Judgment (Merits and Just Satisfaction) of Court (First Section Committee), April 30, 2015 (case CASE OF SERGEY LEBEDEV AND OTHERS v. RUSSIA)

Judge:ILYINA Y.V. ; RODNENKO O.I. ; POLOZOV K.B. ; TURBIN Y.S.
Defense:RUSSIA
Resolution Date:April 30, 2015
Issuing Organization:Court (First Section Committee)

FIRST SECTION

CASE OF SERGEY LEBEDEV AND OTHERS v. RUSSIA

(Applications nos. 2500/07, 43089/07, 48809/07, 52271/07 and 54706/07)

JUDGMENT

STRASBOURG

30 April 2015

This judgment is final but it may be subject to editorial revision.

In the case of Sergey Lebedev and Others v. Russia,

The European Court of Human Rights (First Section), sitting as a Committee composed of:

             Khanlar Hajiyev, President,              Julia Laffranque,              Dmitry Dedov, judges,and André Wampach, Deputy Section Registrar,

Having deliberated in private on 7 April 2015,

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

PROCEDURE

  1. The case originated in five applications (nos. 2500/07, 43089/07, 48809/07, 52271/07 and 54706/07) against the Russian Federation lodged with the Court under Article 34 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (“the Convention”) by five Russian nationals. The application numbers, the dates of lodging the applications and the dates of their communication, the applicants’ names, their personal details and the names of their legal representatives as well as the information as to the relevant domestic judgments are set out in Appendix below.

  2. The Russian Government (“the Government”) were represented by Mr G. Matyushkin, Representative of the Russian Federation at the European Court of Human Rights.

  3. The applicants each alleged that they had been convicted of drug offences following entrapment by the police in violation of Article 6 of the Convention.

  4. On the dates indicated in the Appendix the President of the First Section decided to give the notice of the applications to the Government. In accordance with Article 26 § 1 of the Convention as amended by Protocol No. 14, the applications were assigned to a Committee of three Judges. It was also decided that the Committee would rule on the admissibility and merits of the applications at the same time.

    THE FACTS

    1. THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE

  5. The applicants were each targeted in undercover operations conducted by the police in the form of a test purchase of drugs under sections 7 and 8 of the Operational-Search Activities Act of 12 August 1995 (no. 144-FZ). Those operations led to their criminal conviction for drug dealing.

  6. The applicants disagreed with their conviction and argued that the police incited them to commit drug-related offences.

    1. RELEVANT DOMESTIC LAW

  7. The relevant domestic law governing the use of undercover techniques at the material time is summed up in the Court’s judgments in the cases of Lagutin and Others v. Russia, nos. 6228/09, 19123/09, 19678/07, 52340/08 and 7451/09, 24 April 2014; Veselov and Others v. Russia, nos. 23200/10, 24009/07 and 556/10, 2 October 2012; Bannikova v. Russia, no. 18757/06, 14 October 2010; Vanyan v. Russia, no. 53203/99, 15 December 2005; Khudobin v. Russia, no. 59696/00, ECHR 2006‑... (extracts).

    THE LAW

    1. JOINDER OF THE APPLICATIONS

  8. In accordance with Rule 42 § 1 of the Rules of Court, the Court decides to join the applications, given that they concern similar facts and raise identical issues under the Convention.

    1. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 6 § 1 OF THE CONVENTION

  9. The applicants complained that that they had been unfairly convicted of drug offences that they had been incited by the police to commit and that their plea of entrapment had not been properly examined in the domestic proceedings, in violation of Article 6 of the Convention, which reads as follows:

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

    1. Admissibility

  10. Submissions by the parties

  11. The Government submitted that Mr Lebedev, Ms Cherkasova and Mr Krivda (applications nos. 2500/07, 43089/07 and 54706/07) who were each convicted of two or more episodes of drug sale could no longer claim to be victims of the alleged violation. In particular, the Government argued that the domestic courts had reopened the criminal proceedings in their cases and mitigated the sentences imposed on each of them for the first episode of drug sale. The domestic courts had also vacated each of the applicants’ conviction in relation to the remaining episodes which took place after the first test purchase.

  12. Mr Lebedev, Ms Cherkasova and Mr Krivda acknowledged that the domestic courts had re-examined the...

To continue reading

Request your trial