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European Observer on fundamental right's respect

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Case Law 42084/02 (25/03/2008)

Type: Judgment

Authority: European Authorities: European Court of human rights

Date: 03/25/2008

Subject: The applicant, Floricel Vitan, is a Romanian national who was born in 1956 and lives in Cluj Napoca (Romania). He was remanded in custody in December 2000 on suspicion of trading in influence while exercising the functions of information officer at the Independent Service for Protection and Anticorruption (Serviciul Independent de Protectie si Anticoruptie), and sentenced to four years’ imprisonment in November 2001. He complains of the poor conditions of his detention, a violation of the secrecy of his correspondence in prison and a breach of his defence rights and of the presumption of innocence. He relies on Articles 6 (right to a fair trial) and 8 (right to respect for private and family life). The Court held unanimously that the applicant had not been prevented from freely exercising his defence rights and that there had been no violation of Article 6 §§ 1 and 3. However, it considered that the prosecutor’s statement could be regarded as an official declaration that the applicant was guilty despite the fact that that had not yet been legally established, in breach of Article 6 § 2. Regarding the interference with the applicant’s right to respect for his correspondence, the Court found that that had not been “in accordance with the law” and held unanimously that there had been a violation of Article 8.

Parties: Vitan c/ Romania

Classification: Freedoms - Art. 7 Privacy - Communications - Justice - Art. 47 Fair trial, public hearing - Art. 48 Presumption of innocence