#constitutionofanorganizedcriminalgroup; #moneylaundering; #taxavoidance

The art. 5 § 3 • lack of relevant and sufficient reasons to decide the continuation of detention; The art. 6 § 2 • violation of the presumption of innocence

In essence, the ECHR found the following:

  • Regarding the danger of committing new crimes: “(…) authorities strive to explain, considering the multiple accusations and the highly publicized nature of criminal proceedings (…), why was it imagined that the pleader will continue to operate the criminal scheme of which he was accused.” (para. 107)
  • Regarding the risk of influencing witnesses and altering evidence: “(…) since the evidence necessary to establish the facts has already been administered, given the procedural guarantees existing on domestic Law against the influence of witnesses, the conclusion of the courts regarding the risk of pressure on witnesses or alteration of evidence seems unfounded (…).” (paras. 108-110)
  • Regarding the risk of absconding: „(…) The claimant was arrested in France based on a European arrest warrant. However, according to the documents in the file, he was the one who informed the Bulgarian authorities about his location and that he would return to Bulgaria on 26 October 2018 by plane, when he knew he had to appear before the authorities in the context of a criminal investigation (…). Exactly on this date, and before boarding in Sofia, he was arrested by the French police at the Nice airport (paragraph 14 above). In those circumstances, the Court considers that this argument cannot in itself justify the finding of any existence for the risk of absconding”. (para. 112) However, “(…) personal and professional connections established with foreign countries, considerable financial resources and, above all, talks intercepted with his cell phone hidden in his cell. (…) “, ”could justify the danger of fleeing for a relatively long period and therefore maintaining the applicant’s detention”. (para. 113). Even in the presence of these concrete and serious elements, the Court held that “on December 2, 2020, it was found that the risk of fleeing had decreased given the time spent in detention and travel difficulties associated with the COVID-19 pandemic”, and in any case, ”the refusal to release the applicant relies on the risk of recidivism and the possibility to influence witnesses, which is why the court considered them irrelevant at this stage in this criminal procedure (…). ” (para. 114)
  • Prosecutors’ statements published on October 28, 2018, as well as the reasons for the decision, pronounced on 7 December 2018, violated the presumption of innocence. (para. 155)

Full text (FR)

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