ECHR 15 november 2012, Sergey Afanasyev v. Ukraine (no. 48057/06)
The applicant, Sergey Afanasyev, is a Russian national who was born in 1963 and is currently serving a prison sentence. Convicted of murder and sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment in July 2005, he complained in particular, relying on Article 6 §§ 1 and 3 (c) (right to a fair trial/right to legal assistance), that he had had no access to a lawyer at his first questioning by the police.
ECHR: Violation of Article 6 §§ 1 and 3 (c)
"57. The Court reiterates that Article 6 § 1 of the Convention requires that, as a rule, access to a lawyer should be provided from the first time a suspect is questioned 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 questioning by police without access to a lawyer are used for a conviction (see Salduz v. Turkey [GC], no. 36391/02, § 55, 27 November 2008)."
Just satisfaction: EUR 2,400 (non-pecuniary damage) and EUR 700 (costs and expenses)
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