Monitoring of the case of Vitaliy Sobenko and Arthur Melnikov (session 01.29.20)

01/29/2020 in the Frankovskiy district court of the city of Lvov a criminal case No. 12014140080002713 was examined on charges of Sobenok Vitaliy and Melnyk Arthur in committing a crime under Part 2 of Article 186 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine “Robbery with the use of violence not dangerous to the life or health of the victim, or with the threat of such violence, or committed repeatedly, or by prior conspiracy by a group of persons”.

The accused V. Sobenko, his legal representative Sobenko Elena, the defendant’s lawyer, Oleg Ivanov, the prosecutor of the Lvov city prosecutor’s office No. 3, Yulia Germanovich, arrived at the hearing.

Accused Melnikov A. and his legal representative at the hearing did not arrive. The lawyer of the accused A. Melnikov at the hearing also failed to appear. They did not report the reason for their failure to appear to the court. No requests were received from them either. In addition, the victim, Sekh Arsen, did not arrive at the hearing; he did not explain the reason for the failure to appear.

Prosecutor Germanovich Yu. filed a motion to postpone consideration of the case in connection with the failure to appear of the participants in the trial, namely the accused Melnikov A., his lawyer, as well as the victim Sekh A., whose presence is mandatory.

The defendant Sobenko V., his legal representative and lawyer Ivanov O. at the hearing supported the request of the prosecutor Germanovich Yu. The court granted this request and, in this connection, postponed the consideration of the criminal proceedings on the charge of Sobenko V. and Melnikov A.

It should be recalled that the case is at the preparatory stage since 2014.

According to the lawyer of V. Sobenko – O. Ivanov, this judicial proceeding violated clause 1 of Article 6 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, namely the right to a trial by a court within a reasonable time.

The International Society for Human Rights also believes that the inability to complete the preparatory hearings since 2014 has signs of a protracted process. According to the decision of the ECtHR in the case of “Nechiporuk and Yonkalo v. Ukraine”, the court notes that the moment from which article 6 begins to apply to “criminal” matters depends on the circumstances of the case. The leading place in a democratic society to a fair trial is prompting the Court to give preference to the “substantive” rather than the “formal” concept of “prosecution”, referred to in paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Convention. In addition, the ECtHR judgment in the “Vergelsky v. Ukraine” case states that the reasonableness of the length of the proceedings 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. Furthermore, the Court insists that a person accused of a crime should not be in an uncertain state of his fate for too long.

The next session is scheduled for 03/31/2020. Experts from the International Society for Human Rights will continue to monitor this trial.