- Judgment date: 2020-11-10
- Communication date: 2018-09-17
- Application number(s): 61264/17
- Country: LTU
- Relevant ECHR article(s): 5, 5-1-b, 5-4
Violation of Article 5 - Right to liberty and security (Article 5-1 - Lawful arrest or detention)
- Result: Violation SEE FINAL JUDGMENT
- Probability: 0.560462
- Prediction: Violation
Communication text used for prediction
The applicant, Ms Regina Leonienė, is a Lithuanian national, who was born in 1948 and lives in Šiauliai.
The circumstances of the case The facts of the case, as submitted by the applicant, may be summarised as follows.
In 2010, 2012 and 2013 pre-trial investigations were opened against the applicant for fraud, fraudulent management of accounts, abuse of office, forgery of a document or possession of that document, credit fraud, failure to perform official duties and use of a credit, loan or targeted support not in accordance with its purpose or the established procedure.
In 2013 the applicant was served with a notice on suspicion of fraud, use of a credit, loan or targeted support not in accordance with its purpose or the established procedure, fraudulent management of accounts and abuse of office.
In 2014 a bill of indictment was drawn up and the applicant’s case was transferred to a court.
On 7 November 2016 the applicant was driving to a hearing which was due to take place at 9:30 a.m.
The distance to the hearing was 140 kilometres and the applicant’s car broke down on the way.
The applicant’s lawyer informed the court about the accident.
The Kretinga District Court held that it was not the first time the applicant had failed to come to a hearing.
She had not participated before due to her illness, failure of other parties to appear, a fire in the premises of her company and severe weather conditions.
Although the applicant’s lawyer submitted that on 7 November 2016 the weather conditions were complicated, the court observed that the other parties had managed to arrive.
The court was of the view that the applicant did not take the criminal proceedings seriously and that she was systematically obstructing the proceedings.
The court thus decided to order the applicant’s detention on remand for three months.
The starting date of the detention on remand was to be calculated from the date of the actual arrest.
The applicant arrived at the court on 7 November 2016 at 2:51 p.m. and provided the court with the documents proving that her car had broken down.
It appears that she asked to have the decision of her detention on remand annulled.
On 9 November 2016 the Kretinga District Court approved the applicant’s detention on remand.
Even though the applicant had medical problems (diabetes) and the prosecutor also thought that the applicant’s arrest was not necessary since she had failed to appear at a hearing due to the technical problems of her car, the court decided that there were grounds to order the applicant’s detention on remand.
The court held that the applicant interfered with the proceedings, she had failed to appear at the hearings on several occasions and the more lenient measure would not achieve the same objectives as detention on remand.
The applicant appealed against that decision.
On 22 November 2016 the Klaipėda Regional Court rejected the applicant’s complaint.
The court held that there was some doubt as to the alleged technical problems with the applicant’s car as she had stated that she had been driving from Šiauliai, but the car was transported from Plungė to Šiauliai and then back to Plungė.
The applicant’s places of residence were in Šiauliai and Rietavas.
Also, the document provided by the applicant did not indicate any reparation work made on the car.
The applicant’s argument that no hearings were planned in 2017 and thus the term of the detention on remand did not serve the purpose of ensuring uninterrupted examination of the case was dismissed because the court held that it did not mean that hearings would not be scheduled in the near future.
The applicant had mental health issues and was being treated in a psychiatric hospital since November 2016.
The term of the treatment was estimated at two months.
The hospital recommended that the applicant should not participate in the hearings during her treatment period.
On 2 February 2017 the treatment was prolonged.
On 14 December 2016 the applicant asked to have the detention on remand annulled and to have a less restrictive measure applied because all the procedural actions had already been taken in the case and only final speeches had to be pronounced.
On 28 December 2016 the Kretinga District Court rejected the applicant’s request repeating the reasons stated in the previous decisions.
The applicant again asked to replace the detention on remand with a less restrictive measure.
On 18 January 2017 the Kretinga District Court repeated the same reasons stated in the previous decisions and rejected the applicant’s request.
On 25 January 2017 the Kretinga District Court decided to order an expertise on the applicant’s psychiatric health.
The applicant appealed against the decision of the Kretinga District Court of 18 January 2017, and on 30 January 2017 the Klaipėda Regional Court decided to leave the appeal unexamined because a decision to refuse to annul the detention on remand could not be appealed against.
On 2 February 2017 the Kretinga District Court asked the police why the decision to arrest the applicant was not being executed.
On 7 February 2017 the applicant asked the court to postpone her detention on remand until she had fully recovered from her illness.
On 8 February 2017 the applicant was arrested.
On 13 February 2017 the Kretinga District Court refused to accept the applicant’s request of 7 February 2017 to postpone her detention on remand because the domestic law did not provide for a possibility to postpone the execution of a restrictive measure.
The applicant then asked the court to ensure her treatment but on 17 February 2017 the Kretinga District Court refused to accept that request because the domestic law did not have any provisions regarding the medical treatment of the accused.
The applicant then asked to postpone the hearing of the case and to impose a less restrictive measure than the detention on remand.
On 28 February 2017 the Kretinga District Court refused to postpone the hearing because even though there was a document dated 6 February 2017 from the hospital that it was not recommended that the applicant participate in the proceedings, it was issued before the applicant’s actual arrest.
The applicant was brought before the court on 28 February 2017 and there was no information that the applicant could not participate in the hearings because of her health issues.
There was also a document in the case provided by the applicant’s lawyer on 1 February 2017 where it was indicated that the applicant’s treatment in the hospital had finished on 1 February 2017.
The court also refused to impose a less restrictive measure on the applicant as it could interfere with the normal course of proceedings.
The applicant asked to have her detention on remand annulled or to have it changed to another restrictive measure.
On 20 March 2017 the Kretinga District Court refused the applicant’s request relying on essentially the same reasons as before.
The applicant asked again to have her detention on remand annulled or to have it changed to another restrictive measure.
On 3 April 2017 the Kretinga District Court refused the request.
It held that deterioration of the health of the accused was not among the grounds established in domestic law to impose a less restrictive measure.
On 3 May 2017 the Kretinga District Court examined the issue of the applicant’s detention on remand.
It held that the examination of evidence in the criminal proceedings had not finished and that the applicant had yet to pronounce her testimony; the lawyers kept submitting new or repeated requests regarding the examination of evidence.
The court held that there was enough information to presume that the applicant had committed the offence.
Even though she had a legal source of income and a permanent place of residence, her behaviour during the proceedings was enough to believe that the condition of the detention on remand was still pertinent.
The court thus decided to extend the term of the applicant’s detention on remand for a further three months.
The applicant appealed.
On 18 May 2017 the Klaipėda Regional Court partially satisfied the appeal.
The court established that the criminal case was received at the Kretinga District Court on 22 April 2014 and was transferred for examination on 22 May 2014.
The examination was protracted due to the failure of the accused and her lawyers to appear without any good reason.
The applicant herself had failed to appear on 27 March 2015, 27 April 2015, 11 May 2015, 26 March 2016, 19 and 25 April 2016.
On 6 May 2016 the court ordered an expertise in order to establish whether the applicant could not participate in the hearings on 19 and 25 April 2016 because of her illness.
On 26 May 2016 the expert’s conclusion stated that the applicant could fake her illness, thus on 14 June 2016 the court gave her a fine.
The hearing on 13 September 2016 was discontinued because of the fire in the applicant’s company; however, the applicant did not provide any documents proving that the fire had actually happened.
On 23 September 2016 the applicant had failed to appear because one of her lawyers informed the court that he could not participate in the hearing that day and the applicant, therefore, considered that it was not necessary for her to participate either.
On 26 September 2016 the court gave the applicant a fine for failure to participate in the hearing of 23 September 2016.
Finally, when the applicant failed to appear on 7 November 2016, the court decided to impose detention on remand.
Having regard to these circumstances, the Klaipėda Regional Court observed that the applicant had failed to properly implement her duty to participate in the hearings and that the detention on remand was imposed lawfully.
However, the court considered that a more lenient restrictive measure could help to achieve the same objective.
The court then went on to list the grounds for detention on remand established in the Court’s practice: the risk of absconding; of interfering with the proceedings; of committing new crimes; of interfering with public order.
The court held that it was necessary to consider the gravity of the offence, the personality of the applicant, the gravity of the penalty and the principle of proportionality.
The court further held that in its decision to extend the term of the applicant’s detention on remand the district court had failed to indicate the grounds listed for this in domestic law.
It was obvious from the reasoning, however, that the detention on remand was prolonged because there was a risk that the applicant would interfere with the proceedings.
The court noted that detention on remand could only be imposed if it was not possible to achieve the objectives listed in domestic law by other less restrictive measures.
When the first-instance court decided to extend the term of the applicant’s detention on remand, it did not consider imposing one or several less restrictive measures on the applicant.
The Klaipėda Regional Court stated that since the applicant’s arrest, the examination of the case had not moved forward due to some breaks in the proceedings because of other parties having failed to appear, and not only because of the applicant’s actions.
The court thus decided that the extension of the term of the applicant’s detention on remand was disproportionate to the aim pursued.
The applicant was of a certain age, had health issues, a permanent place of residence, family, her own private company and had not been convicted before.
The court decided to set bail at 5,000 euros (EUR) in order to ensure that the applicant appeared before the courts.
On 24 May 2017 the results of a psychiatric expertise, ordered on 25 January 2017, were delivered and it was recommended that the applicant be monitored in hospital.
Relevant domestic law Article 20 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania reads as follows: Article 20 “Human liberty shall be inviolable.
No one may be arbitrarily apprehended or detained.
No one may be deprived of his liberty otherwise than on the grounds and according to the procedures established by law.
A person apprehended in flagrante delicto must, within forty-eight hours, be brought before a court for the purpose of deciding, in the presence of this person, on the validity of the apprehension.
If the court does not adopt a decision to detain the person, the apprehended person shall be released immediately.” Article 11 § 1 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (hereinafter ‐ “the CCP”) provides that restrictive measures can only be imposed if it is impossible to achieve the aims of the process by any other means.
The application of a restrictive measure has to be discontinued when the need for it ceases to exist.
Article 119 of the CCP provides that restrictive measures can be applied in order to ensure that the suspect, the accused or the convicted person participates in the proceedings, to prevent interference with the pre-trial investigation or with the examination of the case before the court, or with the execution of the sentence, and to prevent the commission of further criminal acts.
Article 121 § 4 provides that when deciding whether it is necessary to order a restrictive measure or when choosing a particular measure, the pre-trial investigation officer, prosecutor, judge or court must take into account the seriousness of the charges against the suspect, the suspect’s personality, whether he or she has a permanent place of residence and a job or other legal means of subsistence, the suspect’s age, state of health, family status and other circumstances which may be relevant when ordering a restrictive measure.
Article 122 § 1 (2) of the CCP permits detention on remand when there is a well-founded belief that a suspect may interfere with the investigation.
Article 122 § 7 of the CCP provides that detention on remand may be ordered only when more lenient remand measures would be insufficient to achieve the objectives listed in Article 119 of the CCP.
Article 125 § 2 (4) of the CCP provides that the decision to order a restrictive measure has to contain the aim to be achieved with a restrictive measure, and, if detention on remand is ordered – conditions of such detention on remand, one or several grounds listed in Article 122 of the CCP and reasons to impose such measure as well as factual circumstances and reasons, why it was not possible to order less restrictive measures in order to achieve the objectives listed in Article 119 of the CCP.
Article 2421 § 1 of the CCP provides that the court has to put all the efforts to examine a criminal case expeditiously and has to aim for examination of the case with as less breaks as possible.
Article 247 of the CCP provides that if an accused fails to appear at a hearing, a break in the proceedings can be made or the examination of the case can be postponed, except if a case is examined before the court of first instance, where the participation of the accused is compulsory.
The court has a right to bring in the accused who has failed to appear as well as to impose a restrictive measure or to change it into a more restrictive measure.
The applicant complains under Article 3 of the Convention about the failure of the authorities to ensure the proper medical assistance corresponding to her state of health and the failure to ensure the continuity of the treatment during her detention on remand.
The applicant also complains under Articles 5 § 1, 5 § 3 and 5 § 4 that her detention on remand was arbitrary, the decisions on her detention on remand lacked proper reasoning, were formal and did not even consider imposing less restrictive measures and that the term of her detention on remand was ungrounded.
CASE OF LEONIENĖ v. LITHUANIA
(Application no. 61264/17)
10 November 2020
This judgment is final but it may be subject to editorial revision. In the case of Leonienė v. Lithuania,
The European Court of Human Rights (Second Section), sitting as a Committee composed of:
Aleš Pejchal, President,Egidijus Kūris,Carlo Ranzoni, judges,and Hasan Bakırcı, Deputy Section Registrar,
Having regard to:
the application (no. 61264/17) against the Republic of Lithuania lodged with the Court under Article 34 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (“the Convention”) by a Lithuanian national, Ms Regina Leonienė (“the applicant”), on 17 August 2017;
the decision to give notice of the application to the Lithuanian Government (“the Government”);
the parties’ observations;
Having deliberated in private on 13 October 2020,
Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:
1. The case concerns the applicant’s detention following her repeated absences from court hearings in criminal proceedings. THE FACTS
2. The applicant was born in 1948 and lives in Šiauliai. She was represented by Ms M. Gušauskienė, a lawyer practising in Vilnius. 3. The Government were represented by their Agent, Ms L. Urbaitė. 4. In November 2013 the applicant was notified by the authorities that she was suspected of fraud, abuse of office, and misuse of funds. It was alleged that in 2009 to 2010 she had used financial support, received from European Union funds, not in accordance with its purpose, thereby misappropriating property of high value. In April 2014 an indictment against her and three other individuals was drawn up and the case was transferred to the Kretinga District Court for examination. In June 2014 the court classified the case as “warranting a speedier [than usual] examination” (byla pripažintina greičiau nagrinėtina). 5. On an unspecified date during the pre-trial investigation the applicant was banned from leaving the country (see paragraph 45 below). She was informed that a stricter measure might be imposed in the future if necessary. 6. From July 2014 to October 2016 sixty-four court hearings were scheduled. Forty-seven of them were adjourned for reasons unrelated to the applicant: illnesses of the other co-accused, their lawyers or the judge; failure of the other co-accused to appear; and lawyers’ holidays or participation in other cases. In September and October 2016 two co-accused were given fines for failure to attend hearings without valid reason (see paragraph 42 below). 7. From July 2014 to October 2016 seven hearings were adjourned, and one finished early, for reasons attributable to the applicant (see paragraphs 8‐15 below). 8. From March to May 2015 three hearings were adjourned because the applicant was ill. Her lawyer submitted medical certificates to the court. At the prosecutor’s request, the court ordered a medical expert to assess whether the applicant’s state of health permitted her to attend hearings. The expert examined her medical file and issued a conclusion on 28 May 2015. It stated that the applicant was of advanced age and had several chronic illnesses, including type 2 diabetes, pulmonary hypertension, respiratory insufficiency, and osteochondrosis. She was following outpatient treatment and taking prescription medication. The expert’s conclusion further stated:
“From March to May 2015 [the applicant] had pneumonia and a worsening of her chronic pulmonary illnesses, and she could not therefore attend the court hearings of 27 March, 27 April and 11 May 2015. According to the available medical documents and a laboratory examination, at present [the applicant’s] health must be [considered] fully satisfactory (pilnai patenkinama) ... and her health allows her to appear before the court. [The applicant] may be simulating ... a worsening of her chronic illnesses (gali simuliuoti ... lėtinių ligų paūmėjimą).”
9. From June 2015 to April 2016 five hearings were held and the applicant attended all of them. 10. In April 2016 two hearings were adjourned because the applicant was ill. Her lawyer submitted medical certificates. The court again ordered a medical expert to assess whether the applicant’s state of health permitted her to attend hearings. The expert examined her medical file and issued a conclusion on 26 May 2016. It stated:
“1. [The applicant] is of advanced age, has chronic illnesses and is following outpatient treatment. On 18 and 22 April 2016 [she] saw a general practitioner for pain in the neck, back and waist, and difficulty in spinal movement ... Since both times the deterioration of her health coincided with the dates of the court hearings, [the applicant] may have aggravated (simulated the worsening of) the illnesses. [She] made an appointment with the general practitioner [on her own initiative], no serious pathology was detected, and during the second visit an improvement [of her condition] was identified. She could therefore have attended the court hearings of 19 and 25 April 2016. 2. Based on her state of health, [the applicant] is able to appear before the court. Her illnesses are not included in the list of serious incurable illnesses.”
11. Following the expert’s conclusion, the court ruled that the applicant’s failure to appear at the two hearings in April 2016 had been unjustified and gave her a fine of 570 euros (EUR). It also ordered the Ministry of Health to examine whether the medical certificates which had been issued to the applicant in 2015 and 2016 (see paragraphs 8 and 10 above) had been accurate. 12. The next hearing was held on 13 September 2016 and the applicant was present. However, after the lunch break her lawyer informed the court that a fire had broken out at the applicant’s company’s premises and asked for permission for her to leave. The court terminated the hearing. 13. The following hearing was scheduled for 23 September 2016. On 21 September the applicant’s lawyer requested that she and the applicant be excused from that hearing, on the grounds that the lawyer of one of the co‐accused would not be able to attend because of his involvement in another case, and that the hearing would have to be adjourned anyway. It is unclear if she received any response from the court. On 23 September the court held the hearing but the applicant, her lawyer and the aforementioned lawyer were absent. The hearing was adjourned and they were given fines of EUR 380 for failure to appear before the court without valid reason. In its decision to fine the applicant, the court also observed that she had not provided any documents to prove that there had been a fire at her company’s premises on the day of the previous hearing (see paragraph 12 above). 14. In October 2016 the relevant institution under the Ministry of Health, after examining the medical certificates which had been issued to the applicant (see paragraphs 8 and 10 above), concluded that the general practitioner who had examined her had not carried out a comprehensive examination of her health, had not properly described her condition in the medical documents, and had not justified the diagnosis of pneumonia with any objective data, in breach of the relevant regulations. 15. Two hearings were held in October 2016 and the applicant attended them. A third hearing scheduled for that month was adjourned because her lawyer requested that the judge be withdrawn from the case. The request was dismissed on the grounds that it had no basis in law. 16. A hearing was held on 7 November 2016. During that hearing, which started at 9.30 a.m., the applicant’s lawyer informed the court that the applicant was on her way to court from her home in Šiauliai (approximately 140 kilometres from Kretinga) but was running late because her car had broken down and she was waiting for help; it was unclear when she would arrive at court. The hearing was adjourned. The applicant arrived at court at around 2.50 p.m.
17. On the same day the Kretinga District Court ordered the applicant’s detention for three months. It stated that she had failed to attend hearings on multiple occasions, providing various reasons, such as illness, even though a court-appointed medical expert had found that her health allowed her to attend (see paragraphs 8, 10 and 14 above). She had also previously failed to appear on the grounds that other participants in the proceedings would be absent, and one hearing had been terminated early because of a fire at her company’s premises (see paragraphs 12 and 13 above). The court observed that all the other co-accused and their lawyers had managed to attend the hearing that day, so there was no reason to consider that the weather conditions had been difficult. It held that the applicant had “a careless attitude towards the criminal proceedings” and that her repeated absences without valid reason had precluded the court from examining the case in the shortest time possible. It noted that restrictive measures had already been ordered against the applicant and that she had been informed that a stricter measure might be imposed (see paragraph 5 above). Since she was systematically interfering with the proceedings, and hearings had to be adjourned because of her unjustified absences, the court considered that there were grounds for her detention under Article 122 § 1 (2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (hereinafter “the CCP”, see paragraph 48 below). 18. On 9 November 2017 the applicant asked the Kretinga District Court to annul the decision to place her in detention. She submitted that her absence from the hearing had not been deliberate and provided documents showing that her car had broken down. She also asked the court to take into account her state of health, in particular the fact that she had type 2 diabetes. The prosecutor supported the applicant’s request, stating that she had not missed the hearing deliberately and that the decision to detain her should therefore be annulled. However, the court left its decision unchanged, citing essentially the same grounds as before (see paragraph 17 above). It also observed that the applicant had previously been fined for failure to appear before the court (see paragraphs 11 and 13 above) and banned from leaving the country (see paragraph 5 above) but that she had continued to “systematically obstruct the proceedings”. 19. The applicant lodged an appeal against the decision to place her in detention. She submitted that the Kretinga District Court had incorrectly found that she had systematically failed to attend hearings without valid reason. In particular, she had not been responsible for the fire at her company’s premises (see paragraph 12 above) or for her car breaking down (see paragraph 16 above), and she had provided the relevant supporting documents to the court. Furthermore, the one time that she had not attended a hearing because of the absence of her co-accused’s lawyer, the court had been notified in advance (see paragraph 13 above). She argued that there were therefore no grounds to find that she was wilfully interfering with the proceedings. 20. She further submitted that the detention was disproportionate, especially in view of her advanced age and poor health, and that not even the prosecutor had supported it (see paragraph 18 above). However, the court had not considered imposing more lenient restrictive measures (see paragraph 50 below). 21. Lastly, the applicant contended that the decision to detain her for three months was unreasonable because only two court hearings had been scheduled for November and December 2016. 22. On 22 November 2016 the Klaipėda Regional Court dismissed the applicant’s appeal. It observed that the examination of the case had been protracted because, among other things, the applicant had failed to attend hearings. Although she had attempted to justify some of her absences by submitting medical certificates, court-appointed medical experts had considered the absences unjustified and that she might have simulated the worsening of her illnesses (see paragraphs 8, 10 and 14 above). As a result, the court had doubts as to the truthfulness of her submissions regarding the fire at her company’s premises and the breakdown of her car. It noted that she had places of residence in Šiauliai and Rietavas, and that she had claimed that on 7 November 2016 she had been coming to court from Šiauliai. However, the documents which she had provided to the court suggested that on the day in question her car had been transported from another town, Plungė, to Šiauliai and back to Plungė, and did not indicate that any repairs had been done to the car. It therefore concluded that the applicant was hiding from the court and protracting the examination of the case, which constituted grounds for her detention under Article 122 § 1 (1) of the CCP (see paragraph 48 below). 23. The court also stated that in view of the circumstances demonstrating the applicant’s “deliberate reluctance to attend hearings”, more lenient restrictive measures would not be effective in ensuring uninterrupted proceedings, and that therefore the public interest outweighed her right to liberty. However, it considered that there were no grounds to find that she might attempt to influence witnesses or destroy evidence, and that Article 122 § 1 (2) of the CCP (see paragraph 48 below) should not therefore be applied. 24. Lastly, it stated that the number of scheduled court hearings (see paragraph 21 above) was immaterial because additional hearings could be scheduled in the future. 25. On 29 November 2016 the applicant was admitted to Šiauliai Public Hospital for two months of psychiatric treatment. The hospital recommended that during her treatment she should not take part in court proceedings. On 2 February 2017 she was referred to outpatient treatment. Three court hearings which had been scheduled for December 2016, January and February 2017 were adjourned as a result of the applicant’s treatment. 26. In December 2016 the Šiauliai police informed the Kretinga District Court that they had been unable to arrest the applicant because she had not been at home. 27. In December 2016 and January 2017 the applicant lodged several requests with the Kretinga District Court to annul the decision to detain her and to impose a more lenient restrictive measure, raising similar arguments as before (see paragraphs 18-21 above). The requests were dismissed, with the court stating that the applicant’s inpatient treatment (see paragraph 25 above) did not eliminate the grounds on which her detention had been ordered. 28. On 25 January 2017 the court ordered a psychiatric assessment of the applicant, in order to determine whether she would be able to take part in the court proceedings. The applicant submitted a request to postpone her detention until the psychiatric assessment was carried out. The court refused to examine it because it had no basis in law. 29. On 2 February 2017 the Kretinga District Court asked the Šiauliai police to explain why the decision to place the applicant in detention had still not been executed. 30. On 8 February 2017 the applicant was arrested and remanded in custody at Šiauliai Remand Prison. 31. Before her arrest, the applicant had asked the court to adjourn several scheduled hearings because of her continuing psychiatric treatment (see paragraph 25 above). The court dismissed her requests after she had been detained, finding that the arguments raised therein were no longer relevant. 32. On 14 February 2017 she informed the court that because of the detention, her psychiatric treatment had been interrupted, which amounted to inhuman and degrading treatment. She asked for permission to complete the treatment at Šiauliai Public Hospital. The court refused to examine the request on the grounds that the CCP did not contain any provisions regarding the medical treatment of detainees. 33. In February and March 2017 the applicant lodged several requests to annul the detention and replace it with a more lenient restrictive measure. She submitted that she required constant medical help and that her health had deteriorated in detention. She also submitted that the examination of the criminal case was nearly finished and that therefore keeping her in detention no longer served any purpose. 34. The Kretinga District Court dismissed these requests, finding that the grounds for her detention were still present because the examination of the case had not yet finished. It observed that the criminal proceedings had been prolonged because, inter alia, the applicant had refused to give evidence and had submitted multiple unfounded requests. It stated that she had been detained because of her repeated unjustified absences from hearings and that more lenient restrictive measures which had previously been imposed on her (see paragraphs 5, 11 and 13 above) had been ineffective. It also noted that the CCP did not provide that an individual should be released from detention on the grounds of the deterioration of his or her health. 35. A court hearing scheduled for 14 February 2017 was adjourned because the applicant was not taken to court from the remand prison. The next hearing was held on 17 March 2017 and the applicant was present. The following hearing, scheduled for 16 May 2017, was adjourned because the civil claimant failed to appear. 36. On 3 May 2017 the Kretinga District Court extended the applicant’s detention for a further three months (see paragraph 51 below). It stated that the examination of the criminal case had not yet finished because the psychiatric assessment of the applicant was ongoing (see paragraph 28 above), she had not yet given evidence, and defence lawyers kept submitting new or repeated requests for the examination of evidence. The court considered that there were reasonable grounds to believe that the applicant had committed the crimes of which she was suspected. Even though she had a place of residence and a lawful source of income, her behaviour during the proceedings – namely her repeated unjustified absences from court hearings – led to the conclusion that the grounds for her detention were still present, because she might otherwise interfere with the court’s ability to examine the case. 37. The applicant lodged an appeal against that decision. She submitted that the court had merely repeated the arguments of its previous decisions (see paragraphs 17, 18 and 34 above) and had not indicated any new circumstances justifying the extension of the detention. She also submitted that the detention had precluded her from continuing her psychiatric treatment. Furthermore, she contended that the detention could not be used to coerce her into giving evidence in the criminal proceedings. Lastly, she submitted that the court had not considered more lenient restrictive measures (see paragraph 50 below) and that she had fully complied with the previous restrictive measure which had been imposed (see paragraph 5 above). 38. On 18 May 2017 the Klaipėda Regional Court allowed the applicant’s appeal in part and quashed the decision to extend the detention. It noted that the examination of the criminal case had been protracted because, inter alia, the applicant had failed to attend hearings, and that the initial decision to detain her had been justified because of her multiple absences without valid reason. However, it considered that her participation in the proceedings at that time could be ensured by more lenient restrictive measures. The court observed that after the applicant had been placed in detention, the examination of the criminal case had not progressed significantly and hearings had been adjourned for reasons not attributable to her (see paragraphs 35 above). Accordingly, it considered that extending the detention in order to ensure her participation in the hearings was not proportionate. In addition, she was of advanced age and poor health, had a permanent place of residence, a family, her own business, and no previous convictions (see paragraphs 47 and 49 below). Even though she had previously failed to properly comply with the duty to appear before the court, that could be ensured by imposing a more lenient restrictive measure. The Klaipėda Regional Court released the applicant on bail of EUR 5,000 (see paragraph 45 below). She was informed that if she failed to attend court hearings or otherwise interfered with the proceedings, the amount of bail would not be returned to her. 39. On 18 May 2017 the court-appointed psychiatric expert (see paragraph 28 above), after interviewing the applicant and consulting her medical file, issued a conclusion. It was noted that she had been diagnosed with severe depression without psychotic features, characterised by slow thinking, low mood, impaired memory, attention deficit, feelings of hopelessness, and suicidal thoughts. However, the expert stated that it had not been possible to comprehensively assess the applicant’s psychological state after a single interview, and recommended that the court order an inpatient psychiatric assessment. 40. Three further hearings were held in June 2017, at which the applicant appeared and gave evidence. In August 2017 the Kretinga District Court convicted her and sentenced her to two years and three months’ imprisonment. RELEVANT LEGAL FRAMEWORK AND PRACTICE
41. Article 20 of the Constitution states that human liberty is inviolable. No one may be arbitrarily apprehended or detained, and no one may be deprived of his or her liberty other than on the grounds and in accordance with the procedures established by law. 42. Article 142 § 1 of the CCP enshrines, inter alia, the obligation of the suspect and accused to appear before the court when summoned. If the summoned individual fails to appear without valid reason, he or she may be brought to court (atvesdintas). Under Article 163 § 1, a suspect or accused who fails to appear before the court without valid reason may be given a fine. 43. Article 37 § 1 provides a list of valid reasons which justify an individual’s absence from a hearing in a criminal case. In so far as relevant to the present case, these reasons include an illness which precludes the person from appearing in court, certified with an appropriate medical certificate (Article 37 § 1 (5)), and unexpected loss of property of high value (Article 37 § 1 (4)). Under Article 37 § 2, the court may recognise other reasons for absence as valid. Under Article 37 § 3, a lawyer’s participation in a different case is not usually considered a valid reason to justify his or her absence. 44. Article 119 states, inter alia, that restrictive measures can be applied in order to ensure that the suspect or the accused participates in the proceedings, to prevent interference with the pre-trial investigation or the examination of the case before the court, and to prevent the commission of further criminal acts. 45. At the material time, Article 120 § 1 listed the restrictive measures which could be imposed during criminal proceedings, including, in so far as relevant: detention, monitoring (by means of electronic tagging), house arrest, bail, confiscation of documents, obligation to regularly report to a police station, and a ban on leaving the country or one’s place of residence without the permission of a relevant authority. 46. Article 121 § 3 provides that several restrictive measures, other than detention, may be imposed at the same time. 47. Under Article 121 § 4, when deciding whether to impose a restrictive measure and when choosing a specific measure, the prosecutor or the court must take into account the gravity of the alleged criminal offence, the suspect’s character, whether he or she has a permanent place of residence and a job or another legal source of income, the suspect’s age, state of health, marital status, and other relevant circumstances. 48. Article 122 § 1 permits detention where there is a well-founded belief that the suspect may flee (Article 122 § 1 (1)), interfere with the investigation (Article 122 § 1 (2)), or commit further crimes (Article 122 § 1 (3)). 49. Article 122 § 2 provides that where there is a reasonable suspicion that a suspect may flee, detention may be ordered after taking into account his or her marital status, permanent place of residence, employment status, state of health, prior convictions, connections abroad, and other relevant circumstances. 50. Article 122 § 7 states that detention may only be ordered when the objectives listed in Article 119 of the CCP cannot be achieved by more lenient restrictive measures (see paragraph 44 above). 51. Article 127 § 1 provides that the duration of the detention is determined by the judge ordering the detention, but that it may not be ordered for more than three months at a time. Under Article 127 § 2, detention may be extended by no more than three months when the case is particularly complex or large-scale. 52. Article 246 § 1 states that the attendance of the accused is obligatory when the case is examined by the first-instance court. If the accused is unable to appear in person or is in detention, his or her attendance may be ensured via audio or video link. Under Article 247, if the accused fails to appear, the hearing must be adjourned. The court has the right to bring the accused to court or impose restrictive measures (see paragraphs 42 and 45 above). 53. Article 2421 § 1 establishes a court’s duty to examine a case within the shortest possible time and with as few adjournments as possible. 54. Under Article 243 § 1, the examination of a case may be adjourned in order to rest, to re-summon the parties or participants who have failed to appear, to request new evidence, or for other valid reasons. 55. In its ruling of 30 December 2004, the Senate of the Supreme Court of Lithuania stated that if the suspect or accused denied the charges against him or her, refused to give evidence in the criminal proceedings or gave inconsistent evidence, this did not amount to interference with the proceedings within the meaning of Article 122 § 1 (2) of the CCP (see paragraph 48 above). THE LAW
56. The applicant complained that she had not been provided with adequate medical assistance in detention, in violation of Article 3 of the Convention, which reads as follows:
“No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
57. In her application form, the applicant submitted that the courts’ decision to detain her had interrupted her psychiatric treatment (see paragraph 25 above) and that she had been denied the possibility of continuing that treatment in detention. However, in her subsequent observations to the Court, she stated that she was complaining of “the arbitrariness of the court and disrespect for human rights, the violation of the principles of fair and just criminal proceedings and not about the conditions of her stay in Šiauliai Remand Prison”. She did not submit any further observations with regard to the complaint under Article 3 of the Convention. 58. The Government submitted that the applicant had failed to exhaust domestic remedies. If she considered that the medical treatment provided to her at Šiauliai Remand Prison had been inadequate, she could have lodged a complaint with the administrative courts and obtained compensation in respect of non-pecuniary damage (see Mironovas and Others v. Lithuania, nos. 40828/12 and 6 others, §§ 88-92, 8 December 2015). They submitted that there was sufficient domestic case-law demonstrating the effectiveness of that remedy in similar situations. 59. The Court considers that in the present case it is not necessary to address the Government’s objection of non-exhaustion of domestic remedies, for the reasons provided below. 60. It observes that the applicant raised the complaint under Article 3 of the Convention in her application and that that complaint was communicated to the Government, which provided observations. In her response to the Government’s observations, the applicant, represented by a lawyer, explicitly stated that she was not complaining about the conditions at Šiauliai Remand Prison (see paragraph 57 above). 61. In such circumstances, the Court finds that the applicant does not intend to pursue her complaint under Article 3 of the Convention, within the meaning of Article 37 § 1 (a). Furthermore, it finds no reasons of a general nature affecting respect for human rights as defined in the Convention which would require further examination of this complaint by virtue of Article 37 § 1 of the Convention in fine. Accordingly, the Court considers that it is no longer justified to continue the examination of this complaint and that it should therefore be struck out of the list. 62. The applicant complained that her detention had been unjustified. She relied on Article 5 § 1 (c) and 5 § 4 of the Convention. The Court considers it appropriate to examine this complaint under Article 5 § 1 of the Convention, the relevant parts of which provide:
“1. Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be deprived of his liberty save in the following cases and in accordance with a procedure prescribed by law:
(c) the lawful arrest or detention of a person effected for the purpose of bringing him before the competent legal authority on reasonable suspicion of having committed an offence or when it is reasonably considered necessary to prevent his committing an offence or fleeing after having done so.”
63. The Court notes that this complaint is neither manifestly ill-founded nor inadmissible on any other grounds listed in Article 35 of the Convention. It must therefore be declared admissible. (a) The applicant
64. Firstly, the applicant submitted that the domestic courts had incorrectly held that she had repeatedly failed to attend hearings without valid reason. It had not been disputed that she suffered from various physical and psychological ailments (see paragraphs 8, 10 and 39 above). The medical certificates which she had provided to the courts to justify her absences had been issued by a competent doctor who had examined her in person, unlike any of the court-appointed experts, and that doctor had not been prosecuted for issuing false medical documents (see paragraph 14 above). Furthermore, the court-appointed experts had only found that she “might have simulated” the worsening of her illnesses, but not that she had actually done so. 65. The applicant also submitted that on the one occasion she had been absent from a hearing because of the unavailability of another co-accused’s lawyer (see paragraph 13 above), this had been consistent with courts’ established practice of adjourning hearings in such circumstances. As regards the two accidents – the fire at her company’s premises and breakdown of her car (see paragraphs 12 and 16 above) – she had provided the courts with documents issued by the relevant public authorities. Although the courts had stated that they had doubts as to whether the accidents had actually happened, they had not provided any reasons to doubt the veracity of the supporting documents, or taken any measures to establish the truth. The applicant therefore contended that it had not been demonstrated that she had wilfully interfered with the proceedings. 66. She further submitted that the domestic courts had not provided relevant and sufficient reasons for placing her in detention. They had referred to factors beyond her control – such as the fact that her psychiatric assessment had not been completed or that the lawyers of her co-accused had submitted requests to the court (see paragraphs 34 and 36 above). She also contended that the detention could not be used to pressure her into giving evidence in the criminal proceedings or to punish her for exercising her procedural rights and submitting requests. 67. The applicant also argued that the courts had not properly considered applying more lenient restrictive measures, even though that had been required both by domestic law (see paragraph 50 above) and the case-law of the Court. In addition, they had not assessed the proportionality of detention, in view of her advanced age, poor health, constant need for medical treatment, lack of previous convictions and the absence of reasons to consider her a danger to society (see paragraphs 47 and 49 above). Nor had the courts justified ordering the detention for three months, which was the maximum period under domestic law (see paragraph 51 above). 68. Lastly, the applicant submitted that even though she had been detained in order to secure her participation in court hearings, on 14 February 2017 the authorities had failed to take her to court from the remand prison (see paragraph 35 above). (b) The Government
69. The Government submitted that the applicant’s detention had been necessary in order to ensure her appearance at trial after she had failed to attend court hearings on numerous occasions. Although she had attempted to justify some of her absences on health grounds, the courts, with the help of competent experts who had examined her medical documents, had established that her health did in fact permit her to attend court hearings (see paragraphs 8, 10 and 14 above). As regards the applicant’s absences because of the alleged fire at her company’s premises and breakdown of her car, the courts found that she had not provided relevant supporting documents to prove that those accidents had actually occurred (see paragraph 13 above). The Government argued that by questioning those decisions, the applicant was essentially asking the Court to reassess the facts established by the domestic courts, and act as a court of “fourth instance”. 70. They also submitted that the criminal case against the applicant had been complex, as it had concerned financial crimes and multiple suspects, and at the time of her detention its examination had still been ongoing. It appeared that all the co-accused had sought to prolong the criminal proceedings until they had become time-barred, as demonstrated by their multiple absences and numerous unfounded requests (see paragraphs 6 and 36 above). Furthermore, the applicant had refused to give evidence for a long period of time (see paragraphs 34, 36 and 40 above). The Government therefore argued that the courts had taken the necessary measures to ensure the proper course of the criminal proceedings, and that only after the applicant’s detention had those proceedings been able to progress. 71. Furthermore, the domestic courts had considered imposing more lenient restrictive measures on the applicant, but they had found that such measures – namely fines and a ban on leaving the country – had been imposed in the past and had been ineffective in ensuring her presence at hearings (see paragraphs 17, 18 and 34 above). 72. Moreover, the Government submitted that the courts had taken the applicant’s state of health into account. They had examined the medical certificates which had been issued to her (see paragraphs 17 and 22 above) and had ordered a psychiatric assessment (see paragraph 28 above). However, in view of the experts’ findings that the applicant might have simulated her medical conditions and that the medical certificates had not been accurate, it was understandable that the courts might have had certain doubts as to the severity of her illnesses. 73. The Government also contended that the hearing of 14 February 2017 had been adjourned at the applicant’s lawyer’s request because of the applicant’s psychiatric treatment (see paragraph 31 above). In addition, they stated that it should not be “overlooked that at that point little time had passed since the applicant’s actual arrest on 8 February 2017”. 74. Lastly, the Government submitted that the courts had released the applicant from detention as soon as they had become convinced that the grounds for detaining her were no longer present and that her presence could be ensured by more lenient restrictive measures. (a) General principles
75. The general principles relating to the lawfulness of detention and the absence of arbitrariness under Article 5 § 1 of the Convention, as well as the requirement inherent in Article 5 § 1 (c) that the detention be necessary in the circumstances, are summarised in S., V. and A. v. Denmark ([GC], nos. 35553/12 and 2 others, §§ 73-77, 22 October 2018, and the cases cited therein). (b) Application of the above principles in the present case
76. At the outset, the Court notes that in the present case there is no dispute that the applicant’s detention had basis in domestic law (see paragraph 48 above and Jėčius v. Lithuania, no. 34578/97, § 56, 31 July 2000). Nor is it disputed that the detention falls to be examined under sub‐paragraph (c) of Article 5 § 1 of the Convention. Furthermore, the Court has no reason to doubt that throughout the period of detention there existed a “reasonable suspicion” that the applicant had committed the criminal offences with which she had been charged (see Merabishvili v. Georgia [GC], no. 72508/13, § 184, 28 November 2017, and the cases cited therein). 77. Accordingly, the Court will examine whether the detention was necessary to ensure the applicant’s appearance at trial and whether it was devoid of arbitrariness. In doing so, it will assess the reasons provided by the domestic courts to justify the detention, as it is incumbent on the authorities to convincingly demonstrate that detention is necessary (see Vasiliciuc v. the Republic of Moldova, no. 15944/11, § 40, 2 May 2017). 78. The applicant argued that all of her absences from hearings had been justified and that the domestic courts had erred in finding otherwise (see paragraphs 64 and 65 above). However, the Court is unable to agree with this argument as regards the period prior to 7 November 2016. During that period, the courts established that the applicant had submitted medical certificates which had been issued in breach of the relevant legal requirements and that, according to medical experts, she might have simulated the worsening of her medical conditions (see paragraphs 8, 10 and 14 above). The Court takes due note of the applicant’s state of health, which was not disputed by the parties (see paragraphs 8, 10 and 39 above). It also observes that it was never alleged that she herself had contributed to the unlawfulness of the medical certificates. At the same time, the Court emphasises that it is not its role to assess whether the applicant’s health allowed her to attend the hearings or whether her doctor acted lawfully, and it does not consider the assessment of the domestic courts in this respect to be arbitrary or manifestly unreasonable. Furthermore, the courts found that she had not provided any documents to prove that there had been a fire at her company’s premises (see paragraph 18 above) and that her absence from a hearing because of the planned absence of another co-accused’s lawyer was not justified under domestic law (see paragraph 13 above). The Court is satisfied that the domestic courts reached their conclusions on the basis of the relevant documents in their possession, and has no reason to question their assessment. 79. However, the Court cannot fail to notice that the domestic courts did not consider that those absences, albeit unjustified, warranted placing the applicant in detention. She was given fines for some of them (see paragraphs 11 and 13 above) and no penalties for the others. It therefore appears that it was specifically her absence on 7 November 2016 which led the Kretinga District Court to order her detention (see paragraphs 16-18 above). The Court will thus examine the circumstances related to that occasion. 80. There is no dispute that on that date, after the start of the hearing, the Kretinga District Court was informed by the applicant’s lawyer that her car had broken down on the way to Kretinga from her home in Šiauliai and that later that day the applicant arrived at court and provided supporting documents (see paragraph 16 above). These documents have not been submitted to the Court, but it can be seen from the case material that there was proof that on the day in question the applicant’s car was transported from Plungė (a town near Kretinga) to Šiauliai and back to Plungė (see paragraph 22 above). 81. The domestic courts expressed doubts as to whether that accident had taken place, for the following reasons: the fact that the car was transported from Plungė to Šiauliai and back to Plungė, when the applicant had homes in Šiauliai and Rietavas; the absence of repairs done to the car; the fact that all the other participants managed to attend the hearing, which must have meant that the weather conditions had not been difficult; and the fact that the applicant previously missed court hearings without valid reason and without providing proper supporting documents (see paragraphs 17 and 22 above). 82. The Court is mindful of its limited role in dealing with errors of fact or law allegedly committed by a national court (see, among many other authorities, García Ruiz v. Spain [GC], no. 30544/96, § 28, ECHR 1999-I). However, in the present case, it has serious doubts as to the relevance and sufficiency of the reasons provided by the domestic courts for considering the applicant’s absence from the hearing on 7 November 2016 unjustified. In particular, they did not provide any explanation why the fact that the applicant’s car had been found in Plungė, which was on the way from her home to the court, raised doubts that it had broken down. Furthermore, the Court is unable to accept that the applicant’s previous unjustified absences were in themselves proof that any future absences would also be unjustified, especially if supported by relevant documents. It also notes that there is nothing in the case material to indicate that the domestic courts took reasonable steps to verify whether the accident had occurred, such as requesting the applicant to provide additional documents or an explanation, before ordering her detention (see, mutatis mutandis, Vasiliciuc, cited above, § 40). 83. In such circumstances, the Court finds that it was not convincingly demonstrated that the applicant had failed to attend the hearing of 7 November 2016 without valid reason. 84. Be that as it may, even accepting that, in the light of her previous unjustified absences, the domestic courts were justified in seeking to ensure her appearance at trial by imposing restrictive measures, the Court reiterates that the detention of an individual is such a serious measure that it is justified only as a last resort where other, less severe measures have been considered and found to be insufficient to safeguard the individual or public interest which might require that the person concerned be detained (see S., A. and V. v. Denmark, cited above, § 77, and the relevant provisions of the domestic law in paragraph 50 above). 85. The Court is aware that some of the more lenient restrictive measures – fines and a ban on leaving the country (see paragraphs 5, 11 and 13 above) – were imposed on the applicant but did not preclude her from missing hearings. It nonetheless observes that other restrictive measures were available under domestic law, such as electronic monitoring, house arrest and bail, as well as the possibility of applying several of them at the same time (see paragraphs 45 and 46 above). However, the decisions of the Kretinga District Court and the Klaipėda Regional Court did not contain any reference to any of the other measures or an explanation why they would not be sufficient to ensure the applicant’s appearance at trial (see paragraphs 17, 18, 22-24, 34 and 36 above and Ambruszkiewicz v. Poland, no. 38797/03, § 32, 4 May 2006). 86. The Court further observes that, under domestic law, the courts were required to take into account, inter alia, the applicant’s age, state of health and other relevant personal circumstances (see paragraphs 47 and 49 above), and that in her appeals and requests she asked them to impose more lenient restrictive measures in view of her advanced age and various physical and psychological ailments (see paragraphs 18, 20, 27 and 33 above and contrast Žekonienė v. Lithuania, no. 19536/14, § 56, 12 July 2016). The Government argued that the courts had had good reason to doubt the applicant’s claims about her health, in view of the fact that medical experts had previously concluded that she might have simulated the worsening of her conditions (see paragraph 72 above). However, the Court points out that the expert findings concerned the applicant’s ability to attend court hearings, but not whether her health was compatible with detention. In any event, the courts in their decisions did not explicitly address the question of the applicant’s health and did not rule that it was compatible with detention, referring to either the findings of the court-appointed experts or to any other available information (see paragraphs 17, 18, 22-24, 34 and 36 above and, mutatis mutandis, Korneykova v. Ukraine, no. 39884/05, § 47, 19 January 2012). Furthermore, even though, following the applicant’s admission to a psychiatric facility, the Kretinga District Court ordered an assessment to determine whether her mental health allowed her to be detained, she was placed in detention before that assessment was carried out (see paragraphs 28, 30 and 39 above). 87. The Court also reiterates that Article 5 § 1 of the Convention requires that any deprivation of liberty should be in keeping with the purpose of protecting the individual from arbitrariness. The condition that there be no arbitrariness demands, inter alia, that both the order to detain and the execution of the detention genuinely conform with the purpose of the restrictions permitted by the relevant sub-paragraph of Article 5 § 1 (see James, Wells and Lee v. the United Kingdom, nos. 25119/09 and 2 others, §§ 191 and 193, 18 September 2012, and the cases cited therein). 88. It does not escape the Court’s attention that, while the stated purpose of the applicant’s detention was to ensure her appearance at trial and the speedy examination of the criminal case, only one hearing was held during the three months of her detention and one was adjourned because the authorities had failed to transport her from the detention centre to the court or to ensure her participation by alternative means (see paragraphs 35 and 52 above). Indeed, in the decision replacing the detention with release on bail, the Klaipėda Regional Court acknowledged that after the applicant had been detained, the examination of the criminal case “had not progressed significantly” and that hearings had been adjourned for reasons not attributable to her (see paragraph 38 above). 89. Lastly, one of the reasons for which the Kretinga District Court refused to release the applicant from detention was the fact that she had refused to give evidence in the criminal proceedings (see paragraphs 34 and 36 above). In this connection, the Court reiterates that the privilege against self-incrimination and the right to remain silent are generally recognised international standards which lie at the heart of a fair procedure (see Ibrahim and Others v. the United Kingdom [GC], nos. 50541/08 and 3 others, § 266, 13 September 2016, and the cases cited therein; see also the case-law of the Supreme Court of Lithuania in paragraph 55 above). The Court considers that advancing such grounds for detention appears particularly disturbing, as it indicates that a person may be punished for relying upon his or her basic right to a fair trial (see Lutsenko v. Ukraine, no. 6492/11, § 72, 3 July 2012, and Volyanyk v. Ukraine [Committee], no. 7554/10, § 18, 2 October 2014). 90. In the light of the foregoing, the Court concludes that the domestic courts did not convincingly demonstrate that the applicant’s detention was necessary in the circumstances, as required by Article 5 § 1 of the Convention. There has therefore been a violation of that provision. 91. Article 41 of the Convention provides:
“If the Court finds that there has been a violation of the Convention or the Protocols thereto, and if the internal law of the High Contracting Party concerned allows only partial reparation to be made, the Court shall, if necessary, afford just satisfaction to the injured party.”
92. The applicant claimed 20,000 euros (EUR) in respect of non‐pecuniary damage. 93. The Government considered this claim to be excessive and unsubstantiated. 94. The Court is of the view that the violation of the applicant’s rights under Article 5 § 1 of the Convention undoubtedly caused her emotional distress and suffering which cannot be compensated by the finding of a violation alone. However, it considers the amount claimed by her to be excessive. Making its award on an equitable basis, it awards the applicant EUR 7,000 in respect of non-pecuniary damage. 95. The applicant did not submit any claim in respect of costs and expenses. The Court therefore makes no award under this head. 96. The Court considers it appropriate that the default interest rate should be based on the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank, to which should be added three percentage points. FOR THESE REASONS, THE COURT, UNANIMOUSLY,
(a) that the respondent State is to pay the applicant, within three months, EUR 7,000 (seven thousand euros), plus any tax that may be chargeable, in respect of non-pecuniary damage:
(b) that from the expiry of the above-mentioned three months until settlement simple interest shall be payable on the above amount at a rate equal to the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank during the default period plus three percentage points;
Done in English, and notified in writing on 10 November 2020, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court. Hasan Bakırcı Aleš PejchalDeputy RegistrarPresident