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ECHR completed considering case of Sedletska (“Corruption in details”), judges have to deliberate

21.07.2019, 15:42
Photo credit: European court on human rights has completed considering the case of Natalya Sedletska, journalist for Radio Liberty and editor-in-chief of the investigative program “Schemes: Corruption in Details” filed against Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine, whose investigators attempted to get access to the data from her telephone, and now moved to litigation is at the stage of the deliberating. This was reported by the lawyer for Sedletska Serhiy Zayets, as Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported. According to him, this stage can last for a year or one and a half. "The European Court has completed the stage of communications in the case. This is part of the proceedings, when the parties have the opportunity to exchange comments. Subsequently, the court decides based on on the materials and comments provided by the parties. As a rule, this period extends over a year and a half, " Zayets said. By analogy with the Ukrainian legal system, "it is like the European Court judges went to the deliberation room - he asked the parties that it was important or incomprehensible, and now he is assessing the positions of the parties." In addition, as Zayets added, one and a half year to make a decision is actually a "short term for the ECHR." "Now the secretariat is preparing a text for a decision - as a rule, it is a precise, experienced lawyer of the court. He prepares the draft decision, agrees it with the judges involved in the case. Then there is a complicated procedure of approving within the court. And only then, the court issue its decision and informs the parties ", - explained the lawyer. And he added: "You can say that now the score is 2: 0 and the fight goes for the last point. We took first point, as the court applied "Rule 39" a month. We had the second,  when the measures were extended indefinitely. The matter is now to be settled on the merits. But now this case has an effect on our reality ... ". "Already at this time, the matter has an effect on our national practice, because it helped to defend interests in the case of Chrystyna Berdynskykh," lawyer Lyudmila Pankratova from the Institute for the Development of Regional Press said. The European Court has begun considering the case of Natalya Sedletska on the merits at the end of November. Since then, he has asked for and received comments from both sides. IMI reported, on August 27, 2018, the Pechersk district court in Kiev authorized to the Prosecutor General's Office to get access to Natalia Sedletska's calls and SMS messages in the case of Artem Sytnyk, director of the National anti-corruption bureau of Ukraine (NABU), on possible disclosure of state secrets and pre-trial investigation data. On September 5, 2018, the journalist of the "Novoe Vremya" Krystyn Berdynskykh claimed that the court provided the Prosecutor General’s Office gave access to data from her phone as well. The Prosecutor General's Office assured that the data from the journalists' phones were necessary for the investigation into "the facts of the possible divulgance by the Director of the National anti-corruption bureau Artem Sytnyk of information which did constitute state secrets". On September 10, 2018, Natalka Siedletska's defense requested the ECHR to apply the Rule 39 of the Rules of Court in order to protect the sources of information within anticorruption investigations made by Sedletska and the editorial board of the “Scheme” program from possible divulgation. On September 18, 2018, the Kyiv Appeal Court partially upheld Natalka Sedletska 's claim against the Pechersk Court, according to which the GPU provided access to data from a journalist's phone from July 2016 to November 2017. On September 18, 2018, the European Court of Human Rights ruled to apply the Rule 39 of its Rules regarding the case of Natalya Siedletska. This is an urgent temporary interim measure, namely, aiming to "deter the authorities from access to any data specified in the decision of the investigating judge of the Pechersk Court of August 27, 2018." On September 25, 2018, the Prosecutor General's Office reported that, at the request of the European Court, the procedure for obtaining information from the mobile operator Natalya Sedletska was suspended, but they failed to inform whether the operator had already transmitted requested data. In October 2018, the ECHR banned the investigators from obtaining data from the phone of Natalya Sedletskaya without time limit. This ECHR judgment meant that GPO investigators had no right to get access to any data from a journalist's phone, until the ECHR deliver its decision.
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