Istratii vs. Moldova
Euroopa Inimõiguste Kohus
The applicants, Mr Istratii, Mr Burcovschi and Mr Luţcan, were arrested and detained on remand for fraud. While in prison the communication between them and their lawyers took place in a room where the lawyers and the detainees were separated with a glass window. It was not possible to exchange anything, including documents between parties. As well, they had to shout to hear each other, thus the detainees and their lawyers were able to hear other similar conversations in the other rooms.
The applicants complained about the interference by the remand centre authorities with their right to communicate in confidence with their lawyers.
The Court found that the glass partition was a general measure affecting everyone in the prison, regardless of their personal circumstances. Nothing in the files of the applicants confirmed the existence of a security risk. In exceptional circumstances where supervision of lawyer-client meetings would have been justified, visual supervision of those meetings would have been sufficient.
The Court concluded that the impossibility for the applicants to discuss their defence with their lawyers without being separated by a glass partition was in violation of Article 5(4) of the Convention.