ECHR judgment of 29 November 2016 in the case of Saliba v. Malta (application No. 24221/13).
In 2013, the applicant was assisted in preparing the application. Subsequently, the application was communicated to Malta.
In the case, a complaint was successfully considered for evading domestic authorities from properly assessing evidence in civil proceedings in the case of recovery of damage caused by a crime. There has been a violation of Article 6 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE
Z. presented the applicant a civil claim for compensation for damage caused by the robbery that occurred in their housing five years before. In retrospect, although he did not do this earlier, Z. claimed that he recognized one of the robbers in the applicant. The applicant complained that he was denied the right to a fair trial in violation of Article 6 of the Convention, since the domestic courts did not pay attention to the validity, reliability and relevance of the data submitted by him.
ISSUES OF LAW
Concerning compliance with article 6, paragraph 1, of the Convention. Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Convention imputed to the court the duty to properly consider the explanations, arguments and evidence submitted by the parties. States Parties have a large margin of appreciation in dealing with cases of civil rights and obligations than when dealing with criminal cases. However, when dealing with matters relating to the civil aspect of Article 6 of the Convention, the approach to criminal matters should be used as a guide. There is no doubt that in cases of civil liability for damage caused by criminal actions it was necessary that domestic decisions be based on a thorough evaluation of the evidence submitted and that decisions contain adequate motivation in connection with the serious consequences that may result from these conclusions. Decisions of the court of first instance were based on inconsistent testimony of Z. During the examination of the case, the testimony that raised doubts about the truthfulness of his statements was not taken into account. In the criminal context, the discrepancy between the witness's own testimony given at different stages, as well as the deep contradictions between the serious types of evidence, usually give rise to a serious basis for challenging the credibility of the witness and the evidentiary strength of his testimony. It is striking that, noting the contradictions in the testimony of Z., the domestic court did not indicate why he believed that his testimony remained reliable and reliable. This was all the more necessary, since Z. identified the applicant only five years after the robbery.
The violation of the requirements of Article 6 of the Convention (unanimously) was committed.
In the application of Article 41 of the Convention. The resumption of the proceedings, if there is an applicant's claim, would in principle be the most appropriate way to remedy the violation. The European Court awarded the applicant EUR 10,000 in respect of non-pecuniary damage, the claim for compensation for pecuniary damage was rejected.