Ukraine won the first case in the European Court related to the occupation of Luhansk

Дата: 25 July 2017
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The European Court of Human Rights made the first decision on the complaint against Ukraine to the loss of the government control over part of the territory of Luhansk region.

As reported by the Ukrayinska Pravda (Ukrainian Truth) publication, this is stated in a decision published on the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) website on July 25.

The complaint was filed by prisoner Oleksandr Khlebik, who is serving a sentence on charges of several crimes, including banditry and armed robberies. He was convicted in April 2013 by one of the courts of the Lugansk region and was sentenced to eight years and nine months’ imprisonment, which he is serving in the Starobilsk prison, Luhansk region.

Shortly after being convicted, Khlebik has appealed to the Court of Appeal, located in Luhansk. However, there was no decision on his appeal, since the city was occupied by Russian-backed separatists in 2014. It became practically impossible to consider his case, since the case files remained in Luhansk.

Prisoner Khlebik pursued Ukraine in the court in Strasbourg – he claimed that the State had violated his right to exercise fair justice in an acceptable time period.

Judges of the European Court of Human Rights have unanimously recognized that Ukraine is not responsible for the consequences of losing control over the territory of the Luhansk region. Taking into account Kyiv’s arguments that Ukraine has made every effort to obtain case files, the plaintiff was provided with a possibility of meeting the Ombudsman, as well as with the arguments that it is not possible to conduct a new investigation into charges against Khlebik without access to the case files, the ECHR has decided that Ukraine has not violated the convention.

This is the first decision, where the ECHR has studied the complaint related to the fact of Ukraine losing control over the ORDLO (Certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions) territory.

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