Insufficient investigation of an attack that caused physical damages is a degrading treatment for the victim
Kosteckas v. Lithuania 13-06-2017 (no. 960/13)
Insufficient investigation of attacks and injuries. Distinctive treatment. The inability of the authorities to effectively investigate and prosecute the perpetrators who punctured and kicked the applicant’s head and body and injured him was a degrading treatment and a violation of Article 3 of the ECHR.
The applicant, Raimondas Kosteckas, is a Lithuanian national who was born in 1979 and lives in Šiauliai (Lithuania). Mr Kosteckas complained that a group of men who had attacked him had never been brought to justice. In February 2007, Mr Kosteckas and three friends became involved in a dispute with another group of men in a petrol station. Mr Kosteckas was subjected to a physical attack by the other group, whereby he was punched and kicked in the face and head. Criminal proceedings were brought against the alleged perpetrators. They were tried and convicted, but the judgment was overturned on appeal due to breaches of the criminal code of procedure. The alleged perpetrators were tried and convicted again, but once again their convictions were overturned on appeal. When the case came before the courts for a third time, the proceedings were discontinued due to the expiration of the five-year time limit in the statute of limitations. Mr Kosteckas subsequently instituted civil proceedings against the alleged perpetrators and was awarded monetary compensation in respect of pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage.
Relying in substance on Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment) of the European Convention, Mr Kosteckas complained that the authorities had failed to investigate and prosecute the individuals who had assaulted him.
THE DECISION OF THE COURT
Violation of Article 3 (investigation)
Just satisfaction: 5,000 euros (EUR) (non-pecuniary damage) and EUR 1,013 (costs and expenses)