European Court of Human Rights delivered a decision on a case concerning continuation of detention on remand
On 12 October 2023, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) issued a decision on a case concerning continuation of detention on remand. The Court declared inadmissible the application alleging a violation of Article 5 (right to liberty and security of person) of the European Convention on Human Rights (Convention).
In the case, the applicant was arrested on suspicion of several aggravated narcotics offences and an aggravated firearms offence. His detention on remand was ordered under the Coercive Measures Act as there was reason to suspect that the applicant would obstruct the investigation or the trial by destroying, altering or concealing evidence or by influencing his accomplices.
The applicant confessed to having committed one of the suspected offences when questioned by the police as well as later at the main hearing in the District Court. After the main hearing had commenced, he requested to be released from detention, arguing that there was no longer a reason to suspect that he would obstruct the investigation of the matter, among other arguments.
The applicant’s request was refused by the District Court. The District Court considered that there was still a risk of collusion until the applicant and his co-accused had been heard in the main hearing.
The applicant appealed against the decision to the Court of Appeal, which dismissed the appeal. The Supreme Court did not grant the applicant leave to appeal.
In the appeal to the ECtHR, the applicant complained that the continuation of his detention was in breach of Article 5 of the Convention, as there were no relevant and sufficient grounds for prolonging the detention after he had confessed having committed the offence.
The ECtHR found no indications that the assessment made by the domestic courts was stereotyped, general or abstract in any manner. Both the District Court and the Court of Appeal referred to the specific circumstances of the applicant’s case and explicitly addressed his arguments. The argument that there was a risk that the applicant might influence others, at least until he had testified in court, was substantiated by factual elements.
The ECtHR considered that the domestic authorities gave relevant and sufficient reasons justifying the applicant’s continued detention as required by Article 5(3) of the Convention. The ECtHR considered that the applicant’s complaint is manifestly ill-founded and must be rejected in accordance with Article 35(3)(a) and Article 35(4) of the Convention.
- Krista Oinonen, Agent of the Finnish Government before the ECtHR, Director of the Unit for Human Rights Courts and Conventions, tel. +358 295 351 172
- The email addresses of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs are in the format [email protected].