Informatsioon süüdistuse kohta
Borisova vs. Bulgaaria
Euroopa Inimõiguste Kohus
The applicant, Ms. Borisova, was involved in a dispute with the police and allegedly had pushed and slapped a police officer. She was taken to the court on the same day. Shortly before the start of the hearing she was requested to sign an assessment of an act of minor hooliganism. She could not contact her lawyer or next to kin during this time. In the hearing which was held several hours later on the same day Ms. Borisova denied all the allegations. Nonetheless the court found her guilty and sentenced her to 5 days of detention.
Ms. Borisova complained that she was not informed promptly and in detail of the nature and cause of the accusation against her in violation of her right to fair trial.
The right to be informed of the nature and the cause of the accusation had to be considered in the light of a defendant\'s right to prepare his defence. The Court emphasized that in criminal matters the provision of full, detailed information to the defendant concerning the charges against him – and consequently the legal characterisation that the court might adopt in the matter – is an essential prerequisite for ensuring that the proceedings are fair. Although precise facts of the particular case were in dispute the Court found that Ms. Borisova became aware of the proceedings very shortly before the trial, leaving her at maximum couple of hours to prepare her defence during which she was either in transit or in a cell in police station. She was also precluded from contacting a lawyer or any other person before the trial which lasted 20 minutes. Consequently the Court found that Ms. Borisova’s right to be promptly informed in detail of the nature and cause of the accusation against her and her right to have adequate time and facilities for the preparation of her defence were infringed in violation of her right to fair trial.