Euroopa Inimõiguste Kohus
11.01.2005

Facts

The applicant, Ms Sciacca, was placed under a house arrest by the decision of an investigative judge because of the charges of criminal association, tax evasion and forgery of official documents. In the following days local newspapers published several articles about the criminal proceedings. The articles contained the applicant's identity photograph that had been taken by the Police when the file was compiled at the time of the applicant's arrest and released by them to the press.

Complaint

Ms Sciacca complained that the release of her photograph at the press conference organised by the public prosecutor's office and the police had infringed her right to respect for her private life, thus violating Article 8 of the Convention. 

Court's ruling

The Court noted that the photograph, taken for the purposes of drawing up an official file, had been released to the press by the tax inspectors. According to the information in its possession, there was no national law governing the taking of photographs of people under suspicion or under arrest and the release of such photos to the press. It was rather an area in which a practice had developed. Thus the interference with the applicant’s right to respect for her private life had not been ‘in accordance with the law’ within the meaning of Article 8 and the Court concluded that there had been a breach of that provision.