Monitoring of the case of Vitaliy Sobenko and Arthur Melnikov (session 12/02/19)

12/02/2019, in the Frankovsky District Court of the city of Lvov, with the participation of Judge Vanivsky Yu. consideration of the case in criminal proceedings was held on charges of Vitaliy Sobenko born in 1998 and Melnik Arthur born in 2000 in committing a crime under Part 2 of Article 186 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (“Robbery”), in which the court granted the accused Melnikov’s request for free legal help.

The accused Sobenko V., his legal representative Sobenko Yelena, the accused’s lawyer Ivanov Oleg, the accused Melnikov A., the prosecutor of the Lvov city prosecutor’s office No. 3 Petrushkevich Olga arrived at this hearing.

The case is at the preparatory stage since November 14, 2014 and the hearing is still ongoing.

At the previous session the accused Melnikov A. filed a request for free legal assistance. Due to the fact that the session did not take place on October 29, 2019, the petition of the accused Melnikov A. was considered during the session, which was held 12.02.2019.

The parties supported the petition of the accused Melnikov A. The court granted this motion and postponed the consideration of the criminal hearing against Sobenko V. and Melnikov A. on 01/29/2020.

In our opinion, and the opinion of attorney Ivanov O., when considering this case, Article 6, Clause 1 of the Convention on the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms was violated, namely, a violation of the right to a trial by a court within a reasonable time.

In particular, in paragraph 47 of the decision in the case of “Baraona v. Portugal”, the European Court of Human Rights noted: “The reasonableness of the length of the proceedings should be determined taking into account the specific circumstances of the case, taking into account the criteria formulated in the practice of the Court, in particular, the complexity of the case, conduct applicant and relevant government authorities”.

In paragraph 116 of the ECtHR decision of March 12, 2009 in the “Vergelsky v. Ukraine” case, it states that “the reasonableness of the length of the trials should be assessed in the light of the specific circumstances of the case and taking into account criteria such as the complexity of the case, the conduct of the applicant and the relevant authorities”, this violation exists in the Sobenko case, since a simple criminal case has been examined by the court for more than 5 years.

The next session is scheduled for January 29, 2020. Experts from the International Society for Human Rights will continue to monitor this trial.