ECtHR finds a violation of the right to examine witnesses

On 10th April 2012, in Gabrielyan v. Armenia, the European Court of Human Rights found no violation of Article 6(1) on the right to a fair trial taken together with Article 6(3)(c) on the right to legal assistance, and found a violation of Article 6(1) taken together with Article 6(3)(3) on the right to examine witnesses in favour of the applicant. The applicant, an Armenian national and campaigner for an oppositional political party in Armenia, was arrested in 2004 for distributing leaflets for a protest rally. He was charged and convicted for calling for the violent overthrow of the government, then given a suspended sentence and released. He complained that his lawyer had been appointed by the State, alleging that he had been denied adequate legal assistance. The Court found a violation with regard to the applicant’s complaint that he was unable to meet or speak with his lawyer in private and had been denied the opportunity to cross-examine witnesses on whose statements his conviction was based.

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