogrešno uskraćivanje odabira odvjetnika

14. Svrha prava na odvjetnika prema vlastitom odabiru jest zajamčiti poštenost kaznenog postupka putem odgovarajuće stručne pomoći. Uz izostanak dokaza o suprotnom, neopravdano uskraćivanje ili ograničenje ili uplitanje u ovo pravo uvijek će ostavljati neizbježan dojam pokušaja vlasti da utječu na osumnjičenikov odabir stručne pomoći kako bi mu se nametnuo odvjetnik koji je „pogodan” za policiju ili stranku tužiteljicu i stvorit će dvojbe i sumnje da je svrha toga bila prevariti ili zavarati osumnjičenika s ciljem pribavljanja dokaza kršeći načela poštenosti.18 Puki dojam loše vjere sa strane policije dovoljan je da baci sumnju na pitanje je li priznanje kojim se inkriminira dano u takvim okolnostima bilo stvarno svojevoljno.

15. Zbog tog razloga ne smatramo neopravdano ili pogrešno „uskraćivanje odabira” „manje ozbiljnim” u usporedbi s neopravdanim ili pogrešnim „uskraćivanjem pristupa”. Stoga, suprotno većini, vjerujemo da je situaciju u predmetu Dvorski trebalo analizirati s pomoću iste vrste argumenata kao situaciju u predmetu Salduz. Posljedično, uz dužno poštovanje, ne slažemo se da su predmeti Croissant19 i Klimentyev,20 koji se bave s navodnim situacijama opravdanog „uskraćivanja odabira” odvjetnika, primjenjivi u ovom predmetu.

Utjecaj strukturnih pogrešaka na poštenost kaznenog postupka

16. U kaznenom postupku postoje neka postupovna prava koja su toliko temeljna za pošteno suđenje da njihovo narušavanje nikada ne može biti viđeno kao pošteno.21 Narušavanje tih prava dovodi do strukturne pogreške, koja utječe na okvir u kojemu se odvija suđenje.

17. Sud je već prihvatio da takve strukturne pogreške mogu nastati u vezi s priznanjima pribavljenima uz kršenje članka 3. i stvarnih dokaza pribavljenih kao izravnog rezultata mučenja i pogrešnog uskraćivanja pristupa odvjetniku. Kako je Sud istaknuo u predmetu Salduz, dokazi pribavljeni tijekom istražne faze određuju okvir unutar kojega će se kazneno djelo obuhvaćeno optužbom razmatrati na suđenju i stoga sve takve postupovne pogreške počinjene tijekom ove faze nužno će imatiutjecaj na poštenost postupka.25 Otkad je „ekskluzijsko pravilo” uspostavljeno radi zaštite prava nedavanja samoinkriminirajućeg iskaza, upotreba dokaza prikupljenih uz kršenje ovog osnovnog prava uvijek će učiniti suđenje nepoštenim, bez obzira na sve druge okolnosti predmeta. Stoga je Sud presudio u predmetu Salduz da svaka osuđujuća presuda temeljena na priznanju ili iskazu danom uz kršenje prava na pristup odvjetniku predstavlja kršenje općeg prava na pošteno suđenje zajamčeno na temelju članka 6. stavka 1. Konvencije.26 Drugim riječima, predmet Salduz je uveo automatsko ekskluzijsko pravilo za samoinkriminirajuće iskaze pribavljene bez prisutnosti odvjetnika tijekom ispitivanja kada ne postoje uvjerljivi razlozi za uskraćivanje prava na odvjetnika (to jest, u situacijama neopravdanog uskraćivanja pristupa odvjetniku).

18. Mi tvrdimo da pogrešno uskraćivanje odabira odvjetnika predstavlja još jedan primjer strukturne pogreške u kaznenom postupku koja bi trebala automatski dovesti do isključivanja samoinkriminirajućih iskaza koji su nezakoniti zbog te pogreške.27 Ako takav samoinkriminirajući iskaz nije isključen prije suđenja, takva pogreška sama po sebi treba biti shvaćena kao kršenje Konvencije bez da treba postojati ikakva potreba za ocjenjivanjem sveukupne poštenosti postupka. Ako sudac koji sudjeluje u predmetu dozna za takav dokaz, osuđujuću presudu treba odmah ukinuti. Niti jedan drugi pravni lijek ne bi mogao ispraviti takve pogreške i konačno osigurati temeljno pravo na pošteno suđenje. Prema našem mišljenju, upotreba svakog ispitivanja ravnoteže u takvim situacijama prijeti podređivanjem temeljnog jamstva pravne pomoći po vlastitom odabiru drugim interesima koji imaju manji, ako ikakav, značaj u smislu Konvencije.

19. Kada se čitaju pažljivo, stavci 111. i 112. presude samo deklarativno podupiru načelo ocjenjivanja sveukupne poštenosti postupka jer konačno većina smatra da treba uzeti u obzir „značajan vjerojatan utjecaj” priznanja podnositelja zahtjeva na daljnji razvoj kaznenog postupka protiv njega. To znači da većina ne zauzima stajalište da ugroza prouzročena podnositelju zahtjeva, time što mu je pogrešno uskraćen odabir odvjetnika, treba biti ocijenjena u kontekstu drugih izvedenih dokaza kako bi se odredilo je li pogreška bila bezazlena i postupak kao cjelina bio pošteno. „Vjerojatan utjecaj” postupovne pogreške dovoljan je za većinu da utvrdi kršenje članka

20. Stoga, ocjenjivanje sveukupne poštenosti postupka oslanjajući se na ispitivanje uravnoteženosti predstavlja suviše fleksibilan pristup. Postoji potencijalna opasnost da će to dovesti do pretjeranog utjecaja diskrecijskih odluka u pogledu načina na koji se kršenja osnovnih postupovnih prava, kao što je pravo na odvjetnika po vlastitom odabiru važu naspram drugih postupovnih interesa. Poput ocjenjivanja neškodljive pogreške, ocjenjivanje sveukupne poštenosti postupka može proizvesti jako zle rezultate kada, na primjer, vrlo uvjerljivi dokazi, kao što je tuženikovo priznanje bez neovisne pravne pomoći, dospije do spisa kaznenog predmeta i konačno do suđenja. Misliti da je stanje drugačije bilo bi čisto nepoznavanje jedinstvene ulogekoju odvjetnik ima u kaznenom postupku kao „čuvar postupovne ispravnosti” ili namjerno nijekanje države temeljene na vladavini prava.29 Riječima Andrewa Ashwortha,30 „kriterij poštenog suđenja je dovoljno fleksibilan da, uz toliko puno faktora u igri, svaki sudac može staviti svoj pečat na tumačenje što je ,pošteno suđenje’”. Stoga je većina trebala izrijekom odbaciti svako uspoređivanje pogrešnog uskraćivanja odabira odvjetnika s drugim interesima, kako je Sud dosljedno zaključio upredmetima Salduz, Dayanan i Huseyn i drugi u usporedivim situacijama neopravdanog „uskraćivanja pristupa” odvjetniku.

Zaključak

21. Mišljenja smo da pravo na pristup odvjetniku zaista obuhvaća pravo na upotrebu pravne pomoći prema vlastitom odabiru od početnih faza postupka, što implicira pravo na informiran i slobodan odabir. Posljedično, svjesno uskraćivanje mjerodavnih informacija osumnjičeniku kada on ili ona odabire odvjetnika predstavlja pogrešno uskraćivanje odabira odvjetnika. Uskraćivanje odabira odvjetnika nije „manje ozbiljan problem” od uskraćivanja pristupa odvjetniku u smislu pravnih posljedica. Stoga, i pogrešno uskraćivanje pristupa odvjetniku i pogrešno uskraćivanje odabira odvjetnika predstavljaju strukturne pogreške u kaznenom postupku koje bi trebale automatski dovesti do isključivanja samoinkriminirajućih iskaza, koji su nezakoniti zbog te pogreške, prije suđenja. Ako je tuženik osuđen nakon što je sudac koji sudjeluje u tom predmetu doznao za takav dokaz, osuđujuću presudu se mora automatski ukinuti. Ako još nije nastupila zastara za to kazneno djelo, može uslijediti ponovno suđenje uz isključenje svih nezakonitih materijala.

 

SUGLASNO MIŠLJENJE SUCA SILVISA, KOJEM SE PRIDRUŽIO SUDAC SPIELMANN

1. Slažem se s utvrđivanjem kršenja članka 6. stavaka 1. i 3.(c) u ovom predmetu. Ipak, uz dužno poštovanje, ne slažem se s bitnim dijelom obrazloženja ove presude.

2. Srž pitanja koje treba obraditi u ovom mišljenju jest način na koji Sud primjenjuje razliku između dvije situacije: (1) uskraćivanje pristupa odvjetniku, što zahtijeva postojanje „uvjerljivih razloga” i da prava obrane ne budu nepotrebno ugrožena (vidi Salduz protiv Turske [VV], br. 36391/02, st. 55., ESLJP 2008.) i (2) „uskraćivanje odabira” odvjetnika, što zahtijeva postojanje „mjerodavnih i dovoljnih” razloga i da sveukupna poštenost postupka ne bude potkopana (vidi Croissant protiv Njemačke, 25. rujna 1992., st. 31., serija A, br. 237-B). Stavak 81. presude Suda navodi da je uskraćivanje odabira „manje ozbiljno pitanje” i smatra da razmatrani predmet treba kategorizirati u tom smislu. Prema mom mišljenju, podržavajući to gledište većina ne primjećuje bitno svojstvo ovog predmeta, a to je da je policija naizgled nastojala usmjeravati obranu tijekom početne faze postupka, suprotno odredbama domaćeg prava kao i Konvenciji. Prema mom viđenju, kombinacija policijskog ometanja angažiranog odvjetnika u pristupu podnositelju zahtjeva i istovremeno miješanje u slobodan odabir odvjetnika podnositelja zahtjeva uskraćivanjem mjerodavnih informacija uopće nije „manje ozbiljno pitanje” u usporedbi s transparentnim uskraćivanjem pristupa odvjetniku.

3. Činjenice predmeta mogu se sažeti kako slijedi. Podnositelj zahtjeva uhićen je kao osumnjičenik u vezi s tri ubojstva, oružanom pljačkom i paležom. Prije početka policijskog ispitivanja, roditelj(i) podnositelja zahtjeva angažira(ju) odvjetnika (G.M.) koji je bio pripravan braniti podnositelja zahtjeva, što je mogućnost koju hrvatsko pravo zakonski omogućava. Angažirani odvjetnik G.M. odmah se javio u policijsku postaju kako bi sreo svog klijenta. Ipak, tom je odvjetniku policija odbila pristup do podnositelja zahtjeva, navodno zbog toga što nije podnio pisanu punomoć. Podnositelj zahtjeva nije obaviješten niti o prisutnosti odvjetnika u policijskoj postaji ni o aktivnosti njegovog/njegovih roditelja. Podnositelj zahtjeva priznao je da je počinio ta kaznena djela tijekom početnog policijskog ispitivanja u prisutnosti drugog odvjetnika, koji je slučajno nekadašnji načelnik policije u području gdje je podnositelj zahtjeva držan u pritvoru. Vlada je tvrdila da je podnositelj zahtjeva odabrao ovog odvjetnika s popisa kojega mu je dala policija, što bi značilo da je imao odvjetnika po svojem vlastitom odabiru. Prema domaćim sudovima, podnositelj zahtjeva priznao je počinjenje u prisutnosti odvjetnika prema svojem vlastitom odabiru. To početno priznanje upotrijebljeno je kao dokaz.

4. Na početku je važno primijetiti da hrvatski Zakon o kaznenom postupku (ZKP) regulira odabir odvjetnika na takav način da daje tuženikovom roditelju mogućnost angažiranja odvjetnika za tuženika, osim ukoliko tuženik to izrijekom odbije (ZKP, članak 62. stavci 1. i 4). Stavkom 6. članka 62. određuje se da branitelj mora podnijeti svoju punomoć tijelu pred kojim se vodi postupak. Okrivljenik može branitelju dati i usmenu punomoć na zapisnik kod tijela pred kojim se vodi postupak. Članak 177.stavak 5. određuje da na osumnjičenikov zahtjev redarstvene vlasti moraju mu omogućiti da uzme branitelja i u tu svrhu moraju zastati s prikupljanjem obavijesti od osumnjičenika do dolaska branitelja, a najkasnije do tri sata od kada je osumnjičenik izjavio da želi uzeti branitelja. Ako je iz okolnosti vidljivo da izabrani branitelj u tom roku ne može doći, redarstvene vlasti moraju omogućiti osumnjičeniku da uzme branitelja s liste dežurnih odvjetnika koju za područje županije sastavlja Hrvatska odvjetnička komora i dostavlja nadležnim policijskim upravama uz izvješće županijskom sudu.

5. Sud je primijetio da je jedini razlog kojega je Vlada navela za nedopuštanje pristupa G.M. podnositelju zahtjeva bila činjenica da G.M., prema viđenju Vlade, nije imao ispravnu punomoć za njegovo zastupanje. Istovremeno, Vlada nije osporavala da podnositelj zahtjeva nije bio obaviješten u mjerodavno vrijeme da ga je G.M. pokušavao vidjeti u policijskoj postaji. Ipak, Sud je primijetio da je G.M. tvrdio pred nacionalnim tijelima vlasti da on zapravo ima pisanu punomoć koju su mu dali roditelji podnositelja zahtjeva 14. ožujka 2007. Ta tvrdnja nikada nije uvjerljivo opovrgnuta u domaćem postupku. Štoviše, u spis predmeta, koji je sastavio istražni sudac 15. ožujka 2007. kada je mu je policija dovela podnositelja zahtjeva, zaprimljena je pisana punomoć.

6. Načelo prava na pravnu pomoć opisano je u članku 6. stavku 3.(c) Konvencije: „Svatko optužen za kazneno djelo ima [pravo] da se brani sam ili uz branitelja po vlastitom izboru.” Zaštita koja se ima dati osobi optuženoj za počinjenje kaznenog djela nije ograničena na sudski postupak. U predmetu Imbriosca protiv Švicarske, Sud je naveo (st. 36.): „Zasigurno je prvenstvena svrha članka 6. Konvencije, u onoj mjeri u kojoj se odnosi na pitanja kaznenog prava, osigurati pošteno suđenje od strane suda nadležnog za utvrđivanje podizanja optužnice za kazneno djelo, no ne slijedi da članak nema nikakvu primjenu u istražnim postupcima.“ 1 Članak 6. stavak 3.(c) obuhvaća određene aspekte prava na pošteno suđenje u smislu članka 6. stavka 1. (vidi Correia de Matos protiv Portugala (odluka),2 i Foucher protiv Francuske, st. 30.).3 Ovaj podstavak jamči da se postupak protiv optuženika neće provesti bez odgovarajućeg zastupanja u predmetu u korist obrane (vidi Pakelli protiv Njemačke, izviješće Komisije, st. 84.).4 Jamstva iz članka 6. stavka 3. specifični su aspekti prava na pošteno suđenje opisanog u članku 6. stavku 1., koji se moraju uzeti u obzir kod ocjenjivanja ovog pitanja.5 Njihov svojstveni cilj jest doprinijeti osiguravanju poštenosti kaznenog postupka kao cjeline.6 No ona nisu cilj sama sebi: usklađenost sa zahtjevima poštenog suđenja moraju biti ispitana u svakom predmetu, uzimajući u obzir razvoj postupka kao cjeline, a ne na temelju izdvojenog razmatranja jednog određenog aspekta ili događaja.

7. Pri razlikovanju predmeta koji se odnose na „uskraćivanje pristupa” odnosno „uskraćivanje odabira”, Sud se poziva na tri predmeta gdje je ograničen ili uskraćen slobodan odabir odvjetnika (Croissant, prethodno navedeno; Klimentyev protiv Rusije, br. 46503/99, 16. studenog 2006. i Martin protiv Estonije, br. 35985/09, 30. svibnja 2013.). Predlažem da pažljivije proučimo te predmete:

(a) U predmetu Croissant podnositelj zahtjeva osporavao je odbijanje zamjene odvjetnika u kojega nije imao povjerenja, no koji je ipak imenovan od strane domaćeg suda u trenutku kada su podnositelju zahtjeva već pomagala dva odvjetnika za koje je pokazao povjerenje. U tom je kontekstu Sud utvrdio da su domaći sudovi imali mjerodavne i dovoljne temelje za postupanje suprotno željama tuženika.

(b) U predmetu Klimentyev podnositelj zahtjeva žalio se na odbijanje domaćeg suda da dopusti drugog odvjetnika za obranu. Sud je primijetio da nije bilo naznaka da braniteljski tim podnositelja zahtjeva, koji se sastojao od odvjetnika i pučkog pravobranitelja, ne bi mogao na odgovarajući način zastupati njega i učinkovito sudjelovati na raspravi. Stoga Sud nije mogao zaključiti da je podnositelj zahtjeva zastupan na raspravi na neodgovarajući način i da je odbijanje prvostupanjskog suda da dopusti sudjelovanje odvjetnika kojega je on zatražio, uz pozivanje na činjenicu da podnositelj zahtjeva nije trebao savjete u području međunarodnog prava, predstavljalo nerazumno i nerazmjerno ograničenje prava podnositelja zahtjeva da bude zastupan putem pravne pomoći prema njegovom vlastitom odabiru.

 

(c) Predmet Martin protiv Estonije ticao se sljedećih prigovora: branitelju odabranom prema vlastitom odabiru podnositelja zahtjeva bio je uskraćen pristup podnositelju zahtjeva i nad njime je izvršen pritisak da prekine pružanje svojih usluga. Osuđujuća presuda podnositelja zahtjeva zbog ubojstva temeljila se na dokazima pribavljenima u istražnom postupku uz kršenje njegovih prava na obranu i premda je prizivni sud proglasio te dokaze nedopuštenima, ipak se oslonio na njih. Sud nije smatrao da se želju podnositelja zahtjeva da zamijeni branitelja po vlastitom odabiru (odabiru njegovih roditelja) može smatrati stvarnom u okolnostima predmeta. Smatrao je da je došlo do kršenja prava podnositelja zahtjeva da se brani putem pravne pomoći po vlastitom izboru. Sud je izrazio zabrinutost u ovom predmetu u pogledu nepoštivanja prava podnositelja zahtjeva na obranu i prava da ne daje izjave kojima inkriminira sam sebe. Jesu li postojali važni i dostatni razlozi za ograničavanje odabira odvjetnika – ispit kojega je Sud zaista i naveo – prema mom viđenju nije uopće bilo bitno pitanje u tom predmetu.

8. Prema mom mišljenju, kada se predmeti Croissant, Klimentyev i Martin stave u jednu grupu, oni ne čine kategoriju predmeta u koju bi se uklopio predmet Dvorski. Predmeti Croissant i Klimentyev mogu se svrstati među one što se bave s nedovoljnošću obrazloženja na kojemu se temelji uskraćivanje ili ograničenje odabira odvjetnika. Martin protiv Estonije nebavi se obrazloženjem na kojemu se takve odluke temelje već nepoštivanjem prava podnositelja zahtjeva na obranu i prava da ne daje izjave kojima inkriminira sam sebe imajući u vidu tijek događaja. To je pitanje naš Sud analizirao uglavnom duž pravaca što su opisani u predmetu Salduz. U predmetu Martin protiv Estonije Sud je zaključio da su prava podnositelja zahtjeva na obranu nepovoljno pogođena unatoč tome što su domaći sudovi priznali kršenje njegovog prava da ima odvjetnika prema svom odabiru i unatoč formalnom isključenju njegovog priznanja. Nedostatak domaćeg preispitivanja pri osiguravanju otklanjanja svih nepovoljnih posljedica za ishod postupka, nakon priznanja kršenja prava podnositelja zahtjeva na obranu, bila je bitna stvar za Sud pri utvrđivanju kršenja prava. Analiza Suda u predmetu Martin protiv Estonije ne treba biti reducirana do jednostavne primjene testa je li ishod postupka pretrpio nepovoljan utjecaj uslijed uskraćivanja odabira odvjetnika podnositelju zahtjeva. Takva redukcionistička karakterizacija neopravdano zanemaruje važan aspekt toga što su domaći sudovi prepoznali propust poštivanja prava na obranu.

9. U predmetu Dvorski podnositelj zahtjeva namjerno je držan u neznanju u pogledu njegovih mogućnosti pri odabiru odvjetnika, dok je odvjetniku angažiranom od strane roditelja podnositelja zahtjeva uskraćen pristup k njemu. Kada pri pojavi takvih činjenica postoji razlog vjerovati da je policija pokušala manipulirati obranom i potom pribavila priznanje koje su domaći sudovi upotrebljavali kao dokaz bez ikakvog ozbiljnog ispitivanja navedenog kršenja prava podnositelja zahtjeva na obranu, pitanje ne treba biti je li policija možda mogla imati mjerodavne i dovoljne razloge, ili čak uvjerljive razloge, za uskraćivanje ili ograničavanje prava na odabir odvjetnika zbog toga što Sud uopće ne bi trebao prihvaćati takav manjak poštivanja prava na obranu, bez obzira na razloge ili motive u njegovoj pozadini. Takvo pitanje ne pripada u kategoriju „uskraćivanja odabira” koji je označen kao manje ozbiljno pitanje – čak niti u usporedbi sa situacijom koja uključuje apsolutno uskraćivanje pristupa odvjetniku.

10. Konačno, prema mom mišljenju, Sud se trebao držati podalje od prihvaćanja supsidijarnog zahtjeva za blažom kaznom, putem kojega je tražila da se početno priznanje njenog klijenta protumači kao znak iskrenog žaljenja ili kajanja, kao legitimne naznake krivice podnositelja zahtjeva (u stavku 104. presude).

 

SUPROTNO MIŠLJENJE SUCA VEHABOVIĆA

Ne mogu dijeliti mišljenje većine Velikog vijeća da činjenice na koje prigovara podnositelj zahtjeva otkrivaju povredu članka 6. stavaka 1. i 3.(c) Konvencije koji određuje:

„1. Radi utvrđivanja ... optužnice za kazneno djelo protiv njega svatko ima pravo da ... sud pravično ... ispita njegov slučaj.

...
3. Svatko optužen za kazneno djelo ima najmanje sljedeća prava: ...

(c) da se brani sam ili uz branitelja po vlastitom izboru, a ako nema dovoljno sredstava platiti branitelja, ima pravo na besplatnog branitelja, kad to nalažu interesi pravde;

...”

Mjerodavan dio zapisnika o ispitivanju podnositelja zahtjeva od strane policijskih službenika 14. ožujka 2007. glasi kako slijedi:

„Obaviješten sam o razlozima za moje uhićenje, kaznenim djelima za koje sam optužen, mojim pravima, pravu da ne dajem odgovore i pravu na branitelja, kao i o pravu da članovi moje obitelji budu obaviješteni o mojem uhićenju. Odabrao sam i dao punomoć branitelju iz Rijeke, M.R., da me zastupa u ovom postupku i savjetovao sam se s njim nasamo. Nakon savjetovanja s odvjetnikom, odlučio sam dati moj iskaz.”

Podnositelj zahtjeva je zaključio svoj iskaz kako slijedi:

„Nemam nikakvih simptoma apstinencijskog sindroma ili bilo koje druge krize. Dao sam svoj iskaz svojevoljno i u prisutnosti svog odvjetnika i županijskog državnog odvjetnika. Pročitao sam cjelokupnu izjavu i nakon toga je potpisujem kao istinitu.

Tijekom suđenja pred Županijskim sudom u Rijeci podnositelju zahtjeva dana je mogućnost da iznese sve svoje argumente glede okolnosti u kojima je dao izjavu, a nakon što je naveo argument da nikada nije potpisao zapisnik o izjavi, dodijeljena mu je valjana mogućnost da ospori autentičnost svojeg potpisa. Međutim, pruženi dokaz, odnosno izvješće vještaka za rukopis, uvjerljivo je potvrdilo da podnositelj zahtjeva potpisao izjavu kojim je policiji dao svoje priznanje.

S druge strane, Sud je utvrdio da je odvjetniku G.M. uskraćen pristup podnositelju zahtjeva dok je bio u policijskom pritvoru, čak i od trenutka kada je G.M. pribavio punomoć koju je potpisao otac podnositelja zahtjeva.

Članak 6. stavak 3.(c) osigurava pravo podnositelja zahtjeva da ima odvjetnika prema vlastitom odabiru, ali ne odvjetnika prema odabiru njegovih roditelja.

Podnositelj zahtjeva tvrdio je da odvjetnik G. M., kojeg su angažirali njegovi roditelji, nije mogao kontaktirati s njime dok je bio u pritvoru u Policijskoj postaji Rijeka.

Glede prigovora podnositelja zahtjeva, očigledno je da su središnja pitanja što proistječu u ovom predmetu pravo podnositelja zahtjeva da angažira branitelja po vlastitom odabiru te je li, kao rezultat „neimanja” te mogućnosti, pod prisilom bio naveden da se inkriminira bez pogodnosti učinkovitog pravnog savjeta.

Nemam razloga sumnjati u tvrdnje Vlade da je podnositelju zahtjeva dan službeni popis odvjetnika Hrvatske odvjetničke komore i da je on odabrao M.R. s tog popisa kao svog odvjetnika. U skladu s time, slično kao Vijeće, smatram da se u ovom predmetu ne radi o situaciji u kojoj je podnositelju zahtjeva policija dodijelila odvjetnika po službenoj dužnosti, već o situaciji u kojoj mu je policija ponudila službeni popis odvjetnika, s kojega je odabrao M.R. kao odvjetnika prema vlastitom odabiru.1

U potpunosti se slažem s većinom da je ponašanje policije pri onemogućavanju svakog kontakta između G.M.-a i podnositelja zahtjeva stvara početnu zabrinutost u pogledu načina na koji su domaća tijela vlasti postupala s istražnim pritvorom podnositelja zahtjeva i posljedično moguće sumnje u pogledu toga zadovoljava li postupak kao cjelina zahtjeve za poštenim suđenjem na temelju članka 6. Konvencije.

Zbog tih razloga, ovaj predmet se mora jasno razlikovati od glavnog načela opisanog u predmetu Salduz, u smislu da okrivljeniku u početnim fazama policijskog ispitivanja, koje su odlučne za uspjeh obrane u svakom kasnijem kaznenom postupku, treba inače dopustiti da učinkovito upotrebljava pomoć odvjetnika (vidi Salduz protiv Turske [VV], br. 36391/02, st. 52., ESLJP 2008.). Veliko vijeće (u stavku 78. presude) također se poziva na predmet Martin protiv Estonije (br. 35985/09. 30.svibnja 2013.), gdje je Sud smatrao važnim da osoba optužena za počinjenje kaznenog djela, koja se ne želi sama braniti, mora imati mogućnost pravne pomoći prema vlastitom izboru.

Očigledno, ovaj se predmet kao cjelina odnosi na dva osnovna pitanja: je li odabir podnositelja zahtjeva bio bez ikakvog pritiska ili prisile od strane policije i, ako policija nije primijenila nikakav pritisak ili prisilu, je li podnositelja zahtjeva trebao zastupati odvjetnik prema njegovom vlastitom odabiru ili onaj što su ga odabrali njegovi roditelji ili svaka treća stranka, čak i u okolnostima gdje je podnositelj zahtjeva, pod značajnim emocionalnim pritiskom, odlučio dati iskaz kojim priznaje počinjenje kaznenih djela.

Sud primjećuje (vidi stavak 81. presude) da za razliku od predmeta Salduz, gdje je okrivljeniku, držanom u pritvoru, uskraćen pristup odvjetniku tijekom policijskog ispitivanja, ovaj se predmet odnosi na situaciju gdje je podnositelju zahtjeva omogućen pristup odvjetniku od njegovog prvog ispitivanja, no ne – prema njegovom prigovoru – odvjetniku prema njegovom izboru. U tompogledu, Sud je odlučio ocijeniti je li, u svjetlu postupka kao cjeline, na prava obrane izvršen „nepovoljan utjecaj” u onakvoj mjeri kakva bi potkopala njegovu sveukupnu poštenost.

Bez ulaženja u sve pojedinosti tog testa, smatram da je želja podnositelja zahtjeva da ima odvjetnika prema svom odabiru poštovana tijekom cijelog kaznenog postupka protiv njega. Nije osporeno da je nekoliko puta promijenio svog zastupnika. Priroda postupka protiv podnositelja zahtjeva bila je ozbiljna, zbog njegovih navodnih počinjenih kaznenih djela, no to ne znači da trebaju postojati različiti uvjeti za pošten postupak ovisni o ozbiljnosti prirode postupka. Točno je da  je jedna od stavki dokaza upotrijebljenih protiv podnositelja zahtjeva bio njegov iskaz dan u policijskoj postaji, u prisutnosti javnog tužitelja, no taj iskaz nije bio jedini dokaz protiv njega. Kada je podnositelj zahtjeva dao svoj prvi iskaz, kojim inkriminira samoga sebe, u ovom predmetu, činjenica je da je to učinio po svojoj slobodnoj volji, uz izostanak svakog znaka fizičkog ili psihološkog pritiska od strane policije. Taj je iskaz potpisao podnositelj zahtjeva, kako je potvrdio vještak za rukopis pred domaćim sudovima.

Dijelio bih mišljenje s većinom Suda da je podnositelj zahtjeva pretrpio nepopravljivu štetu koja je dovela do kršenja članka 6. stavka 1. Konvencije u pogledu poštenosti postupka kao cjeline, da je dokazano da je samoinkriminirajući iskaz podnositelja zahtjeva dan kršenjem članka 3. ili bez prisutnosti ikakvog pravnog zastupnika, ili čak i uz prisutnost zastupnika kojega on nije odabrao svojom vlastitom voljom. Ipak, nisam zaključio da je ijedan ovaj element potkrijepljen od strane podnositeljazahtjeva u njegovom zahtjevu i smatram njegov prigovor u potpunosti nepotkrijepljenim mjerodavnim argumentima.

Tijekom suđenja pred sudovima koji su se bavili ovim predmetom, podnositelj zahtjeva je izložio sve svoje argumente u pogledu okolnosti u kojima je njegov iskaz dan, kao i svoj argument da nikada nije potpisao taj iskaz. Ipak, izvješće vještaka za rukopis je potvrdilo sa sigurnošću da je podnositelj zahtjeva zaista potpisao taj iskaz. Stoga se ne može kazati da jeprvostupanjski sud ignorirao prigovore podnositelja zahtjeva glede dopustivosti njegove izjave kao dokaza (za usporedbu vidiDesde protiv Turske, br. 23909/03, st. 130., 1. veljače 2011.).

Tijekom sudskog postupka podnositelj zahtjeva imao je privilegiju valjane pravne pomoći i prvostupanjski sud mu je pružio odgovarajuću mogućnost sudjelovanja u postupku te iznošenja svojih argumenata glede optužbi i svih mjerodavnih pruženih dokaza, a njegovi su argumenti propisno uzeti u obzir. Treba spomenuti da je podnositelj zahtjeva u svojoj završnoj riječi putem zastupnice kao dokaz svojeg iskrenog kajanja za počinjene zločine uveo priznanje dano policiji dok ga je zastupao odvjetnik M. R. u nadi da će se ono uzeti u obzir kao olakotni čimbenik prilikom postupka izricanja osude.

Nadalje, Sud bilježi da podnositeljevo priznanje nije bilo središnja platforma za predmet tužiteljstva (za usporedbu vidi Magee protiv Ujedinjene Kraljevine, br. 28135/95, st. 45., ESLJP 2000-VI) te da se prvostupanjski sud oslonio na njegovu izjavu tumačeći je u svjetlu složenog dokaznog materijala koji je sud ocjenjivao (usporedi Bykov protiv Rusije [VV], br. 4378/02,10. ožujka 2009.). Konkretno, prilikom osuđivanja podnositelja zahtjeva prvostupanjski sud pozivao se na izjave brojnihsvjedoka koji su tijekom suđenja unakrsno ispitani, izvješća brojnih vještaka i zapisnika o istrazi na mjestu zločina te na pretrage i pljenidbe, kao i na mjerodavne fotografije i ostale fizičke dokaze. Dodatno, prvostupanjski sud na raspolaganju je imao priznanja podnositeljevih suoptuženika dana tijekom suđenja te ni podnositelj zahtjeva ni nijedan od suoptuženika nikada nisu tvrdili da je bilo koje njihovo pravo bilo povrijeđeno kad su dali te izjave.

U takvim bi mi okolnostima bilo teško zaključiti da je postupak kao cjelina zbog toga bio nepošten (usporedi O ’Kane protiv Ujedinjene Kraljevine (odluka), br. 30550/96, 6. srpnja 1999.) jer su prava podnositelja zahtjeva tijekom suđenja bila primjereno osigurana i njegovo priznanje nije bio jedini, a kamoli odlučujući, dokaz u predmetu te kao takvo nije dovodilo u pitanje njegovu osudu i kaznu (usporedi Gäfgen protiv Njemačke [VV], br. 22978/05, st. 187., ESLJP 2010. i, za razliku od toga, Martin, prethodno navedeno, st. 95.-96.).

Na temelju ove pozadine i s obzirom na načelo da zahtjeve iz članka 6. stavka 3. treba razmatrati kao pojedinačne aspekte prava na pošteno suđenje zajamčenog člankom 6. stavkom 1. Konvencije (kao primjer vidi Zagorodniy protiv Ukrajine, br. 27004/06, st. 51., 24. studenog 2011.) te zahtjeve u pogledu ocjenjivanja poštenosti kaznenog postupka kao cjeline (vidi Al-Khawaja i Tahery protiv Ujedinjene Kraljevine [VV], br. 26766/05 i 22228/06, st. 118., ESLJP 2011.), smatram da nije pokazano da je pravima podnositelja zahtjeva na obranu nanesena nenadoknadiva šteta ili da je na njegovo pravo na pošteno suđenje iz članka 6. negativno utjecano (vidi, mutatis mutandis, Mamaç i drugi protiv Turske, br. 29486/95, 29487/95 i 29853/96, st. 48., 20. travnja 2004., te Sarıkaya protiv Turske, br. 36115/97, st. 67., 22. travnja 2004.; i, za razliku od toga,Martin, prethodno navedeno).

Pitam se zašto podnositelj zahtjeva nikada nije poduzeo korake protiv M.R. ako je smatrao da je njegovo zastupanje po tom odvjetniku bilo neodgovarajuće ili suprotno njegovoj slobodnoj volji, premda je imao razne prigode učiniti to. Nikad se nije, tijekom kasnijeg kaznenog postupka, požalio da mu odvjetnik M. R. nije pružio odgovarajuću meritornu pravnu pomoć. Niti on, niti njegova nova odvjetnica, nikada nisu podnijeli nikakav prigovor protiv M.R. pokretanjem disciplinskog postupka pred mjerodavnim tijelima Hrvatske odvjetničke komore, što je mogućnost na koju su imali sva prava. Niti podnositelj zahtjeva ni njegovi odvjetnici nisu poduzeli nikakvu radnju u tom pogledu. Pitam se kako onda on može osporavati profesionalan pristup M.R. u njegovom predmetu?

Nadalje, po kojoj osnovi podnositelj zahtjeva može tvrditi da je njegov početni iskaz, davan tijekom nekoliko sati – tijekom kojih on ni u jednom trenutku nije odbio pružiti dodatne informacije, i nakon čega je potvrdio točnost danih informacija potpisavši zapisnik o iskazu – postavlja ikakvo pitanje na temelju Konvencije, uz jasan izostanak svakog zlostavljanjasuprotnog članku 3. Konvencije od strane policije? U potpunosti se slažem sa zaključkom Vijeća da „nema osnove za sumnju da je nad njim izvršen pritisak ili da se prkosilo njegovoj volji” (vidi presudu Vijeća, st. 102.).

Samo na trenutak, zamislimo hipotetsku situaciju u kojoj je policija dopustila odvjetniku G.M. da bude prisutan tijekom njihovog ispitivanja podnositelja zahtjeva. Pretpostavljam da bi prigovor podnositelja zahtjeva tada bio da odvjetnik prema njegovom odabiru nije bio G.M. već M.R. i da su policija ili njegovi roditelji nametnuli G.M. kao njegovog odvjetnika,prkoseći njegovoj slobodnoj volji koja je jasno izražena u iskazu koji je dao bez ikakvog znaka zlostavljanja od strane policije. Zbog tih je razloga Sud propustio prigodu povući jasnu crtu između dva različita razdoblja postupka – jednog gdje je M.R, i drugoga gdje je G.M. odvjetnik prema odabiru podnositelja zahtjeva u vezi s njegovim prigovorom. Uz izostanak svakogzlostavljanja ili svakog drugog mjerodavnog faktora koji bi mogao učiniti postupak kao cjelinu nepoštenim, prigovor podnositelja zahtjeva je bez čvrstih temelja.

Konačno, jako me zanima kako će se sudska praksa razvijati u budućnosti u pogledu poštenosti kaznenog postupka i pitanja pravnog zastupanja širom Europe danas u svjetlu ove presude. 

 

 

GRAND CHAMBER

CASE OF DVORSKI v. CROATIA

(Application no. 25703/11)

 

JUDGMENT

 

STRASBOURG

20 October 2015

 

This judgment is final.

 

 

In the case of Dvorski v. Croatia, The European Court of Human Rights, sitting as a Grand Chamber composed of:

Dean Spielmann, President,
Josep Casadevall,
Guido Raimondi,
Mark Villiger,
Boštjan M. Zupančič,

Ján Šikuta,
Päivi Hirvelä,
Luis López Guerra,
Zdravka Kalaydjieva,
Paulo Pinto de Albuquerque,
Helen Keller,
Paul Mahoney,
Johannes Silvis,
Valeriu Griţco,
Faris Vehabović,
Ksenija Turković,
Jon Fridrik Kjølbro, judges,
and Lawrence Early, Jurisconsult,

Having deliberated in private on 21 January and 26 August 2015,

Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on the last-mentioned date:

PROCEDURE

1. The case originated in an application (no. 25703/11) against the Republic of Croatia lodged with the Court under Article 34 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (“the Convention”) by a Croatian national, Mr Ivan Dvorski (“the applicant”), on 16 April 2011.

2. The applicant was represented by Ms S. Maroševac-Čapko, a lawyer practising in Rijeka. The Croatian Government (“the Government”) were represented by their Agent, Ms Š. Stažnik.

3. The applicant alleged, in particular, that he had not had a fair trial because he had not been allowed to be represented by a lawyer of his own choosing during police questioning and that incriminating statements he had made had been used to convict him.

4. The application was allocated to the First Section of the Court (Rule 52 § 1 of the Rules of Court). On 28 June 2011 the President of the First Section decided to give notice of the application to the Government. On 5 November 2013 a Chamber of that Section, composed of Isabelle Berro-Lefèvre, President, Mirjana Lazarova-Trajkovska, Julia Laffranque, Linos-Alexandre Sicilianos, Erik Møse, Ksenija Turković and Dmitry Dedov, judges, and Søren Nielsen, Section Registrar, gave judgment. They unanimously declared the complaint under Article 6 § 1 of the Convention admissible and the remainder of the application inadmissible. They held by a majority that there had been no violation of Article 6 § 1 of the Convention. The joint dissenting opinion of Judges Berro-Lefèvre and Laffranque was annexed to the judgment.

5. In a letter of 21 February 2014, the applicant requested the referral of the case to the Grand Chamber in accordance with Article 43 of the Convention. A panel of the Grand Chamber granted the request on 14 April 2014.

6. The composition of the Grand Chamber was determined according to the provisions of Article 26 §§ 4 and 5 of the Convention and Rule 24.

7. Judge Karakaş was subsequently prevented from taking part in the case and was replaced by the first substitute judge, Ján Šikuta (Rule 28).

8. The applicant and the Government each filed further observations on the merits (Rule 59 § 1).

9. A hearing took place in public in the Human Rights Building, Strasbourg, on 21 January 2015 (Rule 59 § 3).

 

There appeared before the Court:

(a)  for the Government
MsŠ. Stažnik,Agent,
MsN. Katić,
MsM. Briški,
MsS. Raguž,
MrZ. Budimir,Advisers;

(b)  for the applicant
MsS. Maroševac-Čapko,Counsel.

 

The Court heard addresses by Ms Maroševac-Čapko and Ms Stažnik, as well as their replies to questions put by Judges Griţco, López Guerra, Vehabović, Hirvelä, Pinto de Albuquerque, Zupančič, Kalaydjieva and Šikuta.

THE FACTS

I. THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE

10. The applicant was born in 1986 and lives in Rijeka.

A. Background to the case

11. On 13 March 2007, between 2 and 3.30 a.m., three murders, an armed robbery and an arson attack were committed in Vežica, a residential neighbourhood of Rijeka.

12. Later that day, a number of people from Vežica were brought in for questioning at the Rijeka Third Police Station of the Primorsko-Goranska Police Department (Policijska uprava Primorsko-goranska, Treća policijska postaja Rijeka – “Rijeka Police Station”).

13. At about 1 p.m. the same day, the applicant was brought to Rijeka Police Station for questioning. Blood samples were taken from him for DNA analysis and the police searched his flat and through his mobile phone and seized a number of his personal items.

14. The applicant was kept at Rijeka Police Station until his formal arrest at 9.50 a.m. on 14 March 2007 in connection with the above offences.

B. The applicant’s questioning by the police on 14 March 2007

1. The applicant’s version of events

15. According to the applicant, at about 10.40 a.m. on 14 March 2007 his mother, who lived and worked in Italy, called a lawyer, G.M., and asked him to represent the applicant. G.M. came to Rijeka Police Station at 10.45 a.m. but the police officers refused to let him see the applicant. G.M. remained in Rijeka Police Station until midday. He wanted to file a criminal complaint against an unknown person for abuse of power and unlawfully extracting a confession, but the police officers refused to accept his complaint on the ground that he had no power of attorney, and pushed him out of the police station. G.M. immediately informed the Rijeka County Deputy State Attorneys, D.K. and I.B., about the incident and they made a note in their case file. The Rijeka County Court was also immediately informed.

16. At around 1.30 p.m. the applicant’s father signed a power of attorney in favour of G.M. to defend his son. A legal trainee, B.P., then tried to submit the power of attorney to the police but was told to leave.

17. At some time between 3 and 3.30 p.m. G.M. again tried to contact the applicant in Rijeka Police Station but was denied access to him.

18. At about 3.30 p.m. G.M. reported the events described above to the Chief of the Primorsko-Goranska Police Department, V., who made a note regarding their conversation.

19. The applicant was never informed by the police that G.M. had been instructed to represent him and had come to Rijeka Police Station.

20. According to the applicant, he had repeatedly asked the police officers in Rijeka Police Station to contact G.M., but was told that they had tried but there had been no answer.

2. The Government’s version of events

21. According to the Government, at 6 p.m. on 14 March 2007 the applicant agreed to be represented by a lawyer, M.R., a former chief of the Primorsko-Goranska Police. He arrived at Rijeka Police Station at about 7.45 p.m. The Government state that the applicant chose M.R. from a list of lawyers of the Rijeka Bar Association presented to him by the police and that the questioning of the applicant began at 8.10 p.m. According to the record of the applicant’s questioning, the police advised him of his right not to incriminate himself and his right to remain silent and he expressly stated for the record that his lawyer was M.R.

3. Extract of the record of the applicant’s questioning

22. The relevant part of the record of the police questioning of the applicant by Officers T.K. and Z.N. on 14 March 2007, which commenced at 8.10 p.m. and concluded at 11 p.m., reads as follows:

“I have been informed of the reasons for my arrest, the criminal offences of which I am accused, my rights, the right not to answer and the right to be legally represented, as well as the right to have members of my family informed about my arrest. I have chosen and authorised a defence lawyer from Rijeka, M.R., to represent me in these proceedings, and I have consulted him in private; following the consultation with [M.]R. I have decided to give my evidence.”

The record then gives the applicant’s description of the relevant events concerning the charges against him: he confessed that on the night of 13 March 2007, together with L.O. and R.Lj., he had gone to Đ.V.’s flat in Vežica, where he had taken a certain amount of money from Đ.V. and then shot and killed him, his girlfriend and his father. He had then set their flat on fire in order to destroy any trace of his having been there. He also stated that he had promised L.O. and R.Lj. that he would confess to the crimes and take the blame himself if they were arrested.

The final part of the report reads:

“I am not experiencing any withdrawal symptoms or any other crisis. I have given my evidence voluntarily in the presence of my lawyer and a County State Attorney. I have read the entire statement and am signing it as truthful.”

Every page of the record of the applicant’s statement is signed by him.

C. Questioning by an investigating judge on 15 March 2007 at 1.15 p.m.

23. The relevant part of the written record of the applicant’s questioning by an investigating judge reads as follows.

“In response to a question by the court regarding the choice of defence counsel since the case file includes a record of the questioning of the suspect in the presence of defence counsel M.R., and also a power of attorney signed by his parents in favour of the lawyer G.M., the suspect answers:

‘I wish to sign the power of attorney for G.M., a lawyer from Rijeka, and I am hereby withdrawing the power of attorney for M.R.’

...

In response to a question by defence counsel as to whether he had instructed [M.]R. to represent him, the suspect answers:

‘No, I did not. I specifically told the police officers that I wanted G.M. to represent me.

I do not know anything about G.M. coming to the police premises.’

...

In response to a further question by defence counsel as to whether he was under the influence of drugs, the accused answers:

‘I was under the influence of alcohol and drugs.’

...”

24. On 16 March 2007 G.M. applied to the investigating judge for the Rijeka County State Attorney and all his deputies to be removed from the case. The investigating judge forwarded the request to the Rijeka County State Attorney’s Office. The relevant part of the request reads as follows.

“About thirty minutes ago, counsel for the defence learned that the Rijeka County State Attorney, D.H., had been present during the questioning of Ivan Dvorski as a suspect by police officers of Rijeka Police Station on 14 March 2007 at around 7 p.m., in the presence of the ‘defence lawyer’ M.R.

On the same date, at around 10.40 a.m., the mother of Ivan Dvorski, Lj.D., who lives and works in Italy, called [G.M.] and asked him to defend her son Ivan, who was suspected of the offence of aggravated murder. At around 10.45 a.m., [G.M.] went to Rijeka Police Station but the police officers refused to let him see Ivan Dvorski and also did not tell [Ivan Dvorski] that his mother had instructed a lawyer. [G.M.] remained in Rijeka Police Station until 12 noon. He wanted to file a criminal complaint against an unknown person for abuse of power and unlawfully extracting a confession, but the police officers refused to accept his complaint on the ground that he had no power of attorney and pushed him out of the police station. [G.M.] immediately informed the Rijeka County Deputy State Attorneys, D.K. and I.B., about the incident and they made an official note in their case file.

Therefore, at around 12.30 p.m. the Rijeka County State Attorney already knew that [G.M.] had been retained by [Ivan Dvorski’s] mother and that he had not been able to contact his client.

The [Rijeka] County Court was also immediately informed.

At around 1.30 p.m. Ivan Dvorski’s father signed a power of attorney for the defence of his son. A legal trainee, B.P., [then] tried to submit the power of attorney to the police but was told to ‘fuck off with that power of attorney’ and therefore it was not submitted.

At around 3 to 3.30 p.m. [G.]M. again tried to contact his client in Rijeka Police Station but was denied access to him ... However, the defendant was never informed that a defence lawyer had been instructed and had come to Rijeka Police Station.

At around 3.30 p.m. [G.M.] informed the Chief of the Primorsko-Goranska Police Department ..., V., who apparently made an official note concerning their conversation. However, the defendant was never informed that a defence lawyer had been retained and was also never asked whether he wanted to be represented by the lawyer instructed by his family.

Besides that, ever since he had been brought to Rijeka Police Station, [Ivan Dvorski] had asked on a number of occasions for [G.M.] to be contacted but was told by the police officers that they had tried but there had been no answer. When he was brought to the police station, blood samples were taken from the defendant. They showed that he had a high level of alcohol and drugs in his blood.

Between 1 p.m. on 13 March 2007 and around 7 p.m. on 14 March 2007 (these time periods are only known to [G.M.] from informal sources because he had no access to the Rijeka County State Attorney’s case file), the defendant was not given any food.

It is clear that, although all these facts were known to the Rijeka County State Attorney, D.H., he disregarded them and, although present in person, allowed the defendant to be questioned in the presence of a lawyer who had [neither been requested by him] nor ... instructed by his family. This amounts to unlawfully extracting a confession, in breach of Article 225 § 8 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, given that the Rijeka County State Attorney, since about 12.30 p.m. [on 14 March 2007], had known who the [applicant’s chosen] defence lawyer was.

On the same date [G.M.] sent the power of attorney to the Primorsko-Goranska Police Department and written complaints were also sent to the Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia, the State Attorney General of the Republic of Croatia, the Rijeka County State Attorney’s Office, the Croatian Bar Association, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of the Interior, the Chief of the Primorsko-Goranska Police Department and the Rijeka County Court. ...”

D. Investigation

25. On 16 March 2007 an investigation was opened in respect of the applicant, L.O. and R.Lj. on suspicion of having committed the three aggravated murders and arson in Vežica on 13 March 2007.

26. On 23 March 2007 the State Attorney General of the Republic of Croatia (Glavni državni odvjetnik Republike Hrvatske) dismissed G.M.’s request for the removal of the Rijeka County State Attorney on the ground that there were no reasons for disqualifying him from dealing with the case. The relevant part of the decision reads as follows.

“... a statement from D.H., the Rijeka County State Attorney, has been obtained.

In his statement the Rijeka County State Attorney states that on 14 March 2007 at about 10 a.m. he was on the premises of the Rijeka Police Station together with his colleague, I.B.-L., where they were informed of the evidence thus far obtained, and all the evidence that remained to be taken in connection with the events in issue. He came back to the County State Attorney’s premises at about 1 p.m., when the deputies, D.K. and I.B., informed him that G.M. had come to the premises of the County State Attorney and made a complaint regarding the conduct of the police officers of the Rijeka Police Station in refusing him access to Ivan Dvorski, even though he had been given an oral authorisation by Ivan Dvorski’s mother, [who had called him from] Italy. The lawyer had not presented any proof of his authority to represent Ivan Dvorski or of his telephone conversation with Ivan Dvorski’s mother. He had not been able to make contact with the suspect’s father, having been unable to find him since he had no fixed address.

After [the Rijeka County State Attorney, D.H.], had left the premises of the County State Attorney, he had had no further information regarding the actions of the above-mentioned lawyer.

At 5 p.m. [D.H.] returned to the Rijeka Police Station in connection with the case in issue. There, an inspector of the Primorsko-Goranska Police Department told him that Ivan Dvorski was willing to submit his defence in the presence of his defence counsel, M.R., and it was agreed that the questioning would start at about 7 p.m. M.R. arrived at the Rijeka Police Station at 6.40 p.m. and together they went to the room where Ivan Dvorski was. There, the suspect signed the power of attorney in favour of M.R. and agreed that [M.R.] would be present during his questioning by the police. After that, at the request of M.R., the suspect was allowed to talk to the lawyer in private. After ten minutes they all moved to another room, where the suspect, in the presence of his lawyer, the County State Attorney, two police inspectors and a typist, put forward his defence, which was recorded in writing, and all this lasted for more than three hours. After that they all signed the written record [of questioning] and he left the room with M.R.”

27. On 26 March 2007 the Rijeka County State Attorney dismissed the request for the removal of his deputies on the same grounds. The relevant part of that decision reads as follows.

“A Rijeka County Deputy State Attorney, I.B.-L., stated that she had not participated at all in the questioning of Ivan Dvorski by the police, and that she had no knowledge of that stage of the proceedings and, in particular, that she had had no information regarding Ivan Dvorski’s representation by or choice of defence counsel during his questioning. She only knew that on 14 March 2007 G.M. had come to the premises of the Rijeka County State Attorney, where she had met him. He had made a complaint regarding the choice of defence counsel for Ivan Dvorski. He had said that he was Ivan Dvorski’s defence counsel, having been authorised by his mother in a telephone conversation. She [I.B.-L.] commented that that could not constitute a valid power of attorney ...

The statements of the Rijeka County Deputy State Attorneys, D.K. and I.B., show that the only information they had regarding the conduct of the police came from [G.]M., who wanted to made a complaint regarding the conduct of police officers in connection with the choice of lawyer to represent and defend Ivan Dvorski. ... D.K. drew up an official note about this matter and presented it to G.M. The statements of the Rijeka County Deputy State Attorneys, D.K. and I.B., show that [G.M.] had mentioned a power of attorney given to him by Ivan Dvorski’s mother, who lived in Italy and with whom G.M. had talked on the telephone. The Deputies told him that a power of attorney given by telephone could not be considered valid. They had no knowledge of any other acts, including the obtaining of a power of attorney from Ivan Dvorski’s father ...”

28. On 28 March 2007 G.M. informed the Rijeka County Court that he would no longer be representing the applicant and on 30 March 2007 the President of the Rijeka County Court appointed a legal-aid lawyer, Ms Maroševac-Čapko, to represent the applicant.

29. During the investigation, evidence was taken from a number of witnesses, and a report on the inspection of the crime scene and the search and seizure, as well as medical, fire and ballistics expert reports, were obtained by the investigating judge.

E. Proceedings on indictment

30. On 12 July 2007 the Rijeka County State Attorney’s Office indicted the applicant, L.O. and R.Lj. in the Rijeka County Court on three counts of aggravated murder and one count of arson committed on 13 March 2007 in Vežica.

31. The applicant, represented by Ms Maroševac-Čapko, lodged an objection against the indictment with the Rijeka County Court on 24 July 2007 on the ground that it contained numerous substantive and procedural flaws. He also argued that he had given his statement to the police under the influence of alcohol and drugs. He made no comments regarding his legal representation during the police questioning.

32. The applicant’s objection against the indictment was dismissed as ill-founded by a three-judge panel of the Rijeka County Court on 28 August 2007.

33. On 9 October 2007, the first day of the trial, the applicant and the other accused pleaded not guilty to all charges and the trial court heard evidence from seven witnesses.

34. Another hearing was held on 11 October 2007, at which the trial court examined video-recordings of the crime-scene investigation and the autopsies of the victims.

35. Further hearings were held on 12 November 2007 and 11 January 2008, at which the trial court heard evidence from nine witnesses.

36. At a hearing on 14 January 2008, two experts in toxicology, a fingerprint expert, a ballistics expert and a DNA expert gave evidence. The defence made no objections in respect of their evidence. At the same hearing four other witnesses gave evidence.

37. At a hearing on 15 January 2008, the trial court heard evidence from another expert in toxicology and a pathologist, as well as thirteen other witnesses. The defence made no objections in respect of the evidence of the expert witnesses but asked the trial court to commission a psychiatric report in respect of the applicant.

38. At the same hearing the defence lawyer asked for a handwriting expert’s report to be commissioned in respect of the applicant’s signature on the record of his statement given to the police on 14 March 2007. She argued that the applicant had not signed any record during his questioning by the police.

39. The trial court considered that for the time being it was not necessary to commission a psychiatric report and thus dismissed the applicant’s request to that effect. However, it commissioned a handwriting expert’s report in respect of the signature on the record of the applicant’s statement given to the police.

40. On 23 January 2008 the handwriting expert submitted her report. She found that the applicant had signed the record of his statement given to the police on 14 March 2007.

41. Another hearing was held on 12 March 2008, at which a medical expert, fire expert witnesses and one other witness gave evidence. The handwriting expert also gave oral evidence confirming her previous findings. The applicant’s lawyer challenged the veracity of these findings and applied to have another report commissioned, but the application was rejected by the trial court. At the same hearing, the trial court commissioned a psychiatric report in respect of the applicant and the other accused.

42. On 2 April 2008 the applicant asked the Rijeka County Court to call the lawyer, G.M., as a witness in connection with the alleged unlawful extraction of his confession by the police. He pointed out that G.M. had not been allowed to see him while he had been in police custody and stated that he had been forced to confess by the police officers.

43. On 24 April 2008 the two psychiatric experts submitted their report to the Rijeka County Court. They found that the applicant suffered from borderline personality disorder and addictions to heroin and alcohol. However, they found no distinctive mental disorder or illness. They concluded that, even assuming that he had been intoxicated at the time the murders had been committed, he had retained the mental capacity to understand the nature of his acts, although it had been diminished to a certain degree. As to his mental capacity concerning the charge of arson, they concluded that, at the time the offence had been committed, the applicant had been able to understand the nature of his acts and to control his actions.

44. At a hearing on 26 June 2008, the psychiatric experts confirmed their findings and the parties made no objections in respect of their evidence. The trial court also dismissed the applicant’s request for G.M. to be heard as a witness, on the ground that all the relevant facts had already been established.

45. At the same hearing one of the accused, R.Lj., confirmed the course of the events as described by the applicant in his statement given to the police on 14 March 2007. R.Lj. claimed, however, that he had not personally participated in the killings, because he had panicked and had left the flat when he had heard fighting.

46. After R.Lj. had given his statement, the Rijeka County Deputy State Attorney amended the indictment. The applicant was charged with three counts of aggravated murder, armed robbery and arson, and L.O. and R.Lj. were charged with armed robbery and aiding and abetting the perpetrator of an offence. The applicant and the other accused pleaded not guilty to the charges listed in the amended indictment.

47. On 27 June 2008 L.O. gave oral evidence confirming the course of the events as described by R.Lj. He stated that after the applicant had got into a fight with Đ.V. he had heard gunshots, after which he had panicked and left the flat.

48. At the same hearing the parties submitted their closing arguments. The applicant’s defence lawyer argued that it had not been proved that the applicant had committed the offences he was charged with. She pointed out, however, that if the trial court took a different view, then the applicant’s confession to the police and his sincere regret had to be taken into consideration in sentencing him.

49. On 30 June 2008 the Rijeka County Court found the applicant guilty of the three counts of aggravated murder and of the charges of armed robbery and arson and sentenced him to forty years’ imprisonment. The trial court first examined the applicant’s confession against those of the other co-accused, L.O. and R.Lj., and found that his confession was essentially consistent with the evidence provided by them. In finding the applicant guilty, the trial court also assessed his confession against the evidence from the case file.

50. The trial court relied in particular on the search and seizure records and photographs depicting L.O. holding the same type of handgun as had been used for the murders. On the basis of the witness statements and the recording of a nearby video surveillance camera, the trial court concluded that the applicant and the other co-accused had gone to Đ.V.’s flat on the date in question. Furthermore, the ballistics reports and the crime-scene reports indicated that the details of the statements of the applicant and his co-accused were accurate, and the course of the events was ascertained on the basis of the fire, ballistics, toxicology and DNA reports. The trial court also found that the statements of the accused as to the manner in which the murders had been carried out were supported by the autopsy reports, the evidence of the pathologist provided at the trial, the crime-scene report and the witness statements about the gunshots that had been heard in Đ.V.’s flat. Furthermore, as to the arson charge, the trial court examined the material from the crime-scene investigation and the evidence from the fire expert report, as well as medical records and damage reports submitted by the victims, and the statements of a number of residents in the building where the fire had occurred.

51. As regards the applicant’s questioning by the police and the request made by the defence to hear evidence from G.M. (see paragraphs 42 and 44 above), the Rijeka County Court noted as follows.

“The first accused, Ivan Dvorski, confessed to the criminal offences of robbery, aggravated murder of Ɖ.V., M.Š. and B.V. ..., exactly as is stated in the operative part of this judgment, to the police and in the presence of a defence lawyer. He later tried to contest that statement, claiming that he had not instructed the defence lawyer, M.R., that he had told the police officers that he wanted G.M. as his lawyer, that at the time he had been taken to the police station he had been under the influence of alcohol and drugs, and so on. However, this defence is not acceptable. The written record of arrest shows that Ivan Dvorski was arrested on 14 March 2007 at 9.50 a.m. at the Rijeka Police Station, and [M.]R., in favour of whom Ivan Dvorski signed the power of attorney, came to the police station on 14 March 2007 at 7.45 p.m. The written record of the questioning of the then suspect Ivan Dvorski shows that M.R. was informed at 6.15 p.m. and that the questioning started at 8.10 p.m. Besides the officers of the Rijeka Police, a typist and the defence lawyer of the then suspect Ivan Dvorski, the County State Attorney was also present during the questioning. The introductory part of the written record [indicates] that the then suspect Ivan Dvorski clearly stated that he had chosen and authorised M.R. to act as his defence lawyer and had consulted with him, after which he decided to give his statement. The written record is properly signed by the persons present. The first accused Ivan Dvorski had read the written record before signing it. Thus, the above shows without doubt that the contentions of Ivan Dvorski that he had not retained M.R. as his lawyer are unfounded. During the trial, at the request of Ivan Dvorski’s defence, a handwriting expert gave her opinion regarding the signature of Ivan Dvorski on the written record of his questioning by the police. The expert opinion proved beyond any doubt that the contested signature was that of Ivan Dvorski. The panel accepts such findings in their entirety; the findings were further explained at a hearing by the expert Lj.Z. Her findings were given in an objective, impartial and professional manner. Therefore, the questioning of Ivan Dvorski by the police was carried out in compliance with the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

...

The request made by [Ivan Dvorski’s] defence to call G.M. as a witness ... was dismissed as irrelevant, since the documents from the case file do not reveal that there was any extraction of a confession by the police, but only [record] the time at which [M.]R. came [to the police station], whereupon the questioning of [Ivan Dvorski] in the presence of the lawyer for whom he had signed a power of attorney started ... Nobody, including [Ivan Dvorski’s] defence lawyer who was present during the police questioning – [M.]R. – has alleged any unlawful extraction of a confession and there is no indication of this in the record of the statement given by Ivan Dvorski, [who] at the time [was] only a suspect.”

52. The applicant lodged an appeal against the first-instance judgment with the Supreme Court (Vrhovni sud Republike Hrvatske) on 6 November 2008. He complained, inter alia, that the conviction had been based on his confession to the police, which had not been given in the presence of a lawyer of his own choosing, namely G.M., but in the presence of a lawyer, M.R., who had been offered to him by the police. The applicant also referred to the request for the removal of the Rijeka County State Attorney and all his deputies lodged by G.M. on 16 March 2007, highlighting the part of that request which stated that he had been denied food during his detention in police custody. The relevant part of the applicant’s appeal reads as follows.

“The statement given by the first accused to the police was unlawfully obtained, for the following reasons. When the first accused was brought to the Rijeka Police Station his defence rights were seriously infringed. However, during the trial this infringement was ignored. On 14 March 2007, the first accused’s mother and then also his now late father retained G.M. as his defence lawyer before the police, after he had been arrested. However, G.M. was not allowed access to the accused, and subsequently informed the relevant authorities thereof, but they ignored this. G.M. therefore lodged an action in the Rijeka Municipal Court in respect of an unlawful act, as well as a request for the removal of the Rijeka County State Attorney and all his deputies. In that request he alleged that the first accused had not been given any food by the police from 13 March 2007 at 1 p.m., when he had been brought to the Rijeka Police Station, until he had agreed to be represented by M.R. on 14 March at about 7 p.m. so as to give a self-incriminating statement, which was in violation of Article 225 § 8 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Because of that, the defence asked for G.M. to be examined [at the trial] since he had knowledge about the questioning of the first accused by the police.”

53. On 8 April 2009 the Supreme Court dismissed the applicant’s appeal as ill-founded. As regards his complaints concerning his statement to the police, that court noted:

“... The lawfulness of [the statement given to the police] was not put in doubt by the appellant’s complaints that M.R. was not his lawyer and that his lawyer was G.M., who had been retained by his father and mother on the same day, or by the appellant’s complaints that he had been denied food in the period between 1 p.m. on 13 March 2007 and 7 p.m. on 14 March 2007 until he had agreed to instruct M.R. to act as his lawyer, since according to the record of his arrest ..., the appellant was arrested at 9.50 a.m. on 14 March 2007 and the lawyer M.R. arrived [at the police station] at 6.45 p.m. on the same day.”

54. The applicant lodged a further appeal against the judgment of the Court of Appeal with the Supreme Court on 14 September 2009, reiterating his previous arguments. The relevant part of the appeal reads as follows.

“The first accused has to comment on the conclusions of the appeal court that the allegation that food was denied to him from 1 p.m. on 13 March 2007 until he agreed to be represented by M.R. at 7 p.m. on 14 March 2007 had no bearing on the lawfulness of the evidence [(the record of his questioning)] because the written record of his arrest showed that he had been arrested on 14 March 2007 at 9.50 a.m. and that M.R. had arrived on the same day at 6.45 p.m. The Record of Attendance F/949, which is in the case file, shows that the first accused was brought to the police station on 13 March 2007 at 2 p.m. and was kept there. He was arrested the next day, as found by the first-instance court. However, it is not true that M.R. came to the police station at 6.45 p.m.: he came at 7.45 p.m., which shows that the allegations of the first accused are true. That fact could have been verified by the evidence of G.M., who represented the first accused during the investigation ...”

55. On 17 December 2009 the Supreme Court, acting as the court of final appeal, dismissed the applicant’s appeal as ill-founded. That court pointed out that the record of the applicant’s statement suggested that he had chosen M.R. to represent him during police questioning and that M.R. had provided him with adequate legal advice. The Supreme Court also noted that there was nothing in the case file to indicate that the applicant had been ill-treated or forced to confess. The relevant part of the judgment reads as follows.

“The appellant erroneously argues that the first-instance court committed a grave breach of criminal procedure, contrary to Article 367 § 2 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, in basing his conviction on the statement he gave to the police in the presence of a defence lawyer, which [in the appellant’s view] constitutes unlawfully obtained evidence for the purposes of Article 9 § 2 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, and that the record of his questioning as a suspect by the police (in the presence of a defence lawyer) should thus have been excluded from the case file. In so doing, the appellant challenges the reasoning of the second-instance judgment to the effect that the lawfulness of the evidence was not affected by the appellant’s arguments that during his apprehension and arrest he had not been given food until he had agreed to be represented by M.R. These arguments of the appellant were refuted by the second-instance court on the basis of all the formally established information contained in the record of [his] questioning in the presence of a lawyer on 14 March 2007.

This Court notes that [the complaint] regarding the question of the presence of a lawyer [during the questioning], as a legal requirement for the lawfulness of evidence obtained in this way during the police investigation, relates to two objections. The first objection concerns the restriction of access to the lawyer of [the defendant’s] own choosing, and the second objection relates to the pressure exerted on the suspect through the denial of food (Article 225 § 8 of the Code of Criminal Procedure), which, according to the appeal, eventually made him accept legal representation by the lawyer imposed on him, M.R., although his parents had already engaged the services of G.M. on the morning of 14 March 2007.

It is to be noted that during the police criminal investigation a number of persons with a background of drug abuse, and with links to the victim Đ.V., were arrested, in particular from the neighbourhood of Gornja Vežica, and it was in the course of this action that the accused, Ivan Dvorski, was also apprehended. Only when a probable cause was established that the accused could have been the perpetrator of the offences in issue was he arrested on 14 March 2007 at 9.50 a.m.

At the same time the father of the accused, who was in Croatia, whereas the accused’s mother was in Italy, was informed [of the arrest] by the police at 2.10 p.m., which shows that from that moment the father of the accused (after a telephone conversation with his mother) could have engaged the services of a lawyer for the accused, for which he would most certainly have needed some time. In such circumstances, this Court finds that the parents of the accused could not have already signed a power of attorney for the lawyer of the accused’s choice by 1.30 p.m. on the day in question.

The other information from the record of the accused’s arrest and from the record of his questioning by the police shows that on 14 March 2007, as is indicated by the record of the arrest, the accused was brought to the Rijeka Police Station and, as is apparent from the record of Ivan Dvorski’s questioning by the police, the defence lawyer, M.R., was informed at 6.15 p.m. and came to the police station at 7.45 p.m. The questioning itself commenced at 8.10 p.m. and ended at 11 p.m., with a break between 10.35 p.m. and 10.38 p.m.

It should be emphasised that in the introductory part of the record [of his questioning] the suspect, Ivan Dvorski, expressly stated that he had chosen M.R. as his defence lawyer and had signed the power of attorney in favour of him, and the record of the questioning shows that the defence lawyer had almost half an hour for consultation with the suspect before the questioning, in which time he was able to advise him of his rights.

Thus, the relevant fact which follows from the formal procedural action described in the record of the suspect’s questioning is that the chosen lawyer came at least half an hour before the questioning commenced, and in the consultation with [the suspect] before the questioning he was able to give [the suspect] genuine legal advice as his chosen lawyer.

It should also be noted that the essence of the suspect’s right to have a lawyer present during his questioning by the police lies in the necessity for legal protection of his rights, which is why the beginning, conduct and end of this formal [procedural] action is fully registered in the record [of the questioning].

This is why all arguments to the contrary, as set out in the appeal against the second-instance judgment, and particularly those relating to the need to question G.M. as the second concurrent lawyer of [the suspect’s] choosing, have no support in the content of the formal record of the suspect’s questioning of 14 March 2007, because the record contains formally registered information regarding the contact with the chosen lawyer, the time the chosen lawyer came into the Rijeka Police Station, the time the questioning of the suspect commenced, the period in which a short break took place, and the time the procedural action finished, all of which was confirmed by the suspect and the defence lawyer of his choosing by signing the record without any objections as to its content.

However, irrespective of the fact that the defence of the accused in the context of police questioning formally satisfied the requirements of Article 177 § 5 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the general thrust of the defence, as well as the substance of the defence as regards particular acts, and the confession, were provided voluntarily by the suspect, and his chosen lawyer was most certainly unable to have any influence on this, which at the same time rules out the possibility of any mental pressure being exerted on the suspect, as well as his subsequent arguments regarding the lawyer having been imposed on him during the police investigation. On the contrary, the suspect’s defence rights were fully secured, as required under the Constitution and the Code of Criminal Procedure.

There is therefore no breach of Article 367 § 2 in conjunction with Article 9 § 2 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The refusal of the request to have the record of the suspect’s questioning by the police in the presence of a lawyer of his choosing excluded from the case file as unlawfully obtained evidence does not constitute a breach of his defence rights because the record of the suspect’s questioning by the police clearly and undoubtedly shows that the lawyer who was present [during the questioning] was the lawyer of the suspect’s free choice, and this also follows from the signed power of attorney in favour of the lawyer in question, who protected the suspect’s rights during the questioning. Accordingly, the refusal of the defence’s request did not have any bearing on the lawfulness and correctness of the judgment. At the same time, it was not necessary to question the new chosen lawyer as a witness and, for the reasons set out above, the facts of the case were not insufficiently or erroneously established, as was argued in the defendant’s appeal against the second-instance judgment.”

56. The applicant lodged a constitutional complaint with the Constitutional Court (Ustavni sud Republike Hrvatske) on 11 March 2010. He complained, inter alia, that he had been ill-treated while in police custody and that he had been forced to confess. He also complained that he had been denied the chance to have a lawyer of his own choosing conduct his defence. He reiterated his arguments from his previous appeals and added:

“It is also important to stress that at the session of the Supreme Court as the court of third instance, held on 17 December 2009, the defence indicated that the applicant had been brought to the police station at 2 p.m. on 13 March 2007, and that that fact was shown in the Record of Attendance F/949, which was in the case file. The defence asked the panel [of the Supreme Court] to have a look at that record. However, after a brief examination of the case file it was established that the document in question could not be found, and that it would be looked at later. However, the judgment of the Supreme Court, acting as a third-instance court, shows that the document had [still] not been found ...”

57. On 16 September 2010 the Constitutional Court dismissed the applicant’s constitutional complaint. The Constitutional Court, endorsing the reasoning of the Supreme Court, noted that the proceedings as a whole had been fair and that there was no evidence in the case file that the applicant had been ill-treated while in police custody.

II. RELEVANT LAW

A. Domestic law

58. The relevant provisions of the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia (Ustav Republike Hrvatske, Official Gazette nos. 56/1990, 135/1997, 113/2000, 28/2001 and 76/2010) read as follows.

Article 23

“No one shall be subjected to any form of ill-treatment ...”

Article 29

“In the determination of his rights and obligations or of any criminal charge against him, everyone is entitled to a fair hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial court established by law.

In the event of suspicion of a criminal offence or criminal charges [being brought], the suspect, defendant or accused shall have the right:

...

– to defend himself in person or with the assistance of a defence lawyer of his own choosing, and if he does not have sufficient means to pay for legal assistance, to be given it free as provided by law,

...”

59. The relevant provisions of the Criminal Code (Kazneni zakon, Official Gazette nos. 110/1997, 27/1998, 129/2000, 51/2001, 105/2004, 84/2005 and 71/2006) provide as follows.

Aggravated Murder
Article 91

“A sentence of imprisonment of not less than ten years or long-term imprisonment shall be imposed on anyone who:

...

(6) murders another in order to commit or to cover up another criminal offence,

...”

Robbery
Article 218

“1. Anyone who, by using force against a person or threatening a direct attack on a person’s life or limb, takes away movable property from another with intent to unlawfully appropriate it shall be punished by imprisonment of one to ten years.

2. If the perpetrator commits the robbery as a member of a group or a criminal organisation, or if, during the robbery, a weapon or dangerous instrument is used, the perpetrator shall be punished by imprisonment of three to fifteen years.”

Endangering Life and Property through 
Dangerous Acts or Means
Article 263

“1. Anyone who endangers the life or limb of others or property of considerable value by [starting a] fire ... shall be punished by imprisonment of six months to five years.

...

3. If the criminal offences referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2 of this Article are committed at a place where a number of people are gathered ... the perpetrator shall be punished by imprisonment of one to eight years.

...”

Aggravated Criminal Offences against Public Safety
Article 271 § 1

“If, as a result of the criminal offence referred to in Article 263 § 1 ... of this Code, serious bodily injury to another or extensive material damage has been caused, the perpetrator shall be punished by imprisonment of one to eight years.”

60. The relevant provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Zakon o kaznenom postupku, Official Gazette nos. 110/1997, 27/1998, 58/1999, 112/1999, 58/2002, 143/2002 and 62/2003) provide as follows.

Article 62

“1. A defendant may be represented by a lawyer at any stage of the proceedings, as well as before their commencement when prescribed by this Act. ...

...

4. The defendant’s legal guardian, spouse or common-law spouse, linear blood relative, adoptive parent or adopted child, sibling or foster parent may instruct a lawyer for the defendant, unless the defendant expressly refuses this.

...

6. A defence lawyer must present his power of attorney to the authorities conducting the proceedings. The defendant may also grant a power of attorney to a lawyer orally before the authority conducting the proceedings, in which case this must be entered in the record.”

Article 177 § 5

“In the course of the investigation, the police authorities shall inform the suspect pursuant to Article 225, paragraph 2, of this Code. At the request of the suspect, the police authorities shall allow him to instruct a lawyer and for that purpose they shall stop interviewing the suspect until the lawyer appears or at the latest three hours from the moment the suspect asked to appoint the lawyer. ... If the circumstances indicate that the chosen lawyer will not be able to appear within this period of time, the police authorities shall allow the suspect to appoint a lawyer from the list of lawyers on duty provided to the competent police authority by the county branches of the Croatian Bar Association ... If the suspect does not instruct a lawyer or if the requested lawyer fails to appear within the time allowed, the police authorities may resume interviewing the suspect ... The State Attorney has the right to be present during the questioning. The record of [any] statement given by the defendant to the police authorities in the presence of a lawyer may be used as evidence in the criminal proceedings.”

Article 225 § 2

“The accused shall be informed of the charges and the grounds of suspicion against him, as well as of his right to remain silent.”

61. The Code of Criminal Procedure, as amended in 2011, provides as follows.

Article 502

“...

2. The provisions concerning the reopening of criminal proceedings shall be applicable in the case of a request for revision of any final court decision on account of a final judgment of the European Court of Human Rights by which a violation of the rights and freedoms under the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms has been found.

3. A request for the reopening of proceedings on account of a final judgment of the European Court of Human Rights may be lodged within a thirty-day time-limit starting from the date on which the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights becomes final.”

Article 574

“...

2. If prior to the entry into force of this Code a decision was adopted in respect of which a legal remedy is available pursuant to the provisions of legislation relevant to the proceedings [in which the decision was adopted], ... the provisions of that legislation shall be applicable [to the proceedings concerning the remedy], unless otherwise provided under this Code.

3. Articles 497 to 508 of this Code shall accordingly be applicable to requests for the reopening of criminal proceedings made under the Code of Criminal Procedure (Official Gazette nos. 110/1997, 27/1998, 58/1999, 112/1999, 58/2002, 143/2002, 62/2003 and 115/2006).”

B. Relevant international law materials

Right of access to a lawyer of one’s own choosing during police custody

(a) Council of Europe

(i) Rules adopted by the Committee of Ministers

62. Rule 93 of the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (Resolution (73) 5 of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe) provides:

“An untried prisoner shall be entitled, as soon as he is imprisoned, to choose his legal representation ... and to receive visits from his legal adviser with a view to his defence and to prepare and hand to him, and to receive, confidential instructions. At his request, he shall be given all necessary facilities for this purpose. ... Interviews between the prisoner and his legal adviser may be within sight but not within hearing, either direct or indirect, of a police or institution official.”

63. Furthermore, Recommendation Rec(2006)2 of the Committee of Ministers to member States of the Council of Europe on the European Prison Rules, adopted on 11 January 2006 at the 952nd meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies, reads in so far as relevant as follows:

Legal advice

23.1 All prisoners are entitled to legal advice, and the prison authorities shall provide them with reasonable facilities for gaining access to such advice.

23.2 Prisoners may consult on any legal matter with a legal adviser of their own choice and at their own expense.

...

23.5 A judicial authority may in exceptional circumstances authorise restrictions on such confidentiality to prevent serious crime or major breaches of prison safety and security.”

(ii) Report to the Croatian Government on the visit to Croatia carried out by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) from 4 to 14 May 2007

64. The relevant part of this report reads as follows.

“18. The majority of the persons interviewed by the delegation during the 2007 visit indicated that they had been informed of their right of access to a lawyer shortly after apprehension. However, as during previous visits, it appeared that many persons detained by the police had been allowed to exercise that right only some time after apprehension, in particular after a statement relating to a specific criminal offence had been obtained from them.

The fact that persons summoned to a police station for ‘informative talks’ were still not allowed to have access to a lawyer is another matter of continuing concern to the Committee. Police officers interviewed by the delegation stated that, in the context of such ‘talks’, access to a lawyer could only be granted when a person was formally declared a suspect.

In the light of the above, the CPT again calls upon the Croatian authorities to take effective steps without any further delay to ensure that the right of access to a lawyer (including the right to have a lawyer present during police questioning) is enjoyed by all persons detained by the police, as from the very outset of their deprivation of liberty. This right should apply not only to criminal suspects but also to anyone who is under a legal obligation to attend – and stay at – a police establishment. If necessary, the law should be amended. Naturally, the fact that a detained person has stated that he wishes to have access to a lawyer should not prevent the police from beginning to question/interview him on urgent matters before the lawyer arrives. Provision could also be made for the replacement of a lawyer who impedes the proper conduct of an interrogation, on the understanding that such a possibility should be strictly circumscribed and subject to appropriate safeguards.

19. The CPT is concerned that, during the 2007 visit, the Croatian legal aid system appeared to display the same shortcomings as in 2003. In many instances, ex officio lawyers had had no contact with the detained persons until the first court hearing. In addition, in some cases, detained persons expressed scepticism about ex officio lawyers’ independence from the police. The CPT reiterates its recommendation that the system of free legal aid to detained persons be reviewed, in order to ensure its effectiveness from the very outset of police custody. Particular attention should be paid to the issue of independence of ex officio lawyers from the police.”

(iii) Report to the Croatian Government on the visit to Croatia carried out by the CPT from 19 to 27 September 2012

65. The relevant part of this report reads as follows.

“19. The CPT’s delegation also received some allegations that detained persons had not been able to have access to a lawyer named by them, as the police officers considered that their only duty was to contact ex officio lawyers from the standard list rather than to contact a specific lawyer directly.

The CPT recommends that police officers be reminded that persons deprived of their liberty by the police have the right of access to a lawyer of their own choice; if a detained person requests access to a specific lawyer, then that contact should be facilitated; the ex officio lawyer from the standard list should be contacted only if the first-mentioned lawyer cannot be reached or does not appear.”

(b) United Nations

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

66. Article 14 § 3 (b) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights provides that everyone charged with a criminal offence is entitled “[t]o have adequate time and facilities for the preparation of his defence and to communicate with counsel of his own choosing”.

THE LAW

I. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 6 §§ 1 AND 3 (c) OF THE CONVENTION

67. The applicant complained that he had not had a fair trial because he had not been allowed to be represented by G.M. during police questioning. He relied on Article 6 §§ 1 and 3 (c) of the Convention, which, in so far as relevant, reads as follows.

“1. In the determination of ... any criminal charge against him, everyone is entitled to a fair ... hearing ... by [a] ... tribunal ...

3. Everyone charged with a criminal offence has the following minimum rights:

...

(c) to defend himself in person or through legal assistance of his own choosing or, if he has not sufficient means to pay for legal assistance, to be given it free when the interests of justice so require;

...”

A. The Chamber’s conclusions

68. The Chamber concentrated its assessment on the issue of the applicant’s right to retain counsel of his own choosing and whether as a result of not having had that opportunity, he was prevailed upon in a coercive environment to incriminate himself without the benefit of effective legal advice. It concluded, given that the applicant had never complained about the quality of the service provided by M.R., that the trial court had addressed the applicant’s complaint about his representation during police questioning; that the applicant’s confession was not central to the prosecution’s case; and that there was no evidence that any pressure had been exerted on the applicant to confess. Viewing the fairness of the proceedings as a whole, the Chamber found that the applicant’s defence rights had not been irretrievably prejudiced, nor had his right to a fair trial under Article 6 of the Convention been adversely affected. The Chamber held that there had been no violation of Article 6.

B. The parties’ submissions to the Grand Chamber

1. The applicant

69. The applicant argued that when questioned by the police he had wanted G.M. to represent him since G.M. had been his lawyer in another case and the applicant trusted him. Furthermore, his parents had instructed G.M. to represent him. However, G.M. had been prevented by the police from seeing him.

70. The police had not presented him with a list of lawyers from which to choose his defence counsel. Another lawyer, M.R., had been called by the police and had been given only twenty-five minutes to confer with the applicant, which, given the complexity and seriousness of the charges against him, had clearly not been sufficient. M.R. had requested the police to commence questioning as soon as possible, given the late hour.

2. The Government

71. The Government argued that the applicant had already been aware at about 2 p.m. on 13 March 2007 that the police wished to question him in connection with three murders, armed robbery and arson, yet he had not attempted to contact G.M. before the questioning.

72. When arrested by the police at 9.50 a.m. on 14 March 2007, the applicant had at first waived his right to a lawyer. About eight hours later he had changed his mind and asked for a lawyer. The police had then presented him with a list of the Primorsko-Goranska County criminal defence lawyers, from which he had chosen M.R. of his own free will. Upon M.R.’s arrival, he had signed a power of attorney, without being coerced into doing so by the police. Therefore, M.R. had been the lawyer of the applicant’s own choosing. The Government stressed that these were the facts and that all the applicant’s other allegations, namely those concerning G.M., amounted to mere speculation.

73. The Government further submitted that there had been no evidence that G.M. had had a power of attorney on 14 March 2007, signed by either of the applicant’s parents. Even if G.M. had been the lawyer appointed by either of the applicant’s parents, he had not been the lawyer of the applicant’s own choosing since the applicant had chosen M.R. to represent him.

74. The applicant had been questioned by the police on numerous previous occasions (he had been arrested twenty-two times in the past), and had therefore been familiar with the situation in which he had found himself. On each of these occasions he had been represented by a different lawyer. Had he wished G.M. to represent him, he would have indicated that to the police. However, he had not done so.

75. The applicant had never complained to the domestic courts about the quality of the service provided by M.R. The Government argued that the domestic courts had provided adequate reasoning in response to the applicant’s complaint that he had not been represented by a lawyer of his own choosing during the questioning at the police station. The fact that the applicant had chosen to confess to the charges against him was not unusual, since the applicant had previously confessed to committing crimes with which he had been charged in different criminal proceedings, including on one occasion in the presence of G.M.

C. The Grand Chamber’s assessment

1. General principles

76. The Court reiterates that, even if the primary purpose of Article 6 of the Convention, as far as criminal proceedings are concerned, is to ensure a fair trial by a “tribunal” competent to determine “any criminal charge”, it does not follow that the Article has no application to pre-trial proceedings. Thus, Article 6 – especially paragraph 3 thereof – may be relevant before a case is sent for trial if and in so far as the fairness of the trial is liable to be seriously prejudiced by an initial failure to comply with its provisions. As the Court has already held in its previous judgments, the right set out in Article 6 § 3 (c) of the Convention is one element, among others, of the concept of a fair trial in criminal proceedings contained in Article 6 § 1 (see Imbrioscia v. Switzerland, 24 November 1993, §§ 36-37, Series A no. 275, and Salduz v. Turkey [GC], no. 36391/02, § 50, ECHR 2008).

77. The Court has held that, in order to exercise his right of defence, the accused should normally be allowed to have the effective benefit of the assistance of a lawyer from the initial stages of the proceedings because national laws may attach consequences to the attitude of an accused at the initial stages of police interrogation which are decisive for the prospects of the defence in any subsequent criminal proceedings (see Salduz, cited above, § 52). The Court has also recognised that an accused often finds himself in a particularly vulnerable position at that stage of the proceedings, and in most cases this can only be properly compensated for by the assistance of a lawyer, whose task is, among other things, to help to ensure that the right of an accused not to incriminate himself is respected (ibid., § 54; see also Pavlenko v. Russia, no. 42371/02, § 101, 1 April 2010).

78. In such circumstances, the Court considers it important that from the initial stages of the proceedings a person charged with a criminal offence who does not wish to defend himself in person must be able to have recourse to legal assistance of his own choosing (for more detailed reasoning, see Martin v. Estonia, no. 35985/09, §§ 90 and 93, 30 May 2013). This follows from the very wording of Article 6 § 3 (c), which guarantees that “[e]veryone charged with a criminal offence has the following minimum rights: ... to defend himself ... through legal assistance of his own choosing ...”, and is generally recognised in international human rights standards as a mechanism for securing an effective defence to the accused. The Court emphasises that the fairness of proceedings requires that an accused should be able to obtain the whole range of services specifically associated with legal assistance (see Dayanan v. Turkey, no. 7377/03, § 32, 13 October 2009, and paragraph 108 below).

79. Notwithstanding the importance of the relationship of confidence between a lawyer and his client, this right is not absolute. It is necessarily subject to certain limitations where free legal aid is concerned and also where it is for the courts to decide whether the interests of justice require that the accused be defended by counsel appointed by them (see Croissant v. Germany, 25 September 1992, § 29, Series A no. 237-B). The Court has consistently held that the national authorities must have regard to the defendant’s wishes as to his or her choice of legal representation, but may override those wishes when there are relevant and sufficient grounds for holding that this is necessary in the interests of justice (ibid., § 29; see also Meftah and Others v. France [GC], nos. 32911/96 and 2 others, § 45, ECHR 2002‑VII; Mayzit v. Russia, no. 63378/00, § 66, 20 January 2005; Klimentyev v. Russia, no. 46503/99, § 116, 16 November 2006; Vitan v. Romania, no. 42084/02, § 59, 25 March 2008; Pavlenko, cited above, § 98; Zagorodniy v. Ukraine, no. 27004/06, § 52, 24 November 2011; and Martin, cited above, § 90). Where such grounds are lacking, a restriction on the free choice of defence counsel would entail a violation of Article 6 § 1 together with paragraph 3 (c) if it adversely affected the applicant’s defence, regard being had to the proceedings as a whole (see Croissant, cited above, § 31; see also Meftah and Others, cited above, §§ 46-47; Vitan, cited above, §§ 58-64; Zagorodniy, cited above, §§ 53-55; and Martin, cited above, §§ 90-97).

80. Moreover, having regard to the considerations mentioned above, as the Court affirmed in its judgment in Salduz, in order for the right to a fair trial to remain “practical and effective”, Article 6 § 1 requires that, as a rule, access to a lawyer should be provided from the first interrogation of a suspect by the police, unless it is demonstrated in the light of the particular circumstances of each case that there are compelling reasons to restrict this right. Even where compelling reasons may exceptionally justify denial of access to a lawyer, such a restriction – whatever its justification – must not unduly prejudice the rights of the accused under Article 6. The rights of the defence will in principle be irretrievably prejudiced when incriminating statements made during police questioning without access to a lawyer are used for a conviction (see Salduz, cited above, § 55-57; see also Panovits v. Cyprus, no. 4268/04, § 66, 11 December 2008).

81. Unlike in Salduz, where the accused, who was being held in custody, had been denied access to a lawyer during police questioning, the present case concerns a situation where the applicant was afforded access to a lawyer from his first interrogation, but not – according to his complaint – a lawyer of his own choosing. In contrast to the cases involving denial of access, the more lenient requirement of “relevant and sufficient” reasons has been applied in situations raising the less serious issue of “denial of choice”. In such cases the Court’s task will be to assess whether, in the light of the proceedings as a whole, the rights of the defence have been “adversely affected” to such an extent as to undermine their overall fairness (see, for example, Croissant, cited above, § 31; Klimentyev, cited above, §§ 117-18; and Martin, cited above, §§ 96-97).

82. It is the latter test which is to be applied in the present case. Against the above background, the Court considers that the first step should be to assess whether it has been demonstrated in the light of the particular circumstances of each case that there were relevant and sufficient grounds for overriding or obstructing the defendant’s wish as to his or her choice of legal representation. Where no such reasons exist, the Court should proceed to evaluate the overall fairness of the criminal proceedings. In making its assessment, the Court may have regard to a variety of factors, including the nature of the proceedings and the application of certain professional requirements (see Meftah and Others, cited above, §§ 45-48, and Martin, cited above, § 90); the circumstances surrounding the designation of counsel and the existence of opportunities for challenging this (ibid., §§ 90-97); the effectiveness of counsel’s assistance (see Croissant, cited above § 31, and Vitan, cited above, §§ 58-64); whether the accused’s privilege against self-incrimination has been respected (see Martin, cited above, § 90); the accused’s age (ibid., § 92); and the trial court’s use of any statements given by the accused at the material time (see, for example, Croissant, cited above, § 31; Klimentyev, cited above, §§ 117-18; and Martin, cited above, §§ 94-95). It is further mindful that the Convention is intended to guarantee rights that are practical and effective and not theoretical and illusory (see, among many other authorities, Airey v. Ireland, 9 October 1979, § 24, Series A no. 32; Imbrioscia, cited above, § 38; Goddi v. Italy, 9 April 1984, § 30, Series A no. 76; and Salduz, cited above, § 55) and that in determining Convention rights one must frequently look beyond appearances and concentrate on the realities of the situation (see, inter aliaDelcourt v. Belgium, 17 January 1970, § 31, Series A no. 11; De Jong, Baljet and Van den Brink v. the Netherlands, 22 May 1984, § 48, Series A no. 77; Pavlenko, cited above, § 112; and Erkapić v. Croatia, no. 51198/08, §§ 80‑82, 25 April 2013). In cases where the accused had no legal representation, the Court also takes into consideration the opportunity given to the accused to challenge the authenticity of evidence and to oppose its use (see Panovits, cited above, § 82), whether the accused is in custody (see Salduz, cited above, § 60); whether such statements constituted a significant element on which the conviction was based and the strength of the other evidence in the case (see Salduz, cited above, § 57, and Panovits, cited above, §§ 76 and 82).

2. Application of these principles to the present case

(a) Was the applicant represented by a lawyer selected on the basis of his own informed choice?

83. On 14 March 2007, between 8.10 p.m. and 11 p.m., the applicant was questioned as a suspect by the police in the presence of a lawyer, M.R. (see paragraphs 21-22 above). The applicant’s statement to the police was used as evidence in the criminal proceedings against him (see, by contrast, Bandaletov v. Ukraine, no. 23180/06, §§ 60 and 68, 31 October 2013).

84. According to the Government, the only certain fact concerning the applicant’s representation during police questioning was that he had chosen of his own free will to be represented by M.R.; any allegations concerning the applicant’s wish to be represented by another lawyer, G.M., were pure speculation (see paragraphs 71-73 above).

85. The applicant’s allegations of coercion were declared inadmissible by the Chamber (see paragraph 73 of the Chamber judgment). The Court also notes the finding by the national courts, with the aid of a handwriting expert, that the applicant did indeed sign a power of attorney in favour of M.R. (see paragraph 40 above).

86. However, the Court observes that already on the morning of 14 March 2007 G.M. informed the Rijeka County Deputy State Attorneys, D.K. and I.B., of his unsuccessful attempt to contact the applicant, who was at Rijeka Police Station. An official note was made to that effect and the Rijeka County Court was also immediately informed (see paragraph 15 above). In his complaint, lodged on the afternoon of 14 March 2007 with the Chief of the Primorsko-Goranska Police Department, V., G.M. alleged that he had again tried to see the applicant between 3 p.m. and 3.30 p.m., but had again been told by the police to leave.

87. The day after the police questioning, when the applicant was brought before an investigating judge and asked who his lawyer was, he complained that he had not instructed M.R. to act as his lawyer and that he had expressly requested to be represented by G.M. during police questioning. He alleged that the police had never informed him that G.M. had tried to contact him. At that point, during his examination by the investigating judge, the applicant was no longer represented by M.R. but by G.M. (see paragraph 23 above).

88. In his further request of 16 March 2007 to the investigating judge, G.M. described the conduct of the police in detail and raised his objections in that respect (see paragraph 24 above).

89. Also, during the trial the applicant complained of the police’s refusal to allow G.M. to contact him on 14 March 2007 and asked the trial court to hear evidence from G.M., but his request was refused as irrelevant (see paragraph 44 above).

90. In all these submissions it was stated that G.M. had been instructed by the applicant’s parents to represent the applicant during police questioning and that the police had denied G.M. access to him even though he had actually come to the police station before the questioning of the applicant had started and before M.R. had been called to the police station. It was also alleged that, whereas on the morning of 14 March 2007 G.M. had only had oral authorisation from the applicant’s mother, that afternoon his legal trainee had presented a written power of attorney from the applicant’s father (see paragraph 16 above).

91. Thus, the applicant, through his own actions and those of his lawyer, clearly drew attention to the circumstances in which G.M. had attempted to contact him prior to his questioning by the police.

92. Against this background, the Court finds it sufficiently established that G.M. had been retained by one or both of the applicant’s parents, that he attempted on more than one occasion on 14 March 2007 to see the applicant in Rijeka Police Station and that the police officers there told him to leave, without informing the applicant that G.M. had come to see him. The Court is further satisfied that G.M.’s visits and requests to see the applicant at the police station occurred before the questioning of the applicant by the police had started.

93. Therefore, while the applicant had formally chosen M.R. to represent him during police questioning, that choice was not an informed one because the applicant had no knowledge that another lawyer, retained by his parents, had come to the police station to see him, presumably with a view to representing him.

(b) Were there relevant and sufficient reasons in the interests of justice to restrict the applicant’s access to G.M.?

94. The Court notes that the only reason cited by the Government for not allowing G.M. access to the applicant was the fact that G.M., in the Government’s view, did not have a proper power of attorney to represent him. At the same time, the Government did not dispute that the applicant was not informed at the relevant time that G.M. had been trying to see him at the police station.

95. The Court notes, however, that G.M. alleged before the national authorities that he had in fact been provided with a written power of attorney by the applicant’s parents on 14 March 2007. It would appear that these allegations have never been convincingly refuted in the domestic proceedings. Moreover, a written power of attorney was included in the case file compiled by the investigating judge on 15 March 2007, when the applicant was brought before him by the police.

96. The relevant domestic law is clear on the fact that a defence lawyer may be instructed by a suspect himself or by his relatives, including his parents (see Article 62 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, paragraph 60 above). In accordance with Article 62 § 6, a suspect may orally authorise a lawyer to act on his behalf during the proceedings. The purpose of Article 62 § 4, of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which provides that a defence lawyer may be instructed by the accused’s close relatives but that the accused may expressly refuse the lawyer chosen, cannot be achieved unless the accused is informed that his or her close relatives have instructed a lawyer to represent him or her. This, in any case, obliged the police to at least inform the applicant that G.M. had come to the police station and that he had been authorised by his parents to represent him. However, the police omitted to inform the applicant of this and also refused G.M. access to him.

97. That omission and refusal could hardly be explained by the fact that the applicant had later signed a power of attorney authorising M.R. to be present during his questioning by the police. As already mentioned, he had done so while being at all times unaware of G.M.’s attempts to assist him after being instructed by his parents.

98. Nor do the documents in the criminal case file reveal any justification for the omissions and actions of the police that resulted in the applicant being denied the opportunity to choose whether he wished to be assisted by G.M. during questioning. Moreover, according to a written record of the applicant’s oral evidence given to the investigating judge on 15 March 2007, the day after his arrest, the applicant stated that his chosen lawyer was G.M. and that the police officers had denied him access to G.M. He also said that he had not instructed M.R. as his lawyer (see paragraph 23 above).

99. In these circumstances, the Court is not convinced that the impugned restriction, resulting from the conduct of the police, of the applicant’s opportunity to designate G.M. to represent him from the initial phase of police questioning was supported by relevant and sufficient reasons (for instances of relevant and sufficient reasons, see Meftah and Others, cited above, § 45; Mayzit, cited above, § 68; Popov v. Russia, no. 26853/04, § 173, 13 July 2006; and also Zagorodniy, cited above, § 53, relating to the representative’s lack of qualifications; Vitan, cited above, §§ 59-63, where the lawyer of the defendant’s choosing did not appear at the trial, without a justified reason; Croissant, cited above, § 30, concerning the appointment of an additional lawyer for securing the proper conduct of the proceedings; Prehn v. Germany (dec.), no. 40451/06, 24 August 2010, concerning the replacement of a lawyer who was not practising in the same court and was located far away, thereby impeding the proper conduct of the proceedings; and Klimentyev, cited above, § 118, where the defendant was represented by a number of lawyers, not all of whom were able to take part in the proceedings).

(c) Whether the applicant waived his right to be represented by a lawyer of his own choosing

100. The Court has held that neither the letter nor the spirit of Article 6 of the Convention prevents a person from waiving of his own free will, either expressly or tacitly, the entitlement to the guarantees of a fair trial. However, such a waiver must, if it is to be effective for Convention purposes, be established in an unequivocal manner; it must not run counter to any important public interest (see Sejdovic v. Italy [GC], no. 56581/00, § 86, ECHR 2006-II), and it must be attended by minimum safeguards commensurate with its importance (see Poitrimol v. France, 23 November 1993, § 31, Series A no. 277-A).

101. In this connection, it may be reiterated that the right to counsel, being a fundamental right among those which constitute the notion of a fair trial and ensuring the effectiveness of the rest of the guarantees set forth in Article 6 of the Convention, is a prime example of those rights which require the special protection of the “knowing and intelligent waiver” standard established in the Court’s case-law (see Pishchalnikov v. Russia, no. 7025/04, §§ 77-79, 24 September 2009). Such a standard ought in the Court’s view to apply to the applicant’s choice of lawyer in the instant case.

102. As the Court has already observed, the applicant had no knowledge that G.M., instructed by his parents to represent him, had come to the police station to see him. The Court also notes that the applicant challenged what he characterised as the “imposition” of M.R. on him during police questioning, first of all during his initial examination by an investigating judge and subsequently throughout the entire proceedings. In these circumstances, it cannot be maintained that, by signing the power of attorney and providing a statement to the police, the applicant unequivocally waived, either tacitly or explicitly, any right that he had under Article 6 of the Convention to be represented by a lawyer of his own informed choice.

(d) Whether the fairness of the proceedings as a whole was prejudiced

103. Turning next to the question whether the resulting restriction on the applicant’s exercise of his informed choice of lawyer adversely affected the fairness of the proceedings as a whole, the Court notes at the outset that the applicant’s statement to the police was used in convicting him, even though it was not the central platform of the prosecution’s case (see, by contrast, Magee v. the United Kingdom, no. 28135/95, § 45, ECHR 2000‑VI). It is also true that the trial court viewed his statement in the light of the complex body of evidence before it (compare Bykov v. Russia [GC], no. 4378/02, § 103, 10 March 2009). Specifically, in convicting the applicant, the trial court relied on the statements of a number of witnesses cross-examined during the trial, numerous expert reports and the records of the crime-scene investigation and searches and seizures, as well as relevant photographs and other physical evidence. In addition, the trial court had at its disposal the confessions made by the applicant’s co-accused at the trial, and neither the applicant nor his co-accused ever argued that any of their rights had been infringed when they had made those statements.

104. Nor did the applicant ever complain during the criminal proceedings that M.R. had failed to provide him with adequate legal advice. Furthermore, in her closing arguments at the trial, the applicant’s representative asked the court – in the event of its rejecting her client’s plea of not guilty – to take into consideration in sentencing the applicant his confession to the police and his sincere regret (see paragraph 48 above).

105. As to the manner in which M.R. was chosen to represent the applicant, the Court refers to Article 177 § 5 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which requires that an accused should first be invited to instruct a lawyer of his or her own choosing (see paragraph 60 above). Only where the lawyer initially chosen by a suspect is unable to attend police questioning within a certain period of time should a replacement lawyer be chosen from the list of duty lawyers provided to the competent police authority by the county branches of the Croatian Bar Association. However, there is no conclusive evidence in the documents submitted to the Court as to whether these procedures were followed in the applicant’s case. The Court finds it unfortunate that the procedures used and decisions taken were not properly documented so as to avoid any doubts raised about undue pressure in respect of the choice of lawyer (see, mutatis mutandisMartin, cited above, § 90, and Horvatić v. Croatia, no. 36044/09, §§ 80-82, 17 October 2013).

106. The Court notes that the record of the applicant’s questioning by the police indicates that M.R. arrived at the police station at around 7.45 p.m. on 14 March 2007 and that the questioning of the applicant commenced at 8.10 p.m. (see paragraphs 21-22 above). There is no indication of the exact time the applicant and M.R. actually commenced the consultation, nor is there any explanation of why that information was not provided in the record of the questioning. The Court notes also that the statement from D.H., the Rijeka County State Attorney, indicates that M.R. talked to the applicant in private for about ten minutes (see paragraph 26 above). The judgment of the Rijeka County Court indicates that M.R. came to the police station at 7.45 p.m. and that the questioning started at 8.10 p.m. (see paragraph 51 above). This was confirmed in the judgment of the Supreme Court (see paragraph 55 above). In the Court’s view, without speculating as to the effectiveness of the legal assistance provided by M.R., this period appears to have been relatively short, bearing in mind the scope and seriousness of the accusations, involving three counts of aggravated murder and further counts of armed robbery and arson. Regard should also be had in this context to the requirement in Article 6 § 3 (b) that an accused should be afforded adequate time and facilities for the preparation of his or her defence.

107. G.M. would already have been available to assist the applicant in the morning, long before the questioning started, and was a lawyer whom the applicant knew from a previous case. Had he been informed by the police of G.M.’s presence and had he actually chosen G.M. to represent him, the applicant would have had considerably more time to prepare himself for the questioning.

108. In this connection, the Court again emphasises the importance of the investigation stage for the preparation of the criminal proceedings, as the evidence obtained during this stage determines the framework in which the offence charged will be considered at the trial (see Salduz, cited above, § 54), and emphasises that a person charged with a criminal offence should already be given the opportunity at this stage to have recourse to legal assistance of his or her own choosing (see Martin, cited above, § 90). The fairness of proceedings requires that an accused should be able to obtain the whole range of services specifically associated with legal assistance. In this regard, counsel has to be able to secure without restriction the fundamental aspects of that person’s defence: discussion of the case, organisation of the defence, collection of evidence favourable to the accused, preparation for questioning, support for an accused in distress and checking of the conditions of detention (see Dayanan, cited above, § 32).

109. Where, as in the present case, it is alleged that the appointment or the choice by a suspect of the lawyer to represent him has influenced or led to the making of an incriminating statement by the suspect at the very outset of the criminal investigation, careful scrutiny by the authorities, notably the national courts, is called for. However, the reasoning employed by the national courts in the present case in relation to the legal challenge mounted by the applicant concerning the manner in which his confession had been obtained by the police was far from substantial. Neither the trial court nor the investigating judge nor any other national authority took any steps to obtain evidence from G.M. or the police officers involved in order to establish the relevant circumstances surrounding G.M.’s visit to Rijeka Police Station on 14 March 2007 in connection with the applicant’s questioning by the police. In particular, the national courts made no real attempt to provide reasons supporting or justifying their decision in terms of the values of a fair criminal trial as embodied in Article 6 of the Convention.

110. In these circumstances, having regard to the purpose of the Convention, which is to protect rights that are practical and effective (see Lisica v. Croatia, no. 20100/06, § 60, 25 February 2010), the Court is not convinced that the applicant had an effective opportunity to challenge the circumstances in which M.R. had been chosen to represent him during police questioning.

111. In determining whether, taking the criminal proceedings as a whole, the applicant received the benefit of a “fair hearing” for the purposes of Article 6 § 1, the Court must have regard to the actions of the police in effectively preventing the applicant, at the very outset of the investigation, from having access to the lawyer chosen by his family and from freely choosing his own lawyer, and to the consequences of the conduct of the police for the subsequent proceedings. In the abstract, if a suspect receives the assistance of a qualified lawyer, who is bound by professional ethics, rather than another lawyer whom he or she might have preferred to appoint, this is not in itself sufficient to show that the whole trial was unfair – subject to the proviso that there is no evidence of manifest incompetence or bias (see Artico v. Italy, 13 May 1980, § 33, Series A no. 37). In the instant case, it can be presumed that the consequence of the police’s conduct was that in his very first statement to the police, instead of remaining silent, as he could have done, the applicant made a confession, which was subsequently admitted in evidence against him. It is also significant that during the investigation and ensuing trial the applicant did not subsequently rely on his confession, save by way of mitigation in relation to the sentence, but took the first opportunity, before the investigating judge, to contest the manner in which the confession had been obtained from him by the police (see paragraphs 23-24, 31, 48, 52 and 54 above). Although there was other evidence against him, the significant likely impact of his initial confession on the further development of the criminal proceedings against him cannot be ignored by the Court. In sum, in the Court’s view, the objective consequence of the police’s conduct in preventing the lawyer chosen by the applicant’s family from having access to him was such as to undermine the fairness of the subsequent criminal proceedings in so far as the applicant’s incriminating initial statement was admitted in evidence.

(e) Conclusion

112. The Court has found that the police did not inform the applicant either of the availability of G.M. to advise him or of G.M.’s presence at Rijeka Police Station; that the applicant, during police questioning, confessed to the crimes with which he was charged and that this confession was admitted in evidence at his trial; and that the national courts did not properly address this issue and, in particular, failed to take adequate remedial measures to ensure fairness. These factors, taken cumulatively, irretrievably prejudiced the applicant’s defence rights and undermined the fairness of the proceedings as a whole.

113. The Court therefore finds that in the circumstances of the present case there has been a violation of Article 6 §§ 1 and 3 (c) of the Convention.

II. APPLICATION OF ARTICLE 41 OF THE CONVENTION

114. Article 41 of the Convention provides:

“If the Court finds that there has been a violation of the Convention or the Protocols thereto, and if the internal law of the High Contracting Party concerned allows only partial reparation to be made, the Court shall, if necessary, afford just satisfaction to the injured party.”

A. Damage

115. The applicant claimed 1,795,200 Croatian kunas (HRK) in respect of non-pecuniary damage and an additional amount of HRK 400 for each day starting from 26 December 2011 until his release from prison, to compensate for the distress caused to him by the criminal proceedings and his imprisonment.

116. The Government did not make any observations in this respect.

117. The Court cannot speculate as to the outcome of the proceedings against the applicant. The finding of a violation of Article 6 §§ 1 and 3 (c) in the present case does not imply that the applicant was wrongly convicted. The Court considers that the finding of a violation constitutes sufficient just satisfaction. It notes that Article 502 of the Code of Criminal Procedure allows for the possibility of the reopening of proceedings (see paragraph 61 above). It therefore rejects the applicant’s claim (see Moser v. Austria, no. 12643/02, § 108, 21 September 2006; Maresti v. Croatia, no. 55759/07, § 75, 25 June 2009; Baloga v. Ukraine, no. 620/05, § 38, 16 September 2010; Hanif and Khan v. the United Kingdom, nos. 52999/08 and 61779/08, § 155, 20 December 2011; Gürkan v. Turkey, no. 10987/10, § 26, 3 July 2012; Denk v. Austria, no. 23396/09, § 24, 5 December 2013; and Aras v. Turkey (no. 2), no. 15065/07, § 62, 18 November 2014).

B. Costs and expenses

118. Before the Chamber the applicant claimed HRK 5,000 in respect of the costs of lodging his constitutional complaint. He further claimed HRK 15,683 in respect of the costs incurred before the Court.

119. The Government objected to the claim in respect of the costs in the domestic proceedings.

120. On 31 July 2014 and 21 January 2015 the applicant submitted a further claim for costs and expenses in addition to that submitted before the Chamber. The additional claim concerned the cost of preparing for and being represented at the hearing of 21 January 2015. The additional costs totalled HRK 29,279.60.

121. According to the Court’s case-law, an applicant is entitled to the reimbursement of costs and expenses only in so far as it has been shown that these were actually and necessarily incurred and were reasonable as to quantum. In the present case, the Court notes that the applicant’s constitutional complaint lodged in connection with the criminal proceedings in issue was aimed at remedying the violation the Court has found under Article 6 §§ 1 and 3 (c) of the Convention. Regard being had to the documents in its possession and to its case-law, the Court considers the sum of 6,500 euros to be reasonable to cover costs under all heads, and awards it to the applicant, plus any tax that may be chargeable to him on that amount.

C. Default interest

122. The Court considers it appropriate that the default interest rate should be based on the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank, to which should be added three percentage points.

FOR THESE REASONS, THE COURT

1.  Holds, by sixteen votes to one, that there has been a violation of Article 6 §§ 1 and 3 (c) of the Convention;

 

2.  Holds, by sixteen votes to one, that the finding of a violation constitutes in itself sufficient just satisfaction for any non-pecuniary damage sustained by the applicant;

 

3.  Holds, by sixteen votes to one,

(a) that the respondent State is to pay the applicant, within three months, EUR 6,500 (six thousand five hundred euros), plus any tax that may be chargeable to the applicant, in respect of costs and expenses, to be converted into the national currency of the respondent State at the rate applicable at the date of settlement;

(b) that from the expiry of the above-mentioned three months until settlement simple interest shall be payable on the above amount at a rate equal to the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank during the default period plus three percentage points;

 

4.  Dismisses, unanimously, the remainder of the applicant’s claim for just satisfaction.

Done in English and in French, and delivered at a public hearing in the Human Rights Building, Strasbourg, on 20 October 2015.

Lawrence EarlyDean Spielmann
JurisconsultPresident

In accordance with Article 45 § 2 of the Convention and Rule 74 § 2 of the Rules of Court, the following separate opinions are annexed to this judgment:

(a) concurring opinion of Judge Zupančič;

(b) joint concurring opinion of Judges Kalaydjieva, Pinto de Albuquerque and Turković;

(c) concurring opinion of Judge Silvis joined by Judge Spielmann;

(d) dissenting opinion of Judge Vehabović.

D.S.
T.L.E.

 

 

CONCURRING OPINION OF JUDGE ZUPANČIČ

1. I agree with the outcome in this case. Nevertheless, I would like to raise a point referring to the domestic enforcement of this judgment – in so far as it is, obviously, the trial de novo that is the natural remedy for the finding of the procedural violation by the Court.

2. Article 502 of the Croatian Code of Criminal Procedure, as amended in 2011, provides that the reopening of the proceedings shall be applicable upon a request for a revision of any final domestic judgment due to the finding of a violation by the ECtHR. This request for a reopening may be lodged within a thirty-day time-limit starting from the date on which the Court’s judgment becomes final (see paragraph 61 of the present judgment)[1].

3. The question, however, in all similar cases is not the mere reopening of the proceedings. Clearly, the purpose of the domestic trial de novo in such circumstances is to correct the fatal faults, akin to “absolutely essential procedural errors” in domestic law that led to our finding of violation in the first place. Admittedly, the case at hand is a borderline situation concerning the suspect’s right to a lawyer of his own choosing. Nonetheless, this does not detract from the domestic duty to correct the procedural errors that led to our finding of a violation. The majority judgment establishes the presumption of the privilege against self-incrimination and places an emphasis on the retrial, but it does not specify the procedural parameters within which the new procedure is to be attempted.

4. In this case the unassisted interrogation error was committed in the so-called critical stage of the pre-trial criminal procedure, that is, in the stage whose outcome may predetermine the outcome of the trial itself. As George Feifer put it: “The Soviet criminal code does not permit a lawyer to be present during the investigation. The Soviet trial has thus been aptly described as ‘an appeal from the pre-trial investigation’.” (Feifer, Justice in Moscow, 1964, p. 86.) The metaphor was repeated by the U.S. Supreme Court Justice A.J. Goldberg in the famous case of Escobedo v. Illinois, 378 US 478 (1964), a precursor to Miranda v. Arizona, 384 US 436 (1966). Forty-two years later our own case of Salduz v. Turkey ([GC], no. 36391/02, § 50, ECHR 2008) also maintained: 

“The Court reiterates that, even if the primary purpose of Article 6 of the Convention, as far as criminal proceedings are concerned, is to ensure a fair trial by a ‘tribunal’ competent to determine ‘any criminal charge’, it does not follow that the Article has no application to pre-trial proceedings. Thus, Article 6 – especially paragraph 3 thereof – may be relevant before a case is sent for trial if and so far as the fairness of the trial is likely to be seriously prejudiced by an initial failure to comply with its provisions ... As the Court has already held in its previous judgments, the right set out in Article 6 § 3 (c) of the Convention is one element, among others, of the concept of a fair trial in criminal proceedings contained in Article 6 § 1 ...” 

5. At this juncture we encounter the question of the adequate procedural remedy to be applied by the domestic courts upon the retrial of the case. What to do with the evidence, which would not have been obtained by the police, were it not for the absence of the suspect’s legitimate counsel during these interrogations? The question will also be to what extent the evidence obtained during the trial of the applicant is the fruit of the poisonous tree of the obvious primary violation of the applicant’s Convention rights. As implied above, the test to be applied is a sine qua non, namely, the query applies to all of the evidence stemming directly or indirectly from the irregular interrogation at the critical beginning of this domestic procedure.

6. The issue, therefore, is the exclusionary rule. In the new trial, for the right to counsel to have any meaning, the previously obtained contaminated evidence – “contaminated” because it was obtained in the absence of legitimate counsel – should be conscientiously expunged from the dossier concerning the applicant and, moreover, the new court dealing with the case ought to have no knowledge of the contaminated evidence on which to rely during the subsequent trial.

7. In the Continental legal system this is not so easy to do, given that the criminal procedure does not operate the so-called voir-dire procedure for the selection of the members of the jury. In the voir-dire procedure the jurors may be peremptorily excluded and they may be excluded for a cause. For example, in our case the jurors, who had on the basis of previous knowledge of this notorious case formed an opinion concerning the criminal liability, etc., of the defendant, would be excluded for a cause. The end result of this would then be the composition of a jury that would have, as far as Dvorski is concerned, a virgin mind.

8. In domestic law, the case will presumably be assigned to a new formation of judges some of whom would be professional judges whereas others would be the lay assessors – both of them selected according to the defendant’s constitutional right to the natural judge. However, given the notoriety of the case, there is no guarantee that these judges would have no hitherto formed opinion and would be, accordingly, capable of seeing the case with a fresh mind. Once the genie is let out, it is impossible to squash it back into the bottle.

9. On the other hand, the exclusionary rule derives from the system, the common law, in which the verdict of guilty or innocent is rendered by a jury. The jury is privy to particular pieces of admissible evidence. If evidence is inadmissible, also according to the exclusionary rule, the jury will never see it or hear of it. The procedural role of the judge in the common-law system is to watch over the admissibility of evidence according to a well-developed doctrine of the law of evidence.

10. In the Continental system this body of law concerning admissibility of evidence simply does not exist. Instead, we have the ruling principle called “the free discernment of evidence” that was the historical rejoinder to the preceding mechanical rules governing the value of a particular proof. The famous Croatian professor and legal theorist Vladimir Bayer maintained, many decades ago, that the attempt to introduce the jury system in the Continental-law system, had failed precisely because there had been no body-of-evidence law regulating the admissibility of evidence during the criminal trial.

11. Clearly, this presents us with the problem of excluding the contaminated evidence, that is with the exclusionary rule, during the given trial, because once the evidence has been presented, there is no way to exclude it from the cognitive range of the sitting judges.

12. The German rule to the effect that the judge cannot rely on such evidence in his or her reasoning and motivation of his or her judgment is, to say the least, naïve to the extent that this presupposes the ability of the judges to ignore the contaminated or otherwise inadmissible evidence.

13. The wrong assumption, unmasked by Bishop Berkeley, to the effect that the description of the proof of an idea explains the means by which the very idea was arrived at, underlies the proscription of citing in the motivation of the judgment the evidence subject to exclusionary rule. This is obviously not going to prevent the judge from ex post facto rationalising his “intime conviction”, as the French call it.

14. If the effectiveness of the exclusionary rule in this reopening of the trial has not been assured, the only solution would seem to be for the applicant to again submit the case to the Court. If that were to be the case, clearly, the Court would then have to deal with this difficult question. This problem, nota bene, is not specific to Croatia; most other Continental jurisdictions without a jury would have the same problem. This is the reason I am raising the question here: in anticipation of the problem of exclusion of inadmissible and of contaminated evidence.

 

JOINT CONCURRING OPINION OF JUDGES KALAYDJIEVA, PINTO DE 
ALBUQUERQUE AND TURKOVIĆ

1. We concur with the opinion of the majority that there has been a violation of Article 6 §§ 1 and 3 (c) of the Convention in this case, but we do not agree entirely with their reasoning. In our view, the present case raises four important questions which merit a principled approach. Firstly, whether the right of access to a lawyer entails in itself a right to have recourse to legal assistance of one’s own choosing from the initial stages of the proceedings. Secondly, what is the content of the right to choose a lawyer. Thirdly, whether the right to a lawyer of one’s choosing should be subject to a lesser standard of protection than the right to have access to a lawyer. Fourthly, whether the Court should evaluate the fairness of the trial as a whole and apply the balancing test (harmless-error analysis) in a situation in which an applicant has been denied the right to choose a lawyer during a police investigation in the course of which he or she has made self-incriminatory statements. We will deal with these questions, taking into account the Court’s case-law and the current standards of international human rights law and international criminal law.

The right of access to a lawyer of one’s own choosing from the initial stages of the proceedings

2. In Salduz v. Turkey[2] the Court stated that, as a rule, access to a lawyer should be provided from the first interrogation of a suspect by the police, unless it could be demonstrated in the light of the particular circumstances of the case that there were compelling reasons to restrict that right. Even in cases where a suspect has remained silent and has not been questioned in detention, a restriction of his or her right to legal assistance from the time of the arrest may fall short of the requirements of Article 6 §§ 1 and 3 (c) of the Convention[3]. The reason for this is that it is not for the Court to speculate on the impact which the applicant’s access to a lawyer while in police custody would have had on the ensuing proceedings[4]. However, the Salduz judgment left open the question whether and to what extent in such circumstances the right of access to a lawyer might involve the right to a lawyer of one’s own choosing. Since Salduz, the right to a lawyer of one’s choosing during pre-trial proceedings has been discussed, but never as a central issue[5]. We welcome the finding by the majority (in paragraphs 78 and 108 of the present judgment) expressly recognising the right to a lawyer of one’s own choosing from the initial stages of the proceedings and thereby interpreting the text of Article 6 § 3 (c) in accordance with international legal standards. However, we believe that this conclusion warranted more detailed reasoning.

3. In comparable international instruments to the Convention, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ((ICCPR) Article 14 § 3 (b)), the American Convention on Human Rights (Article 8 § 2 (d)) and the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (Article 7 § 1 (c)), a suspect’s right to the assistance of a lawyer of his or her own choosing in pre-trial proceedings has not been expressly set out, but it has been acknowledged in practice.

4. The United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) has found in a number of cases that the assignment of a lawyer by the court during the pre-trial investigation (even for one day) contravenes the principle of a fair trial if a qualified lawyer of the accused’s own choice is available and willing to represent him or her[6] and if investigative acts are carried out[7]. Furthermore, the UNHRC in its General Comment No. 32[8] emphasised that the right to communicate with counsel required that the accused be granted prompt access to counsel. In addition, the UNHRC has stated that “all persons who are arrested must immediately have access to counsel”[9]. Likewise, this right has consistently been affirmed in the case-law of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights[10] and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights[11].

5. European Union Directive 2013/48/EU guarantees that all suspects have the right to be advised by a lawyer from the first stage of police questioning and throughout all subsequent stages of criminal proceedings and European Arrest Warrant proceedings, and that, on arrest and during detention, they may communicate with their family and with consular authorities, if they are outside their home country[12].

6. The right of access to a lawyer of one’s choosing in pre-trial proceedings is also found both in European soft law (see paragraphs 62-65 of the present judgment)[13] and in universal soft law[14]. This is fully in line with Principle 1 of the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, which affirms that “[a]ll persons are entitled to call upon the assistance of a lawyer of their choice to protect and establish their rights and to defend them in all stages of criminal proceedings”[15]. Principle 5 of the Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers and Principle 17 of the Body of Principles on the Right to a Fair Trial and a Remedy[16] specifically provide that when a person is arrested, charged or detained he or she must be promptly informed of the right to legal assistance of his or her choice. Finally, Principle 7 of the Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers requires governments to ensure that all persons who are arrested or detained should have access to a lawyer within forty-eight hours from the time of their arrest or detention.

7. In international criminal law, the right to choose a lawyer in pre-trial proceedings is well established, both in the Statutes and Rules of Procedure and Evidence of the various international courts and in practice. On the basis of Article 21 § 4 of the Statute of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), Article 20 § 4 of the Statute of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Article 17 § 4 of the Statute of the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) and Article 55 § 2, Article 56 and Article 67 § 1 (d) of the Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), the practice has been that only a small percentage of accused persons are represented by privately funded lawyers chosen by themselves. In the majority of cases, the courts provide the defendant with a list of approved lawyers from which he or she may choose. In such cases, the courts are obliged to assign a lawyer expeditiously for the entire duration of the proceedings, including during any interrogation of the defendant[17]. When the right to a lawyer is not observed, the resulting evidence must be excluded[18].

Informed and free choice of lawyer

8. In our view, the central issue in Dvorski is whether the authorities took the necessary active steps to ensure effective enjoyment of the applicant’s right to legal assistance of his own choosing – in other words, to provide him with information known to them which in the context of domestic law was necessary for him to make an informed choice of lawyer. As the majority have concluded, “the police did not inform the applicant either of the availability of G.M. to advise him or of G.M.’s presence at Rijeka Police Station” (see paragraph 112 of the present judgment) and thus, as the judgment emphasises (see paragraph 93), “while the applicant had formally chosen M.R. to represent him during police questioning, the choice was not an informed one”.

9. In accordance with the Croatian Code of Criminal Procedure, the police are obliged to assist suspects in acquiring the information necessary to make an informed choice of representative by providing them with a list of eligible lawyers. In the light of the domestic legal provisions which authorise defendants’ relatives to instruct lawyers for them and in turn authorise defendants to refuse to engage a lawyer retained by their relatives and also to grant a power of attorney to a lawyer orally before the authority conducting the proceedings, it was necessary – once the applicant expressed a wish to instruct a lawyer – to inform him that his parents had already retained one for him (see paragraphs 60 and 105 of the present judgment).

10. The Government never disputed that the police had failed to inform the applicant about the lawyer retained by his parents, nor did they provide any objectively reasonable justification for this failure, while the applicant rejected the lawyer chosen by him and retracted his self-incriminatory statement as soon as this was possible – the very next day. Nor did the Government satisfy the burden of proof in demonstrating that the applicant had been secured a fair opportunity to exercise his right to a lawyer of his own choosing.

11. The only reason cited by the Government for not informing the applicant that his parents had instructed G.M. to represent him was the fact that G.M., in the view of the police and the domestic courts, did not have a proper power of attorney to represent the applicant at the relevant time. In this connection the Court has noted that G.M. alleged before the national authorities that he had in fact held a written power of attorney granted by the applicant’s parents on 14 March 2007 (see paragraph 24 of the present judgment). This was refuted in the domestic proceedings, although not convincingly (see paragraphs 55 and 95 of the present judgment). Be that as it may, the withholding of such information for purely formalistic reasons – for example, because the lawyer did not have a written power of attorney – in circumstances in which the lawyer had represented the applicant in a previous case and had been in contact with the applicant’s mother in Italy by telephone, and all this had been made known to the police, could not have been objectively and reasonably justified.

12. Finally, the Government also alleged that the applicant had had the opportunity to choose from a list of lawyers on duty on 14 March 2007, but they did not provide the Court with a copy of the list. The applicant maintained that there was no such list in the first place. The Government replied that the archives of the police station did not keep such lists. Instead, they submitted a list with allegedly the same contents as the 2007 list. In view of the existence of two contradictory statements about the existence of the 2007 list, we believe that the burden of proof should have been on the Government in respect of their contention that such a list existed and was provided to the applicant. It was up to the Government to prove the positive fact that the list existed and that the applicant had chosen a lawyer from that list; it was not up to the applicant to prove the negative fact that the list did not exist and that he had not had the opportunity to choose a lawyer in this way. The Government have failed to make the relevant evidence available to the Court.

13. In our view, this is sufficient to warrant the conclusion that the failure to provide relevant information to the applicant was a wrongful omission, as a result of which the applicant was erroneously deprived of his first-choice counsel. In other words, there was an interference with his right to a free and informed choice of lawyer. Such interference inevitably raises doubts that the police might not have acted in good faith and thus might have failed to secure the effective exercise of the applicant’s defence rights under Article 6 § 3 (c) and the fairness of the trial under Article 6 § 1.

Erroneous deprivation of choice of lawyer

14. The purpose of the right to a lawyer of one’s own choosing is to guarantee the fairness of the criminal proceedings through adequate professional assistance. In the absence of proof to the contrary, an unjustified denial or restriction of, or interference with, this right will always leave the inevitable impression of an attempt by the authorities to influence the suspect’s choice of professional assistance so as to impose on him a lawyer who is “convenient” for the police or the accusatory party, and will raise doubts and suspicions that its purpose was to trick or mislead the suspect with a view to obtaining evidence in breach of the principles of fairness[19]. The mere appearance of bad faith on the part of the police is sufficient to cast doubt on whether a self-incriminatory confession given in such circumstances was truly voluntary.

15. For this reason we do not regard an unjustified or erroneous “denial of choice” as “less serious” in comparison with an unjustified or erroneous “denial of access”. Thus, contrary to the majority, we believe that the situation in Dvorski ought to have been analysed along the same lines of argument as the situation in the Salduz case. Consequently, we respectfully disagree that Croissant v. Germany[20] and Klimentyev v. Russia[21], which deal with alleged situations of justified “denial of choice” of lawyer, are applicable in the present case.

Impact of structural errors on the fairness of criminal proceedings

16. In criminal procedure, there are some procedural rights so basic to a fair trial that their infringement can never be viewed as fair[22]. The infringement of these rights results in a structural error, which affects the framework within which the trial proceeds[23].

17. The Court has already accepted that such structural errors may arise in relation to confessions obtained in breach of Article 3 and to real evidence obtained as a direct result of torture[24] and of the erroneous denial of access to a lawyer[25]. As the Court pointed out in Salduz, the evidence obtained during the investigation stage determines the framework within which the offence charged will be considered at the trial, and therefore any such procedural errors committed during this stage will necessarily have an impact on the fairness of the proceedings[26]. Since the “exclusionary rule” has been established for the protection of the privilege against self-incrimination, the use of evidence collected in breach of this basic privilege will always render a trial unfair, irrespective of any other circumstances of the case. Thus, the Court found in Salduz that any conviction based on an admission or statement given in violation of the right of access to a lawyer constituted a violation of the general right to a fair trial guaranteed under Article 6 § 1 of the Convention[27]. In other words, Salduz introduced an automatic exclusionary rule for self-incriminatory statements obtained without a lawyer being present during questioning when there were no compelling reasons for denying access to a lawyer (that is, in situations of unjustified denial of access to a lawyer).

18. We submit that the erroneous denial of choice of a lawyer constitutes another example of a structural error in criminal proceedings which should result automatically in the exclusion of all self-incriminatory statements tainted by that error[28]. If a tainted self-incriminatory statement is not excluded prior to trial, such an error in itself should be seen as a violation of the Convention without there being any need to assess the overall fairness of the proceedings. If that tainted evidence comes to the knowledge of the judges sitting in the case, the conviction should automatically be quashed. No other legal remedy could rectify such errors and ultimately ensure the fundamental right to a fair trial. In our opinion, the use of any balancing test in such situations threatens to subordinate the fundamental guarantee to legal assistance of one’s own choosing to other interests that have less, if any, significance in terms of the Convention.

19. When read carefully, paragraphs 111 and 112 of the present judgment only pay lip service to the principle of the assessment of the overall fairness of the proceedings, because ultimately the majority consider that the “significant likely impact” of the applicant’s confession on the further development of the criminal proceedings against him must be taken into account. That means that the majority do not take the view that the prejudice caused to the applicant by being wrongly deprived of the choice of lawyer needs to be assessed in the context of the other evidence presented in order to determine whether the error was harmless and the proceedings were fair as a whole. The “likely impact” of the procedural error suffices for the majority to find a violation of Article 6. This language is not far away, in substance, from that of Salduz or Huseyn and Others[29].

20. Thus, assessing the overall fairness of proceedings by relying on a balancing test is too malleable an approach. There is a potential danger that this will give rise to excessive discretion in the manner in which breaches of basic procedural rights, such as the right to a lawyer of one’s own choice, are weighed against other procedural interests. Like the harmless-error assessment, the assessment of the overall fairness of proceedings can produce very nefarious results when, for example, highly persuasive evidence, such as a confession made by a defendant without independent legal assistance, finds its way into the criminal case file and ultimately into the trial. To think otherwise would be either pure ignorance of the unique role that the lawyer plays in criminal procedure as the “watchdog of procedural regularity” or purposeful denial of a rule-of-law based State[30]. In the words of Andrew Ashworth[31], “the fair trial criterion is flexible enough that, with so many factors in the balance, each judge can put his or her own stamp on what is a ‘fair trial’”. Hence, the majority should have expressly rejected any balancing of the erroneous denial of choice of lawyer against other interests, as the Court has consistently concluded in SalduzDayanan and Huseyn and Others in comparable situations of unjustified “denial of access” to a lawyer.

Conclusion

21. We are of the view that the right of access to a lawyer does entail a right to have recourse to legal assistance of one’s own choosing from the initial stages of the proceedings, which implies the right to an informed and free choice. Consequently, knowingly withholding relevant information from a suspect when he or she is choosing a lawyer constitutes an erroneous denial of the choice of lawyer. The denial of choice of lawyer is not a “less serious issue” than the denial of access to a lawyer in terms of legal consequences. Thus, both the erroneous denial of access to a lawyer and the erroneous denial of choice of a lawyer constitute a structural error in criminal proceedings which should result automatically in the exclusion of self-incriminatory statements tainted by that error prior to trial. If the defendant is convicted after such tainted evidence has come to the knowledge of the judges sitting in the case, the conviction must be automatically quashed. If the offence is not yet time-barred, a retrial with the exclusion of all tainted material may follow.

 

CONCURRING OPINION OF JUDGE SILVIS 
JOINED BY JUDGE SPIELMANN

1. I do agree with the finding of a violation of Article 6 §§ 1 and 3 (c) in this case. However, I respectfully disagree with an essential part of the reasoning of this judgment.

2. The heart of the matter to be addressed in this opinion is the way the Court applies the distinction between two situations: (a) denial of access to a lawyer, requiring that there should be “compelling reasons” and that defence rights should not be unduly prejudiced (see Salduz v. Turkey[32]), and (b) “denial of choice” of lawyer, requiring that there should be “relevant and sufficient” reasons and that the overall fairness of the proceedings should not be undermined (see Croissant v. Germany[33]). In paragraph 81 of the present judgment the Court states that denial of choice is “the less serious issue” and considers that the case under scrutiny is to be classified in such terms. To my mind, in supporting that view the majority are missing an essential characteristic of this case, which is that the police apparently sought to orchestrate the defence during the initial stage of the proceedings, contrary to the provisions of domestic law, as well as the Convention. In my view the combination of the police hindering the access of a retained lawyer to the applicant and simultaneously interfering with the applicant’s free choice of a lawyer by withholding relevant information is not at all “the less serious issue” in comparison to transparent denial of access to a lawyer.

3. The facts of the case may be summarised as follows. The applicant was arrested as a suspect in relation to three murders, an armed robbery and arson. Before the beginning of the police questioning, the applicant’s parent(s) instructed a lawyer (G.M.) who was prepared to defend the applicant, a possibility which is accorded legal status in Croatian law. The thus instructed lawyer immediately reported to the police station to meet his client. However, he was refused access to the applicant by the police, allegedly because he had not submitted a written power of attorney. The applicant was not informed either of the presence of the lawyer at the police station or of the action that his parent(s) had undertaken. The applicant confessed to having committed the crimes during the initial police questioning in the presence of another lawyer, who happened to be a former chief of police of the district in which the applicant was being held in custody. The Government argued that the applicant had picked this lawyer from a list presented to him by the police, which would mean that he had a lawyer of his own choosing. According to the domestic courts, the applicant confessed in the presence of a lawyer of his own choosing. The initial confession was used as evidence.

4. At the outset it is important to observe that the Croatian Code of Criminal Procedure (CCP) regulates the choice of a lawyer in such a way as to afford the defendant’s parent the possibility of instructing a lawyer for the defendant, unless the defendant expressly refuses this (CCP, Article 62 §§ 1 and 4). Paragraph 6 of Article 62 states that the defence lawyer must present his power of attorney to the authorities conducting the proceedings. The defendant may also grant a power of attorney to a lawyer orally before the authority conducting the proceedings, in which case this must be entered in the record. Article 177 § 5 provides that, at the request of the suspect, the police authorities must allow him to instruct a lawyer and for that purpose they must stop interviewing the suspect until the lawyer appears or at the latest three hours from the moment the suspect asked to appoint the lawyer. If the circumstances indicate that the chosen lawyer will not be able to appear within this period of time, the police authorities must allow the suspect to appoint a lawyer from the list of lawyers on duty provided to the competent police authority by the county branches of the Croatian Bar Association.

5. The Court has observed that the only reason cited by the Government for not allowing G.M. access to the applicant was the fact that G.M., in the Government’s view, did not have a proper power of attorney to represent him. At the same time, the Government did not dispute that the applicant had not been informed at the relevant time that G.M. had been trying to see him at the police station. The Court has noted, however, that G.M. alleged before the national authorities that he was in fact in possession of a written power of attorney granted by the applicant’s parents on 14 March 2007. This allegation was never convincingly refuted in the domestic proceedings. Moreover, a written power of attorney was included in the case file compiled by the investigating judge on 15 March 2007, when the applicant was brought before him by the police.

6. The principle of the right to legal assistance is laid down in Article 6 § 3 (c) of the Convention: “Everyone charged with a criminal offence has [the right] to defend himself in person or through legal assistance of his own choosing ...” The protection to be afforded to a person charged with an offence is not limited to court proceedings. In Imbriosca v. Switzerland[34] the Court stated: 

“Certainly the primary purpose of Article 6 as far as criminal matters are concerned is to ensure a fair trial by a ‘tribunal’ competent to determine ‘any criminal charge’, but it does not follow that the Article has no application to pre-trial proceedings.” 

Article 6 § 3 (c) encompasses particular aspects of the right to a fair trial within the meaning of Article 6 § 1 (see Correia de Matos v. Portugal[35], and Foucher v. France[36]). This sub-paragraph guarantees that the proceedings against an accused person will not take place without adequate representation of the case for the defence (see Pakelli v. Germany[37]). The guarantees in paragraph 3 of Article 6 are specific aspects of the right to a fair hearing set forth in Article 6 § 1 which must be taken into account in the evaluation of this matter[38]. Their intrinsic aim is to contribute to ensuring the fairness of the criminal proceedings as a whole[39]. But they are not an end in themselves: compliance with the requirements of a fair trial must be examined in each case having regard to the development of the proceedings as a whole, and not on the basis of the isolated consideration of one particular aspect or incident.

7. In distinguishing between cases concerning “denial of access” and “denial of choice”, the Court refers to three cases where the free choice of a lawyer was restricted or denied (Croissant, cited above; Klimentyev v. Russia, no. 46503/99, 16 November 2006; and Martin v. Estonia, no. 35985/09, 30 May 2013). I propose to take a closer look at those cases.

(a) In Croissant, the applicant contested the refusal to replace a lawyer in whom he had no trust but who had nonetheless been appointed by the domestic court at a time when the applicant was already assisted by two lawyers in whom he had shown trust. In that context the Court found that the domestic courts had had relevant and sufficient grounds for overriding the wishes of the defendant.

(b) In Klimentyev the applicant complained of the domestic court’s refusal to admit another lawyer for the defence. The Court observed that there was no indication that the applicant’s defence team, consisting of a lawyer and a civil defender, could not adequately represent him and participate effectively in the hearing. Therefore, the Court was unable to conclude that the applicant had been inadequately represented at the hearing and that the trial court’s refusal to admit the lawyer requested by him, with reference to the fact that the applicant did not need advice on international law, constituted an unreasonable and disproportionate limitation on the applicant’s right to represent himself through legal assistance of his own choosing.

(c)  Martin concerned the following complaints: counsel of the applicant’s own choosing was denied access to the applicant, who was pressured into terminating his services; the legal-aid lawyer served the interests of the authorities rather than those of the applicant; the applicant’s conviction on a murder charge was based on the evidence obtained in the pre-trial proceedings in violation of his defence rights; and, even though the Court of Appeal had declared that evidence to be inadmissible, it still relied on it. The Court was not satisfied that the applicant’s wish to replace counsel of his own (his parents’) choosing could be considered genuine in the circumstances of the case. It considered that there had been an infringement of the applicant’s right to defend himself through legal assistance of his own choosing. The Court expressed concern in this case about the failure to respect the applicant’s defence rights and privilege against self-incrimination. Whether there had been relevant and sufficient grounds for limiting the choice of lawyer – a test that, indeed, was cited by the Court – was, as I see it, not at all the essential issue in that case.

8. To my mind the cases of CroissantKlimentyev and Martin grouped together do not form a category of cases into which Dvorski would fit. Croissant and Klimentyev may be classified as dealing with the sufficiency of the reasoning underlying the denial or restriction of the choice of lawyer. Martin is not about the reasoning underlying such decisions but about the failure to respect the applicant’s defence rights and privilege against self-incrimination in view of the course of events. This issue was analysed by our Court mainly along the lines set out in Salduz. In Martin the Court concluded that the applicant’s defence rights had been adversely affected despite the domestic courts’ acknowledgment of a violation of his right to have a lawyer of his own choosing, and despite the formal exclusion of his confession. The lack of domestic scrutiny in ensuring the removal of any adverse consequences for the outcome of the proceedings, following the acknowledgment of the violation of the applicant’s defence rights, was the essential point for the Court in finding a violation. The Court’s analysis in Martin should not be reduced to a simple application of the test whether the outcome of the proceedings was adversely affected as a result of the denial of the applicant’s choice of lawyer. Such a reductionist characterisation unjustifiably ignores the important aspect of the domestic courts’ recognition of the failure to respect the rights of the defence.

9. In Dvorski the applicant was deliberately held in a state of ignorance regarding his options in choosing a lawyer, while the lawyer retained by his parent(s) was denied access to him. When there is, on the appearance of such facts, reason to believe that the police sought to orchestrate the defence and then obtained a confession that was used as evidence by the domestic courts without any serious examination of the alleged violation of the applicant’s defence rights, the question should not be whether the police could possibly have had relevant and sufficient reasons, or even compelling reasons, to deny or restrict the right to choose a lawyer, because the Court should not accept such a lack of respect for the rights of the defence in the first place, whatever the reasons or motives behind it. Such a matter does not belong to the category of “denial of choice”, labelled as a less serious issue – not even in comparison with a situation involving absolute denial of access of a lawyer.

10. Finally, to my mind the Court should have steered clear of accepting as a legitimate indication of the applicant’s guilt (in paragraph 104 of the present judgment) his lawyer’s subsidiary plea for clemency, by which she asked for her client’s initial confession to be interpreted as a sign of his sincere regret or remorse.

 

 

DISSENTING OPINION OF JUDGE VEHABOVIĆ

I am unable to share the view of the majority of the Grand Chamber that the facts complained of by the applicant disclose a violation of Article 6 §§ 1 and 3 (c) of the Convention, which provides:

“1. In the determination of ... any criminal charge against him, everyone is entitled to a fair ... hearing ... by [a] ... tribunal ...

...

3. Everyone charged with a criminal offence has the following minimum rights:

...

(c) to defend himself in person or through legal assistance of his own choosing or, if he has not sufficient means to pay for legal assistance, to be given it free when the interests of justice so require;

...”

The relevant part of the record of the applicant’s questioning by the police officers on 14 March 2007 reads as follows:

“I have been informed of the reasons for my arrest, the criminal offences of which I am accused, my rights, the right not to answer and the right to be legally represented, as well as the right to have members of my family informed about my arrest. I have chosen and authorised a defence lawyer from Rijeka, M.R., to represent me in these proceedings, and I have consulted him in private; following the consultation with [M.]R. I have decided to give my evidence.”

The applicant concluded his statement as follows:

“I am not experiencing any withdrawal symptoms or any other crisis. I have given my evidence voluntarily in the presence of my lawyer and a County State Attorney. I have read the entire statement and am signing it as truthful.”

During the trial in the Rijeka County Court, the applicant was given an opportunity to put forward all his arguments concerning the circumstances in which he had given his statement and, after he had raised the argument that he had never signed the record of the statement, he was afforded an effective opportunity to challenge the authenticity of his signature. However, the evidence adduced, namely the handwriting expert’s report, conclusively confirmed that the applicant had signed the statement by which he had given his confession to the police.

On the other hand, the Court established that the lawyer, G.M., had been denied access to the applicant while he was in police custody, even from the moment when G.M. had obtained a power of attorney signed by the applicant’s father.

Article 6 § 3 (c) secures the right for the applicant to have a lawyer of his own choosing but not the lawyer of his parents’ choosing.

The applicant submitted that throughout his detention in Rijeka Police Station the lawyer retained by his parents, G.M., had been unable to contact him.

In view of the applicant’s complaints, it is evident that the central issues arising in this case are the applicant’s right to retain counsel of his own choice and whether, as a result of “not having had” that opportunity, he was prevailed upon in a coercive environment to incriminate himself without the benefit of effective legal advice.

I have no reason to doubt the Government’s arguments that the applicant was provided with the official list of lawyers of the Croatian Bar Association and that from that list he chose M.R. as his lawyer. Accordingly, similarly to the Chamber, I consider that the present case does not concern a situation in which the applicant was provided with a legal-aid lawyer by the police, but rather a situation in which he was offered an official list of lawyers by the police, from which he selected M.R. as the lawyer of his own choice[40].

I fully agree with the majority that the behaviour of the police in making any contact between G.M. and the applicant impossible raises initial concerns as to the manner in which the domestic authorities dealt with the applicant’s pre-trial detention, and consequently possible doubts as to whether the proceedings as a whole satisfied the requirements of a fair trial under Article 6 of the Convention.

For these reasons this case must be clearly distinguished from the main principle set out in Salduz, to the effect that an accused in the initial stages of police interrogation which are decisive for the prospects of the defence in any subsequent criminal proceedings should normally be allowed to benefit from the assistance of a lawyer (see Salduz v. Turkey [GC], no. 36391/02, § 52, ECHR 2008). The Court (in paragraph 78 of the present judgment) also refers to the case of Martin v. Estonia (no. 35985/09, 30 May 2013), in which it held that a person charged with a criminal offence who did not wish to defend himself in person must be able to have recourse to legal assistance of his own choosing.

Obviously, the present case as a whole is about two basic questions: whether the applicant’s choice was made free of any pressure or duress by the police; and, if no pressure or duress was applied by the police, whether the applicant should have been represented by the lawyer of his own choosing, or one chosen by his parents or any third party, even in circumstances where the applicant, probably under considerable emotional pressure, decided to give a statement confessing to the crimes.

The Court notes (see paragraph 81 of the present judgment) that unlike in Salduz (cited above), where the accused, who was being held in custody, had been denied access to a lawyer during police questioning, the present case concerned a situation where the applicant was afforded access to a lawyer from his first interrogation, but not – according to his complaint – a lawyer of his own choosing. On that account the Court has decided to assess whether, in the light of the proceedings as a whole, the rights of the defence have been “adversely affected” to such an extent as to undermine their overall fairness.

Without going into all the details of that test, I consider that the applicant’s wish to have a lawyer of his own choosing was respected throughout the criminal proceedings against him. It is undisputed that he changed his representative several times. The nature of the proceedings against the applicant was serious, on account of his alleged offences, but that does not mean that there should be different requirements for a fair hearing depending on the seriousness of the nature of proceedings. It is true that one of the items of evidence used against the applicant was his statement given at the police station in the presence of the public prosecutor, but that statement was not the only evidence against him. When the applicant gave his first self-incriminatory statement in the present case, the fact is that he did so of his own free will, in the absence of any signs of physical or psychological pressure being exerted by the police. This statement was signed by the applicant, as was confirmed by a handwriting expert before the domestic courts.

I would have shared the view of the majority of the Court that the applicant suffered irreparable damage leading to a violation of Article 6 § 1 of the Convention in respect of the fairness of the proceedings as a whole if it had been proved that the applicant’s self-incriminatory statement was given in violation of Article 3, or without any legal representative present, or even in the presence of a representative whom he had not chosen of his own free will; however, I did not find any of these elements to be substantiated by the applicant in his application and I found his complaint to be completely unsupported by relevant arguments.

During the trial before the courts dealing with his case, the applicant put forward all his arguments in respect of the circumstances in which his statement had been given, as well as his argument that he had never signed the statement. However, the handwriting expert’s report conclusively confirmed that the applicant had indeed signed the statement. Therefore, it cannot be said that the applicant’s objections regarding the admissibility of his statement as evidence were ignored by the trial court (see, by contrast, Desde v. Turkey, no. 23909/03, § 130, 1 February 2011).

Throughout the court proceedings the applicant had the benefit of effective legal advice, and the trial court afforded him an adequate opportunity to participate in the proceedings and to put forward his arguments in respect of the charges and all the relevant evidence adduced; his arguments were duly taken into account. It should be mentioned that in his closing arguments at the trial the applicant, through his representative, presented the confession he had given to the police while represented by M.R. as proof of his sincere regret for the crimes committed, in the hope that it would be taken into account as a mitigating factor in the sentencing procedure.

Furthermore, the applicant’s confession was not the central platform of the prosecution’s case (see, by contrast, Magee v. the United Kingdom, no. 28135/95, § 45, ECHR 2000‑VI), and the trial court relied on his statement, interpreting it in the light of a complex body of evidence assessed by the court (compare Bykov v. Russia [GC], no. 4378/02, 10 March 2009). Specifically, when convicting the applicant, the trial court relied on the statements of a number of witnesses cross-examined during the trial, numerous expert reports and the records of the crime-scene investigation and searches and seizures, as well as relevant photographs and other physical evidence. In addition, the trial court had at its disposal the confessions made by the applicant’s co-accused at the trial, and neither the applicant nor his co-accused ever argued that any of their rights had been infringed when they had made those statements.

In such circumstances it would be difficult for me to conclude that the proceedings as a whole were unfair (compare O’Kane v. the United Kingdom (dec.), no. 30550/96, 6 July 1999), since all the applicant’s rights were adequately secured during the trial and his confession was not the sole, let alone the decisive, evidence in the case and as such did not call into question his conviction and sentence (compare Gäfgen v. Germany [GC], no. 22978/05, § 187, ECHR 2010, and, by contrast, Martin, cited above, §§ 95-96).

Against this background, and in view of the principle that the requirements of Article 6 § 3 are to be seen as particular aspects of the right to a fair trial guaranteed by Article 6 § 1 of the Convention (see, for example, Zagorodniy v. Ukraine, no. 27004/06, § 51, 24 November 2011) and the requirement to evaluate the fairness of the criminal proceedings as a whole (see Al-Khawaja and Tahery v. the United Kingdom [GC], nos. 26766/05 and 22228/06, § 118, ECHR 2011), I consider that it has not been shown that the applicant’s defence rights have been irretrievably prejudiced or that his right to a fair trial under Article 6 has been adversely affected (see, mutatis mutandisMamaç and Others v. Turkey, nos. 29486/95 and 2 others, § 48, 20 April 2004, and Sarıkaya v. Turkey, no. 36115/97, § 67, 22 April 2004; and, by contrast, Martin, cited above).

I wonder why the applicant never took any steps against M.R. if he considered his representation by that lawyer to be inadequate or contrary to his own free will, even though he had various opportunities to do so. He never complained in the subsequent criminal proceedings that M.R. had failed to provide him with adequate substantive legal advice. Neither he nor his new lawyer ever submitted any complaint against M.R. by instituting disciplinary proceedings before the relevant bodies of the Croatian Bar Association, an option they were perfectly entitled to pursue. Neither the applicant nor his lawyers took any action in that respect. I wonder how he can then dispute the professional attitude of M.R. in his case?

Furthermore, on what basis can the applicant claim that his initial statement, given over the course of several hours – during which time he never refused to provide further information, and following which he acknowledged the accuracy of the information provided by signing the record of the statement – raises any issue under the Convention, in view of the clear absence of any ill-treatment contrary to Article 3 of the Convention at the hands of the police? I fully agree with the Chamber’s conclusion that “there are no grounds to believe that any pressure was exerted on him or that there was any defiance of his will” (see paragraph 102 of the Chamber judgment).

Just for a moment, let us imagine a hypothetical situation in which the police had allowed G.M. to be present during their questioning of the applicant. I assume that the applicant’s complaint would then have been that the lawyer of his own choosing was not G.M. but M.R. and that the police or his parents had imposed G.M. as his lawyer, in defiance of his free will as clearly expressed in the statement he had given without any sign of abuse by the police. For these reasons the Court missed a chance to draw a clear line between two distinctive periods of the proceedings – one with M.R. and the other with G.M. as the lawyer of the applicant’s choosing in respect of his complaint. In the absence of any ill-treatment or of any other relevant factors that might have rendered the proceedings as a whole unfair, the applicant’s complaint is without solid foundations.

Finally, I am very curious to find out how the case-law will develop in future regarding the fairness of criminal proceedings and the question of legal representation across Europe today in the light of this judgment.

 


[1]. See in this respect the decision of the Croatian Constitutional Court U-III-3304/2011 of 23 January 2013 and the presentation of the decision in the article by Zoran Burić entitled Obaveza izvršenja konačnih presuda Suda za ljudska prava – u povodu odluke i rješenja Ustavnog suda Republike hrvatske broj U-III/3304/2011 od 23. Siječnja 2013.

[2].  Salduz v. Turkey [GC], no. 36391/02, § 55, ECHR 2008.

[3].  Dayanan v. Turkey, no. 7377/03, §§ 32-33, 13 October 2009.

[4]. See Salduz, cited above, § 58, and Huseyn and Others v. Azerbaijan, nos. 35485/05 and 3 others, § 172, 26 July 2011.

[5]. See Martin v. Estonia, no. 35985/09, §§ 90 and 93, 30 May 2013, and Erkapić v. Croatia, no. 51198/08, §§ 82-89, 25 April 2013.

[6]. See, for example, Kasimov v. Uzbekistan, Communication No. 1378/2005, CCPR/C/96/D/1378/2005, 30 July 2009, paragraph 9.6, and Aleksandr Butovenko v. Ukraine, Communication No. 1412/2005, CCPR/C/102/D/1412/2005, 19 July 2011, paragraph 7.8. Of particular interest in relation to the present case is Lyashkevich v. Uzbekistan(Communication No. 1552/2007, CCPR/C/98/D/1552/2007, 11 May 2010, paragraph 9.4), where the author alleged that her son’s right to defence had been violated, in particular because the lawyer she had hired privately on 11 August 2003 had been prevented from defending her son on that day, notwithstanding the fact that important investigative acts were being conducted at that precise moment. The Human Rights Committee noted that the State Party had only affirmed that all investigative acts in respect of Mr Lyashkevich had been conducted in the presence of a lawyer, without specifically addressing the issue of Mr Lyashkevich’s access to his privately hired lawyer. In the circumstances, and in the absence of any other information from the parties, the Human Rights Committee concluded that denying the author’s son access to legal counsel of his choice for one day and interrogating him and conducting other investigative acts with him during that time constituted a violation of Mr Lyashkevich’s rights under Article 14 § 3 (b), of the ICCPR.

[7]. See, by contrast, Pavel Levinov v. Belarus, Communication No. 1812/2008, CCPR/C/102/D/1812/2008, 25 August 2011, paragraph 8.3. The author alleged a violation of his defence rights under Article 14 § 3 (b), of the ICCPR, submitting that immediately after his arrest, the police had refused to allow a relative or acquaintances of the author to act as his representative, despite their having been present at the police station after his arrest, or to give him the opportunity to designate a lawyer. The Human Rights Committee noted that the author had been represented by counsel at his trial, and that it did not appear from the material before it that any investigative acts had been carried out before the beginning of the author’s trial. Hence, the UNHRC considered that Mr Levinov’s defence rights had not been violated in that case.

[8]. General Comment No. 32, Article 14: Right to equality before courts and tribunals and to a fair trial, CCPR/C/GC/32 (2007).

[9]. See the Concluding Observations of the UNHRC, Georgia, CCPR/C/79 Add.75, 5 May 1997, § 27. See also the Report of the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers regarding the Mission of the Special Rapporteur to the United Kingdom, E/CN.4/1998/39/Add.4, 5 March 1998, § 47.

[10]. See for example, Barreto Leiva v. Venezuela (merits, reparations and costs), judgment of 17 November 2009, paragraphs 58-64, and in particular paragraph 62: “If the right to defense arises as of the moment in which an investigation into an individual is ordered (supra para. 29), the accused must have access to a legal representation from that moment onwards, especially during the procedure in which his statement is rendered. To prevent the accused from being advised by a counsel means to strictly limit the right to defense, which leads to a procedural unbalance and leaves the individual unprotected before the punishing authority.”

[11]. See for example, Avocats sans frontières (on behalf of Bwampamye) v. Burundi, October/November 2000. The Commission concluded (in paragraph 30) that it was in the interests of justice for the accused to have the benefit of the assistance of a lawyer “at each stage of the case”. 

[12]. Directive 2013/48/EU of 22 October 2013 on the right of access to a lawyer in criminal proceedings and in European Arrest Warrant proceedings, and on the right to have a third party informed upon deprivation of liberty and to communicate with third persons and with consular authorities while deprived of liberty.

[13]. Following its visit to Turkey in July 2000, the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) published a report, reiterating “once again the recommendation that all persons deprived of their liberty by the law enforcement agencies, including persons suspected of offences falling under the jurisdiction of the State Security Courts, be granted as from the outset of their custody the right of access to a lawyer. The CPT recognises that in order to protect the legitimate interests of the police investigation, it may exceptionally be necessary to delay for a certain period a detained person’s access to a lawyer of his choice; however, in such cases, access to another independent lawyer should be arranged” (CPT/Inf (2001) 25, paragraph 61).

[14]. In its General Comment No. 2, the Committee against Torture (CAT) stated: “Certain basic guarantees apply to all persons deprived of their liberty. Some of these are specified in the Convention, and the Committee consistently calls upon the States Parties to use them. The Committee’s recommendations concerning effective measures aim to clarify the current baseline and are not exhaustive. Such guarantees include, inter alia, ... the right promptly to receive independent legal assistance” (CAT General Comment, 24 January 2008 (CAT/C/GC/2), § 13).

[15]. Adopted by the Eighth UN Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, Havana, Cuba, 27 August to 7 September 1990.

[16]. Annex II, HRC, Final Report, 46th Session, E/CN.4/Sub.2/1994/24, 3 June 1994.

[17]. See ICTY Appeals Chamber, Prosecutor v. Prlić et al., 5 September 2008, paragraph 14; ICTR Appeals Chamber, Prosecutor v. Nahimana et al., 28 November 2007, paragraphs 172-74; and ICC Appeals Chamber, Prosecutor v. Lubanga, 20 April 2007, paragraph 6.

[18]. See ICTY Trial Chamber, Prosecutor v. Delalić, Mucić, Delić and Landzo, Decision on Zdravko Mucić’s Motion for the Exclusion of Evidence, 2 September 1997, paragraphs 43 and 55; ICTR Trial Chamber, Prosecutor v. Bagosora et al., Decision on the Prosecutor’s Motion for the Admission of Certain Materials under Rule 89 (C), 14 October 2004, paragraph 21; and Prosecutor v. Karemera, Ngirumpatse and Nzirorera, Decision on the Prosecution Motion for Admission into Evidence of Post-arrest Interviews with Joseph Nzirorera and Mathieu Ngirumpatse, 2 November 2007, paragraphs 23-32.

[19]. For the defendant it might sometimes be more damaging to have a lawyer imposed by the State in whatever form (either because there was no choice at all or no meaningful choice, or because the choice was unjustifiably restricted) than not to have a lawyer at all. For telling examples see the above-cited cases of the CCPR, Inter-American Court of Human Rights and African Commission. 

[20].  Croissant v. Germany, 25 September 1992, Series A no. 237-B. 

[21].  Klimentyev v. Russia, no. 46503/99, 16 November 2006.

[22]. In the words of United States Supreme Court, “their infraction can never be treated as harmless error”. See Chapman v. California, 386 US 18 (1967), citing the cases of a biased trial judge, a coerced confession and the denial of the right to counsel at trial as examples of structural errors.

[23].  Arizona v. Fulminante, 499 US. 279 (1991), 309-10.

[24]. See Jalloh v. Germany [GC], no. 54810/00, §§ 99 and 105, ECHR 2006-IX; Harutyunyan v. Armenia, no. 36549/03, § 63, ECHR 2007-III; and Gäfgen v. Germany [GC], no. 22978/05, § 176, ECHR 2010. 

[25].  Salduz, cited above, § 58.

[26]. Ibid., § 54, and Dayanan, cited above, § 33. This same approach was repeated in Huseyn and Others (cited above, § 172): “... it appears that, in the first few days of their detention, the first, third and fourth applicants were questioned without the benefit of legal assistance and made certain statements that were included in the criminal case file. It does not appear that any of them had expressly waived their right to a lawyer after their arrest. Having regard to the information available on this matter, the Court cannot speculate on the exact impact which the applicants’ access to a lawyer during that period would have had on the ensuing proceedings and whether the absence of a lawyer during that period irretrievably affected their defence rights.”

[27]. See Salduz, cited above, §§ 55 and 58.

[28]. As Judge Scalia put it: “Different attorneys will pursue different strategies with regard to investigation and discovery, development of the theory of defense, selection of the jury, presentation of the witnesses, and style of witness examination and jury argument. And the choice of attorney will affect whether and on what terms the defendant cooperates with the prosecution, plea bargains, or decides instead to go to trial. In light of these myriad aspects of representation, the erroneous denial of counsel bears directly on the ‘framework within which the trial proceeds’, Fulminantesupra, at 310 – or indeed on whether it proceeds at all. It is impossible to know what different choices the rejected counsel would have made, and then to quantify the impact of those different choices on the outcome of the proceedings ... Harmless-error analysis in such a context would be a speculative inquiry into what might have occurred in an alternate universe” (United States v. Gonzalez-Lopez, 548 US 140 (2006)). Such structural errors include the denial of counsel (see Gideon v. Wainwright, 372 US 335 (1963)), the denial of the right of self-representation (see McKaskle v. Wiggins, 465 US 168, 177-78, n. 8 (1984)), the denial of the right to public trial (see Waller v. Georgia, 467 US 39, 49, n. 9 (1984)) and the denial of the right to trial by jury by the giving of a defective reasonable-doubt instruction (see Sullivan v. Louisiana, 508 US 275 (1993)).

[29]. See Salduz, cited above, § 58, and Huseyn and Others, cited above, § 172.

[30].  Ensslin, Baader and Raspe v. Germany, nos. 7572/76 and 2 others, Commission decision of 8 July 1978, Decisions and Reports 14, p. 64, at p. 114. 

[31]. Andrew Ashworth, “Excluding Evidence as Protecting Rights” (1977), Crim. L. Rev. 723.

[32].  Salduz v. Turkey [GC], no. 36391/02, § 55, ECHR 2008.

[33].  Croissant v. Germany, 25 September 1992, § 31, Series A no. 237-B.

[34].  Imbriosca v. Switzerland, 24 November 1993, § 36, Series A no. 275.

[35].  Correia de Matos v. Portugal (dec.), no. 48188/99, ECHR 2001-XII.

[36].  Foucher v. France, 18 March 1997, § 30, Reports of Judgments and Decisions 1997-II.

[37].  Pakelli v. Germany, no. 8398/78, Commission’s report of 12 December 1981, unreported; it is interesting to note that in its judgment in the same case (Pakelli v. Germany, 25 April 1983, § 42, Series A no. 64) the Court found a violation of Article 6 § 3 (c) of the Convention while holding, as it has only very rarely done: “The finding of a breach of the requirements of paragraph 3 (c) dispenses the Court from also examining the case in the light of paragraph 1 (see, mutatis mutandis, [Deweer v. Belgium, 27 February 1980, § 56, Series A no. 35])”.

[38]. See Imbrioscia, cited above, § 37; and also, after the Salduz case, Gäfgen v. Germany [GC], no. 22978/05, § 169, ECHR 2010, and Sakhnovskiy v. Russia [GC], no. 21272/03, § 94, 2 November 2010.

[39]. See Mayzit v. Russia, no. 63378/00, § 77, 20 January 2005, and Seleznev v. Russia, no. 15591/03, § 67, 26 June 2008.

 

[40]. For these reasons I find it completely irrelevant to mention (in paragraph 21 of the present judgment) that the applicant agreed to be represented “by a lawyer, M.R., a former chief of the Primorsko-Goranska Police” in circumstances in which there is no evidence that M.R. acted in any way contrary to the applicant’s interests. M.R. left the police in 2000 and this event took place in 2007, seven years later.

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