Gataevs’ Case – compensation for unlawful detention

2014 / 12 / 05 Tags:

“The grounds for pre-trial detention should be substantive and conclusive, not general and abstract;  the court should ground its decision in the specific circumstances of the case. When sanctioning pre-trial detention or extending it, the court should consider arguments both in favor and against a restriction of person’s liberty and may order to detain a person only when convinced that it is necessary for the protection of public interest”.

– Kaunas District Court’s judgment in Gataevs’ case

Proceedings initiated: 2008

Proceedings closed: 2014

Nature of the case: after serving an imprisonment sentence in full, the liberty of spouses was unlawfully restricted for 26 days

Outcome of the case: for 26 days spent in detention spouses were awarded pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages

Facts of the case:

In autumn 2008, the spouses of Chechen origin Malik and Chadizat Gataev were arrested in Kaunas on charges of the alleged violation of the rights of the children in their care, amounting to physical violence and extortion. The Gataev family, founders of the foster home „Rodnaja semja“ (Native family) in Grosno, arrived to Lithuania 10 years ago and received a considerable attention from the State Security Department.

In June 2009, Kaunas District Court  convicted the spouses on several counts and sentenced them to 10 months imprisonment. As they were previous held in pre-trial detention, they were left to serve three months.

In 14 August 2009, after they served the full sentence, the court, upon the prosecutor’s request, extended the detention of the spouses for another three months. The decision was quashed on the appeal as unlawful and Gataevs were released on 9 September 2009.

Legal proceedings:

In February 2010, Human Rights Monitoring Institute drafted a claim for damages, on behalf of Gataevs’, for the unlawful restriction of their liberty during April 14-September 9 of 2009. Kaunas District Court found in favor of claimants awarding them 2032 EUR in moral damages and 290 EUR to cover their legal costs.

On 5 December 2014, Kaunas County Court increased the legal costs award up to 579 EUR.