The European Court of Human Rights ruled again in a Hungarian pre-trial detention case on 23 April 2013 that Hungary had violated Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The applicant was represented by the HHC.
The applicant, István Baksza, was arrested in January 2006 on charges of car theft, and was kept in pre-trial detention until June 2008 when he was released with a ban on him leaving his domicile.
In the application it was claimed by the HHC’s co-chair András Kádár, who represented the applicant before the European Court of Human Rights that the pre-trial detention of Mr Baksza was of excessive length and that the decisions prolonging his detention had not been individualized or taken into account his personal circumstances, had not substantiated the risk of his absconding, collusion and re-offending or involved an assessment of the possibility of applying less stringent measures. The European Court of Human Rights found that the grounds for the applicant’s detention, if relevant, were not sufficient in respect of the entire period of the pre-trial detention in question, and concluded that there has been a violation of Article 5 (3) of the Convention. Furthermore, it was claimed by the applicant that he was not able to effectively challenge his detention because he was not given access to evidence – showing that he might abscond if released – in the investigation on his case. The ECtHR concluded in this regard that the principle of “equality of arms” cannot be considered to have been respected in the case, thus there has been a violation of Article 5 (4) of the Convention.
The decision in the case Baksza v. Hungary (Application no. 59196/08, Judgment of 23 April 2013) is available here.