The ECHR judgment of 19 October 2017 in the case of Lebois v. Bulgaria (complaint No. 67482/14).
In 2014, the applicant was assisted in preparing the аpplication. Subsequently, the аpplication was communicated in Bulgaria.
In the case, the applicant's complaint on restriction of his rights to visits and use of the phone during the preliminary investigation was successfully considered. In the case there was a violation of the requirements of Article 8 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE
The applicant, a French national, was detained in Bulgaria on suspicion of hacking vehicles. In the Convention proceedings, in particular, he complained that, within 12 days of his arrest, he could not contact his family or anyone else to report his deprivation of liberty, and that during that period of pre-trial detention he did not have sufficient opportunities for visits or telephone conversations with family and friends.
ISSUES OF LAW
Concerning compliance with Article 8 of the Convention. (a) The initial 12-day period. The applicant's complaint about the original 12-day period was filed more than six months after the end of this period, and, therefore, it was filed late. However, the Court pointed out that the fact that the applicant could not inform anyone of his imprisonment for 12 days potentially affected a serious matter in accordance with article 8 of the Convention. In this connection, the Court observes that (i) the applicant was handcuffed for his (approximately 24-hour) police detention and was not allowed to use the telephone, (ii) the applicant did not speak Bulgarian, and apparently , (iii) the applicant did not have the means to be detained when he was detained and could not obtain a telephone card; (iv) only through a cellmate he was able to contact the consulate of France, which, in his the queue informed his parent her detention and imprisonment.
The complaint was declared inadmissible for consideration on the merits (as filed outside the deadline).
(b) Subsequent period. Restrictions on visits that the applicant could receive during pre-trial detention could be considered an interference with his "private life". In addition, since under Bulgarian law the applicant had the right to telephone calls during pre-trial detention and his cellmates in this prison had access to the phone by cards, restrictions on his use of this phone should also be seen as an interference with his "private life" and " correspondence ".
Internal orders establishing practical details of how the persons held in the detention center where the applicant was located could exercise their statutory rights to visits and use of the telephone, were not published or brought to the attention of prisoners in any fixed form. The Government did not establish that the applicant was adequately informed about them, especially given that he did not speak in Bulgarian. Restrictions on his visits and use of the phone, apparently, were due to the internal routine of the insulator, which was governed by these rules. Thus, interference with the applicant's rights under Article 8 of the Convention was not based on adequately accessible rules and was not "prescribed by law".
There has been a violation of Article 8 of the Convention (unanimously).
In the application of Article 41 of the Convention. The Court awarded EUR 1,000 in respect of non-pecuniary damage to the applicant, the claim for pecuniary damage was rejected.