I.  Regarding the alleged infringement of art. 6 § 1 and § 3 lit. (c) of the Convention invoked on by the applicant, since his conviction was based on statements made shortly after his interpellation by the police and without the effective assistance of a lawyer, the Court held, in essence, that:

  • There is nothing in the file that might indicate that the applicant had been informed at the time of his first statement of his right to be assisted by a lawyer or that the applicant had waived his right (see, to that effect, Ahmet Engin Șatır v. Turkey, No 17.879 / 04, paragraph 54, 1 December 2009, and, a contrario, Diriöz v. Turkey, No 38.560 / 04, paragraphs 33-35, 31 May 2012). (par. 33)
  • The existence of a restriction on access to legal aid, as a general and compulsory right under the law, cannot preclude national authorities from carrying out an individual and detailed assessment of any “compelling reasons” justifying that particular restriction (Beuze, cited above, point 142). (par. 35)
  • The Court did not identify any type of element that might show a particular vulnerability of the applicant or a certain constraint on him during his remand custody. (para. 37)
  • Regarding the nature of the litigation statement, the Court notes that, although it was not clearly self-incriminating and was not retracted, it is no less true that the applicant gave the investigators a detailed, important statement acknowledging that he had been at the scene to recover copper components from the air conditioners. With regard to the use of evidence by the domestic courts, having regard to their findings, the Court considers that that statement forms an integral part of the evidence on which the applicant’s conviction for the charge against him was based (see, mutatis mutandis, Beuze, cited above, paragraph 186) and that it clearly affected the position of the person concerned substantially in the proceedings (see, mutatis mutandis, Olivieri v. France, no. 62.313 / 12, § 37, 11 July 2019). (para. 38)
  • The Court notes that the applicant’s conviction was also based on the report drawn up following the on-the-spot investigations, which corroborated, according to the domestic courts, the statements of D.T.C. and MJ, which the applicant could not question or request to be heard during the proceedings (see, a contrario and mutatis mutandis, Bloise v. France, No 30.828 / 13, § 58, 11 July 2019, where the national courts based the conviction exclusively on elements other than the applicant’s allegations during the detention). (par. 40)
  • In view of the above, the Court considers that the Government has not convincingly explained why, in exceptional circumstances and given the circumstances of the case, the restriction of access to legal aid has not irreparably infringed the overall fairness of the proceedings (see the case law cited above, paragraph 36). In the Court’s view, the criminal proceedings against the applicant, as a whole, did not allow the remedy of the procedural deficiency which had arisen in the pre-trial phase, which concerned in particular the right to benefit from the physical presence of a lawyer during the applicant’s statement from 13th November 2011, 10.30 pm, and the notification of the right to remain silent [see, mutatis mutandis, Beuze cited above, paragraphs 193-194, and  K.C. against Romania (Committee), no. 45060, pp. 41-48, 30 October 2018]. ” (para. 42)

II.  Regarding the alleged infringement of art. 6 § 1 and 3 lit. d) of the Convention

The plaintiff complains that he was convicted on the basis of statements given by D.T.C. and M.J. during the criminal investigation without having had the opportunity to question those witnesses or to see the court doing so. In this sense, it denounces the violation of art. 6 § 1 and 3 lit. d) of the Convention. (para. 44)

Taking into account its finding in this regard regarding the analysis from the perspective of art. 6 § 1 and 3 lit. (c) of the Convention, the Court considers that this claim must be considered admissible, without it being necessary to examine whether there has been a violation of the provision relied on in the present case (see, mutatis mutandis, Harun Gürbüz v. Turkey, no. 68.556 / 10, pp. 88-89, 30 July 2019). (par. 45)

Full text (RO)

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