Judgment (Merits and Just Satisfaction) of Court (Fifth Section), March 19, 2015 (case CASE OF KULIK v. UKRAINE)

Resolution DateMarch 19, 2015
Issuing OrganizationCourt (Fifth Section)

   FIFTH SECTION      CASE OF KULIK v. UKRAINE (Application no. 10397/10)       JUDGMENT    STRASBOURG 19 March 2015  This judgment will become final in the circumstances set out in Article 44 § 2 of the Convention. It may be subject to editorial revision.In the case of Kulik v. Ukraine,The European Court of Human Rights (Fifth Section), sitting as a Chamber composed of:              Mark Villiger, President,
              Angelika Nußberger,
              Boštjan M. Zupančič,
              Ganna Yudkivska,
              Vincent A. De Gaetano,
              André Potocki,
              Aleš Pejchal, judges,
and Claudia Westerdiek, Section Registrar,Having deliberated in private on 17 February 2015,Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:


1. The case originated in an application (no. 10397/10) against Ukraine lodged with the Court under Article 34 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (“the Convention”) by a Ukrainian national, Mr Vitaliy Vladimirovich Kulik (“the applicant”), on 8 February 2010.

2. The applicant, who had been granted legal aid, was represented by Mr A. Bushchenko, a lawyer practising in Kyiv. The Ukrainian Government (“the Government”) were represented by their Agent at the time, Mr. N. Kulchytskyy.

3. The applicant alleged under Article 3 of the Convention that he had been ill-treated by police officers and that there had been no effective investigation of the incident. He further complained under Article 13 of the Convention that he had had no civil remedy in respect of his allegations of ill-treatment.

4. On 19 March 2012 the application was communicated to the Government.



5. The applicant was born in 1977 and lives in the village of Budy, Kharkiv Region.

6. On 4 May 2003 the applicant was arrested on suspicion of stealing cucumbers from a greenhouse on a vegetable farm. On the same day the applicant was also arrested for an administrative offence (disobeying and resisting police officers). The report concerning the applicant’s arrest for the administrative offence indicated that the applicant had no bodily injuries.

7. According to the Government, the applicant was released on 4 May 2003.

8. According to the applicant, on that day police officers beat him up in the Chervonozavodskyy District Police Department of Kharkiv (“the Police Department”), forcing him to confess to the theft. The applicant made self-incriminating statements. He was released on 5 May 2003 after the court had imposed a fine on him for the administrative offence.

9. On 5 May 2003 the investigator of the Police Department instituted criminal proceedings against the applicant and another person (P.) in connection with the theft of the cucumbers. As a preventive measure the applicant signed a written undertaking not to abscond.

10. On 5 May 2003 the applicant sought medical treatment at a hospital. A doctor at the trauma unit of the hospital noted that the applicant had numerous bruises on his body, and diagnosed him with concussion and a possible fracture of the nose.

11. On 8 May 2003 the applicant was examined by a surgeon, who noted that he had bruises on his nose, on the right side of the waist and on the suprapubic area.

12. On 12 May 2003 the applicant was admitted to the hospital for inpatient treatment on account of the injuries he had sustained.

13. On 20 May 2003, in the course of questioning, P., another suspect in the criminal case, complained of ill-treatment to the police investigator and noted that on 4 May 2003 he had also been in the Police Department and had heard noises and the applicant shouting.

14. On 13 June 2003 the applicant was discharged from the hospital.

15. On 25 June 2003 the applicant denied any involvement in the theft and argued that his earlier self-incriminating statements had been made as a result of ill-treatment on the part of police officers.

16. On 26 June 2003 a medical expert completed the medical examination (which started on 8 May 2003) and issued a report stating that the applicant was recovering from concussion accompanied by asthenic syndrome, he had bruises on the right leg and the trunk, swollen fingers on the left and right hands, and a swollen nose. The expert opined that the injuries had been inflicted by blunt solid objects and could have been sustained on 4 May 2003. The expert also cited the applicant’s statement that the injuries had been caused on 4 May 2003 by unknown persons in the street.

17. On 27 June 2003, in the course of questioning, P. once again stated that on 4 May 2003 he had also been in the Police Department and had heard noises and the applicant shouting.

18. On 8 July 2003 the applicant was examined by a psychiatrist and diagnosed with postcontusional syndrome accompanied by occasional anxious depression.

19. On 10 July 2003 the applicant applied to the Chervonozavodskyy District Prosecutor’s Office of Kharkiv (“the District Prosecutor’s Office”) seeking criminal prosecution of police officers for ill-treatment.

20. On 19 July 2003 the prosecutor, having conducted a pre-investigation enquires, refused to open criminal proceedings in connection with the applicant’s allegations of ill-treatment, for lack of corpus delicti.

21. On 31 July 2003 the applicant was examined by a psychiatrist, who considered that the concussion had had a negative psychological effect on him and that he was showing signs of psychoorganic anxious depression syndrome with amnestic disorder.

22. On 12 August 2003 the medical expert issued another report, noting that the applicant had sustained concussion which had caused psychoorganic anxious depression syndrome accompanied by amnestic disorder; that he had bruises on his right arm and trunk, and swellings of the right and left hands and face; the injuries were of medium severity and had been caused by blunt solid objects. The expert considered that the injuries could have been sustained on 4 May 2003. The expert again cited the applicant’s statement that the injuries had been caused on 4 May 2003 by unknown persons in the street.

23. On 7 October 2003 the Kharkiv Regional Prosecutor’s Office quashed the decision of 19 July 2003 as unfounded and ordered further...

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