European Court delivers judgment in the case of Dadayan v. Armenia

The European Court of Human Rights, sitting as a Chamber, delivered its judgment regarding the case of Dadayan v. Armenia” (application no. 14078/12).

The case concerns criminal proceedings brought against the applicant for aiding and abetting the smuggling of enriched uranium from Armenia to Georgia in 2010. The two smugglers were prosecuted and convicted in Georgia, while the applicant was arrested, prosecuted and convicted in Armenia essentially on the basis of those smugglers’ witness statements to the Georgian authorities. During his trial, the applicant requested that the persons witnessed against him be brought before the Armenian trial court for questioning. However, the Georgian authorities refused because their convictions were still open to appeal on points of law. The applicant was found guilty in 2011 and sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment. The Court of Appeal subsequently upheld the applicant’s conviction, without addressing his complaint about not being able to cross-examine the smugglers. He also lodged an appeal on points of law, without success.

The Court observes that the state did not guarantee the applicant’s right to challenge the witness statements against him during the investigation or during the court hearings. Thus, the Court concluded that the applicant’s right to a fair trial was breached in the instant case. There has accordingly been a violation of Article 6 §§ 1 and 3 (d) of the Convention.

The applicant claimed 90,000 euros (EUR) in respect of non-pecuniary damage as well as EUR 9,200 for costs and expenses incurred before the Court. As a result of the Government’s observations the Court awarded the applicant EUR 2,400 in respect of non-pecuniary damage and considered it reasonable to award EUR 1,000 for costs and expenses.

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