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Application no. 28190/03
by Vitaliy Nikolayevich IVANOV
against Russia

The European Court of Human Rights (First Section), sitting on 9 November 2006 as a Chamber composed of:

Mr C.L. Rozakis, President,
Mr L. Loucaides,
Mrs F. Tulkens,
Mrs N. Vajić,
Mr A. Kovler,
Mrs E. Steiner,
Mr K. Hajiyev, judges,
and Mr S. Nielsen, Section Registrar,

Having regard to the above application lodged on 8 August 2003,

Having regard to the decision to apply Article 29 § 3 of the Convention and examine the admissibility and merits of the case together.

Having deliberated, decides as follows:


The applicant, Vitaliy Nikolayevich Ivanov, was a Russian national born in 1942 and, until his death on 7 May 2005, served his sentence in prison UN-1612/29 of Kemerovo. The respondent Government were represented by Mr P. Laptev, Representative of the Russian Federation at the European Court of Human Rights.

The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.

On 17 July 2001 the applicant was arrested on suspicion of having committed a murder.

From 17 to 19 July 2001 he was allegedly ill-treated by the police.

On 20 July 2001 the Prosecutor’s Office authorised the applicant’s detention on remand. However, the administration of the detention facility refused to accept him in view of his state of health. The applicant was taken to the hospital to be examined.

On 21 July 2001 the applicant was provided with medical help by the detention facility’s doctor.

On 23 July 2001 the administration of the detention facility on behalf of the applicant filed a complaint about the alleged ill-treatment to the Prosecutor’s Office. On 29 August 2001 the applicant was informed that an inquiry had been held, which did not disclose the indication of the corpus delicti in the actions of the police officers. The applicant did not appeal against this decision.

On 21 December 2001 the bill of indictment was served on the applicant. On 27 December 2001 the trial began. During the trial the applicant contended that his right to prepare his defence was violated, because the trial had commenced too shortly after the bill of indictment had been served on him; he requested the court to let him meet his legal-aid counsel and to obtain the attendance of his father. The applicant’s father was summoned, but could not appear before the court in view of his elderly age (93 years old) and the fact that he was a bed-patient. The court used his testimony received during the preliminary investigation. K. and B. were questioned. During the second hearing on 5 March 2002 K. and B. were absent, so the court used their testimony received at the previous hearing. The applicant’s requests to call them once again were dismissed.

On 5 March 2002 the Kemerovo Regional Court convicted the applicant of murder and sentenced him to fifteen years’ imprisonment. On 20 February 2003 the Supreme Court of Russia upheld the judgment on appeal. The court rejected the applicant’s request for legal aid at this stage of the proceedings, because “the domestic law did not provide for the right to free legal representation before appeal courts”.

Later the applicant again filed an application in order to institute criminal proceedings against the police officers referring to the alleged ill-treatment in 2001, but, following an additional inquiry, on 12 March 2004 his request was dismissed. The applicant did not appeal against this decision.


1. The applicant complained under Article 3 about being ill-treated by the police.

2. He complained under Article 6 § 2 that during the trial he had not been presumed innocent.

3. The applicant complained under Article 6 § 1 that the proceedings were unfair and lengthy.

4. He complained under Article 6 § 3 (b) that his right to have adequate time and facilities to prepare his defence was violated, because the trial commenced less than a week after the bill of indictment had been served on him and because his request to meet with his legal aid counsel before the trial had not been granted.

5. The applicant further complained under Article 6 § 3 (c) that his right to defence was violated at the stage of the hearing of his case on appeal.

6. Finally, he complained under Article 6 § 3 (d) that the court refused his request to obtain his father’s attendance.


On 7 April 2006 the complaints concerning the refusal of the applicant’s request to be granted legal aid for the purposes of the appeal hearing and the adequacy of the time and facilities for the preparation of his defence were communicated to the respondent Government.

On 29 June 2006 the Government’s observations on the admissibility and merits of the application were received. The Government informed the Court that on 7 May 2005 the applicant had died.

On 13 July 2006 the Government’s observations were sent to the applicant’s home address in case his successors might wish to pursue the application. However, no response followed.

The Court takes note of the fact that the applicant has died and that no member of his family or heir has expressed a wish to pursue the proceedings before the Court in his stead.

In these circumstances, the Court concludes that it is no longer justified to continue the examination of the application, that Article 29 § 3 of the Convention should no longer apply to the case and that the case should be struck out of the list of cases in accordance with Article 37 § 1 (c) of the Convention. The Court finds no reasons of a general character, as defined in Article 37 § 1 in fine that would require to continue the proceedings by the virtue of that provision.

For these reasons, the Court unanimously

Decides to discontinue the application of Article 29 § 3 of the Convention and to strike the application out of its list of cases.

Søren Nielsen Christos Rozakis
Registrar President