Европейский суд по правам человека
13 октября 1999 года

Facts

The applicant, Mr. Dayanan, was arrested and detained, because he was suspected to be a member of a terrorist organization. No legal assistance was provided to him while he was interrogated by the police. During the interrogation he exercised his right to remain silent. He was later convicted by the court. 

Complaint

Mr. Dayanan complained that he had had no legal assistance while he was in police custody in violation of his right to fair trial. 

Court's ruling

The Court reiterated that the right of everyone charged with a criminal offence to be effectively defended by a lawyer is one of the fundamental features of a fair trial. It pointed out that a suspect should be granted access to a whole range of services of legal assistance from the moment he is taken into police custody or pre-trial detention and not only while he/she is being questioned The counsel of an accused has to be able to secure the fundamental aspects of defence: discussion of the case, organization of the defence, collection of evidence favourable to the accused, preparation for questioning, support of an accused in distress and checking of the conditions of detention. Therefore since Mr. Dayanan was not allowed to be assisted by a lawyer while in police custody, his right to fair trial had been violated.