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Home arrow newsitems arrow ECHR protects Whistle-Blowers v. Corruption even in front of extreme oppression

ECHR protects Whistle-Blowers v. Corruption even in front of extreme oppression

Written by ACM
Tuesday, 17 December 2013

 

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"Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/-  A more than 60 years Old and Poor Citizen had been detained for almost 2 Months, confined in a Psychiatric Hospital, and practicaly stripped of his Rights to defend himself for Years, just because he had dared criticise, by Letters sent to Public Authorities, what he believed to be a case of Corruption.  

 The Victim denounced, in particular, that "he had been unlawfully Confined to a Psychiatric hospital", without any , "judicial review, in a reasonable time", and "he could not even obtain compensation" afterwards,  while being also "deprived of access to court", because "all the court proceedings initiated by him had been stayed, pending the outcome of proceedings for his legal incapacitation", ECHR observed. 

     ---------------

The respondent Government claimed that all this was due purely to some "Findings of .. forensic Experts ....concerning the applicant’s state of Mental Health",  and to "his Dangerousness  (sic !) to Society", for which "he should have a Compulsory measure of a Medical nature Imposed on him". But the Whistleblower "argued that the only Reason the (he) had been confined to the psychiatric hospital, had been the Critical remarks he had made about certain State Officials', even "those remarks were Never made Public, and did not pose any threat to any public figure"...


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Mr. Martins Raudevs from Riga, had sent 3 Letters, to the President of the Supreme Court, to the Parliament of the Republic, and to the World Bank, with allegations that "certain Fudges ...were Corrupt and had acted fraudulently", calling the competent authorities to "prosecute" them "for various Crimes".


The way to express himself appeared "somewhat Confused", according to EuroJudges, and he "called, f.ex the President of the Civil Cases Division of the Senate of the Supreme Court “a super cheater” and “a fundamental cheater who commits criminal offences”         

                                                
"Apparently", "on other occasions before and after" that, the  Anti-Corruption WhistleBlower "had accused various other State Officials in a similar manner", EuroJudges were told.


Thus, instead of Investigating the above mentioned allegations which had denounced mainly Corruption, on the contrary, the President of the Court where worked the No 1 among  those denounced by the WhistleBlower, (the "Supreme" Court, :See Infra), applied to the Prosecutor's office, just before Christmas, which immediately "instituted Criminal proceedings against" the Whistle-Blower, "for Defamation of State Officials"...


+ In addition, a few Months afterwards, some "Experts" reportedly raised Doubts "about his Mental Capacity", and asked for the Whistle-Blower to "undergo an inpatient medical examination" in order "for a Decision to be made" on him. Hell started to trap the victim...


During more than ... 40 Days, the Whistle-Blower was submitted into "an inpatient medical Examination at a Psychiatric hospital", following what, these same "Experts" made "a Report" accusing the Victim to have had "since 1985", ..."fantasies and other-worldly ideas, (sic !) which had turned into Paranoid Delusions", according to them. "They also" claimed "that he was suffering from Paranoid Schizophrenia (sic !) and ....had not been fully aware and in control of his actions", ECHR noted.


=> In conclusion, those "Experts" "recommended" that the WhistleBlower "be declared ...in a state of Mental Incapacity ... and that he undergo Compulsory (sic !) Medical Treatment in a Secure Psychiatric Hospital" !


Even "the fact that he was in Denial about his (reported) illness", and, therefore, "refused to take medication", (which is notoriously Heavy and destabilizing - debilitating, particularly if their "Paranoid Schizophrenia" claims might be  accepted by the judges : Comp. Supra), was retained against the Whistle-Blower, whose Anri-Corruption denunciations were accused to be ..."Delusional Plans with respect to certain Judges and Officials" (sic !), while these same "Experts" practically asked even to Exclude the Victim from any participation to the Legal proceedings by claiming that his "participation in the pre-trial Investigation abd his Attendanbce at Court would Not be useful" (sic !)...


+++ Nor his Wife, that he trusted, not even a Friend that he had officially authorized, weren't allowed by some Riga Courts (often close or the same to those that the Victim had initially Denounced for Corruption : Comp. Supra) to simply lodge an Appeal in his favor !.


Even when a Newspaper's representatives succeeded to declare those Anti-Defamation Rules, under which the WhistleBlower had been initialy persecuted, as Contrary to the Constitution and to the Human Rights for Freedom of Expression and Non-Discrimination, (unless the concerned Government explained, convincingly, why certain Officials needed Special Protection to exceptionaly cover them vis a vis most accusations), he wasn't let free to avoid the Threats meanwhile provoked against his own Personal Liberty : Indeed, shortly afterwards, a Riga Court ordered, and Police executed, to close the Whistle-Blower, against his wish, inside a "Psychiatric Hospital, for Compulsory Medical Treatment", (Comp. Supra).


A formal Complaint that the Victim lodged from that 1st Day, asking to be Released on Legal Grounds, even if it was received by the Authorities, nevertheless, it was scandalously Ignored... And a 2nd Complaint, lodged some Weeks later, was dismissed.


Only a whole Month after he had been closed by force inside a Psychiatric Hospital against his wish, to be submitted into a Medical Treatment of his Mental condition, suddenly, someone informs officially "the Head of the Psychiatric Hospital" of the fact that the applied procedure might have been declared, meanwhile illegal.

Nevertheless, the Psychiatric Hospital's Administration takes another ...Month, until it moves to have that inique measure "revoked" and the Victim, at last, "released"....


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But, that wasn't the End of his Nightmare at all : Indeed, almost at the same time, another Riga Court initated proceedings against the Victim, asking, now, to be declared Mentaly Incapacitated !


Those Officials even went as far as to shamelessly claim also that a proof of his alleged "Incapacity" would have been the mere fact that the Victim, naturaly moved, after all these sufferings, also by a Legitimate aspiration to Justice, added to his initial concern about an alleged Impunity of Corruption, had, meanwhile, inevitably denounced a Harassment by certain "ennemies", and expressed dismay for the fact that some Officials thought to be corrupted hadn't been disturbed at all by prosecutors, who, on the contrary, had been very "Busy", all this time, to persecute, instead, the Whistle-Blower himself (Comp. Supra) !....


Things became really nasty, when the Same Court that had been Criticized by the Victim  for allegedly "refusing" any criminal proceedings whatever to be instituted against certain prosecutors in connection with their alleged unlawful activities (§ 31 + § 33), instead, "ordered" for the Whistleblower himself to "undergo a Psychiatric Examination" (sic !), which was carried out during a period longer than a Month....

     
Those handpicked "Experts" curiously found strange that the Victim simply "was .. making Complaints about his alleged Enemies", (i.e. as if everybody had been ...Kind with him until now : Comp. Supra !), and instead of crediting him at least with the Capacity to make "Elaborate" statements, on the Contrary, they ... accused them to "become more and more" consistent.. They didn't dare deny that the WhistleBlower had "Social Skills", and "an Abilty to Deal with with .. Everyday Situations", as well as to make "Submissions in Court", (according to their own vocabulary). But they focused on accusing the Victim to do so "only" at a "Basic" level, in a "Limited" way, and speculated that it "would be counterpoductive", (as they claimed in conclusion, but without giving any visible nor clear explanations), and even went as far as to include a also the Physical, "Heart condition" of the Old Man, after all those Sufferings that they had inflicted him (Comp. Supra),  in a Report supposed to check just the Mental Capacity of the Whistleblower...

Such obviously unilateral claims served to allow to this same Court-Machine that the Whistleblower had Criticized for not prosecuting at all, but covering up several cases of Corruption among its own Members, (Comp. Supra), to, on the contrary, unleash a series of serious Attacks against the person of their Critic.... :


Among others, f.ex., a District Court, (deciding after a Hearing held in the total Absence of the Judged person !), "ruled" that he was "not legally capable".
Even when the Victim "Apointed" a Friend "as his Legal Representative, by issuing a power of attorney certified by a public notary", as ECHR notes, nevertheless, his Appeal was "Dismissed" during another Hearing at which his Representative "was Asked to Leave" (sic !), and definitively  Rejected by another Court  on the formal claim that his Representative "was Not Authorised to lodge such Appeals"....Finally, even a Constitutional Complaint lodged by the Whistleblower was simply droped, by merely "noting  that Only his Guardian was Authorised to lodge a Complaint on his behalf".


But, meanwhile, "on several occasions", when a competent Public Service "asked" the Courts "to reinstate the applicant’s legal capacity ....because since 2006 No Guardian had been assigned to him, and throughout that period he had been Able to take Care of his daily Needs himself", probably because  his state of health had improved", nevertheless, "the proceedings were Stayed, Pending the outcome of the proceedings for the applicant’s legal incapacitation"...

Moreover, representatives of the Public Authorities took the Initiative to "Repeatedly try to Contact the applicant’s Relatives to discuss the possibility of one of them being Appointed as his Guardian"... Something that they droped only after the Whistleblower's "Relatives" replied to that Tribunal that the Victim "did Not Need a Guardian, and to appoint one would be Unnecessary", as ECHR observes.

This served also as a Pretext  in order to "Stay" - "pending assignment of the applicant’s Guardian"-  the proceedings on a Complaint by the Victim "concerning Damage he had sustained ....when the Police had taken him in, for the inpatient Medical Examination".


+ In fact, it's also "Several Other civil and Administrative Proceedings initiated by (the Whistleblower) were Stayed on the same grounds", ECHR denounced, revealing an appaling reality where the Victim had practically been scandalously Hindered even to defend himself .....         


-----------------------------                                +
It's only many Years later that the Supreme Court "extended the period for lodging an Appeal on points of Law", and, during "Cassation proceedings", it "quashed" one of the above mentioned Negative previous judgements, noiting that "the Lower Court had Not assessed all the Evidence", "had Failed to provide Adequate Reasoning as to the applicant’s legal incapacity", and "had merely ReWritten the Experts’ Report", despite "the various Complaints submitted" by the Victim.


+ Moreover, in front of the ECHR, the Victim also complained that "the decision .... by which he had been ordered to undergo Compulsory Medical Treatment in a Psychiatric Hospital under Guard, had been Unlawful" on "2 grounds" : Firstly, that he had Never Suffered from a Mental Illness, and, secondly, that ....decision had Lost its Force on account of legislative Amendments", meanwhile.


- ECHR observed from the outset that the responsible Public "Authorities did Not react to (the Victim's) Complaints", not even when he "explicitly brought to the(ir) ....that on the day when he was Detained and brought to the psychiatric hospita,l the legal norm on the basis of which he had been convicted, was no longer in force".


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- ECHR's Judgement observes from the outset that, as a matter of General Principle, Citizens' "Right to have the Lawfulness of Detention examined by a court, and the Right to obtain Compensation for any deprivation of liberty incompatible with (Human Rights) are 2 separate Rights".


 On the 1st point, EuroJudges "note that" the Victim "explicitly brought to the attention of" the local Court and Prosecutor  "his complaint that on the day when he was detained and brought to the psychiatric hospital, the Legal norm on the Basis of which he had been convicted (alleghed "Defamation") was No longer in force".

"However, the authorities did Not react to his Complaints. The Government have not brought to the Court’s attention any Other procedure which could have at the material time served to grant the applicant’s Release.   

     
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- According to "the principles applicable to the analysis of whether a deprivation of liberty has been in conformity" with Human Rights (Article 5  of the PanEuropean Convention)", ... before determining whether the applicant has been reliably shown to have been suffering from a mental illness, of a kind or degree warranting compulsory confinement, and whether the validity of his continued confinement depended on the Persistence of the mental illness..., it must establish whether the applicant’s detention was carried out “in accordance with a Procedure prescribed by law, and was “lawful”.


            (A)


- In this regard, ECHR denounces from the outset the "Vague reasoning provided by the medical Experts and national Courts, in connection with such a Radical Measure" at the present case : Indeed, it's by "taking note of the Experts’ report" that the WhistleBlower "had “Delusional plans” (sic !) in relation to unidentified State Officials", (criticized for "Corruption"), that he "was ...ordered to undergo compulsory inpatient medical treatment under guard", EuroJudges observed.


+ Moreover, while that controversial "Experts" Report had been drafted back on November 2001, nevertheless, the adoption of the final decision for confinement in a Psychiatric Hospital under Guard was taken only on January 2003, and to this Delay was also added, later-on, "more than  1,5 Year" in addition, until the Execution of that Order, on July 2004, ECHR noted.


Curiously, these Dates (particularly 2004) coincide with the abrogation, meanwhile, of a previous Law which used to punish, in the Past, "Defamation of State Officials" with Prison sentences, under which had been initially prosecuted the WhistleBlower, before being finaly Detained under another, absolutely Differend Law, concerning only Mental Health, ... i.e., obviously as if someone searched to Jail the WhistleBlower at any pretext, be it Defamation or Mental Health, just in order to smash his Credibility and/or Muzzle him...


Careful, however, the ECHR chose to base itself on unquestionable and crystal-clear grounds (even if indirectly related to the above-mentioned Facts and political Stakes) :


- In this regard, "the relevant Time at which a person must be Established to be of unsound Mind, for the purposes of Article 5 § 1 (e),.... is the Date of adoption of the Measure depriving that person of liberty, as a result of that condition", EuroJudges pointed out, (i.e. here : 2004).


=> Accordingly, in the present case,(1) for Years, "No Assessments were carried out as to the Continued necessity (or Not) of confining the applicant to an inpatient psychiatric hospital under guard", ECHR notes.


(2) at the same Time, no assessments were carried out also "as to the possibility of applying any Other, Less Restrictive Measure", EuroJudges added.


(3) last, but not least : "in the Absence of Any Explanation by the national authorities, the Execution of the order ...was carried out more than 1,5 Year after the ..Decision", "ECHR notes in particular".


=> "Observing the considerable Delays ...and the lack of any safeguards under the domestic law permitting a Review of the medical necessity of compulsory medical measures before its execution,  the applicant’s detention was carried out Contrary to the principle establishd by ARticle 5 §1 of the ECHR", EuroJudges concluded.
---------------------------


            (B)


+ Moreover, the Victim "further complained that his confinement was not subjected to a judicial Review  within a reasonable Time". He relied on Article 5 § 4 of the Convention.


Indeed, he denounced the Fact that, even if "he had immediately informed the hospital administration" about the lack of Legal Basis for his confinement (on July 2004), "however, despite his repeated complaints, No action had been taken until 24 August 2004 when the hospital administration had asked the court to revoke the measure. It was not until 24 September of that year that the national court had decided to order his release".


This "concerns Access to Court,  as well as the Speediness of the Review ..of a confinement order", ECHR observed.  "The issue was the Absence of Safeguards, which rendered the framework of compulsory medical measures ...Incompatible with the guarantees enshrined in Article 5 of the Convention" on Human Rights, EuroJudges found.


-In particular,  "the Court highlights the undisputed fact that since ...2001 there had been No judicial Review as to the Persistence of the conditions requiring the applicant’s continued confinement in a psychiatric hospital. ...Even though, Immediately after his confinement, on 30 July 2004, the applicant approached the Head of the hospital administration with a Request for his Release, No action was taken by the Authorities until 3 September of that year".


=> Therefore, "by Failing to Review the lawfulness of the applicant’s detention during th(at) period ....., the Authorities Infringed the applicant’s Rights guaranteed under Article 5 § 4 of the Convention"
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            (C)


Last but not least, the Victim also denounced the fact that he had been practicaly Hindered to  obtain Compensation for his unlawful Detention", contrary to Article 5,5 § of the PanEuropean Convention of Human Rights.


 Indeed, "the Court observes that between ...2006 and ...2009  (the Victim) was Deprived of his legal Caapacity, and that no guardian was appointed to him.  At the same time, on various occasions, ...the person appointed by the applicant to Represent his interests, had not been granted leave to act on his behalf", and "takes note of various domestic proceedings which were Stayed" meanwhile, (Comp. Facts cited Supra).  


----------------------------------------
=> In Conclusion, (and while reserving any examination of complaints also for "Unfair Trial", contrary to Article 6 of the Convention),


ECHR "Unanimously" found that the respondent Government was Responsible for at least Three (3) Violations of the Victim's Human Rights, as guaranteed unter Article 5 §1, §3 and §4 of CoE's PanEuropean Convention which protect Personal Liberty.


>>> In consequence, ECHR condemned the respondent State to pay to the Victim a Financial Compensation of 10.000 € for Non-Pecuniary Damages, (i.e. in addition to various other, Individual and/or General Measures that it would have to take under the Supervision of CoE's Committee of Ministers for the full Execution of the present Judgement.

(See : ECHR, Raudevs v. Latvia, (no. 24086/03, 17 December 2013)

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 And the Anti-Corruption Fight  => ?
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* However, any experienced ECHR observer, as any sincere Freedom loving person, and, even more, any really motivated,  investigative Journalist as well as Democracy-loving Whistle-blower, can't but, naturally observe that, in fact, the REAL case "Raudevs" is just STARTING Today :


- Simply because, more than 12 Years (2001-2013) later, since a Latvian Whistle-Blower, a simple Old man with his Wife, dared sent 3 closed Letters to the competent Public Authorities of his Country trying  to help them fight against Corruption even inside the National Courts' machine,  and after he Suffered a lot during all this long period of time, (Comp. Supra), the European Public Opinion still doesn't even know if the alleged Corruption issues that he had denounced were more or less real, or not, or, at least, if they were, at least, seriously Investigated, or not !


- Who were the suspects, which were the alleged Corruption/Abuse issues ? Did those suspected (who were INSIDE that same Courts' machinery which scandalously aggressed the aged Whistleblower with its Brutal, Oppressive attacks for many years : See Facts cites above) play any role, took any part in this astonishing "Vendeta" against a defenseless Old man and his Wife, or not ? More than 12 Years later, later, we don't even know that ...


All that is known is that the Whistleblower, victim of at least 3 serious Violations of Human Rights according  to ECHR's Judgement published Today, had been also one among the 16 Candidates for a Top Job in Latvia's National "Bureau for the Prevention and Fight against Corruption" (CPCB), already back on 2003...

muse_take_a_bow_400
 
+ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBe9vkmD-Os

But nobody can forget the Historic Precedent of various Regimes of the Past, including f.ex. that of former USSR President Brezniev (particularly, it seems, during his period od Decline), and/or of former UK Prime Minister Blair (often denounced for "Liberticide" Laws even at the CoE, by Conservatives, Liberals, etc., together with the Left, to whom f.ex. Brittish Pop Music Group "Muse" reportedly dedicated their anti-song "Take a Bow"), etc, were notoriously enclined to throw several Political Dissidents and/or other Critics to atrocious "Psychiatric" Hospitals/Prisons attempting to break down their resistance)...


=> Thus, now, it's obviously up to CoE's Committee of Ministers, who are entrusted by the Statute of the PanEuropean Organization for Democracy, Human Rights and Rule of Law, to supervise the Execution of ECHR's Judgements by the respondent Member States, to, at last, start doing its own part of the collective Anti-Corruption job...

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(NDLR : "DraftNews", as already send to "EuroFora"s Subscribetrs/Donors, earlier. A more accurate, full Final Version might be published asap).

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Sarkozy stimulated by Irish "No" challenge : - "It's a call to change and build Europe otherwise. Not later, but now. It won't be easy, but it's fascinating !"

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* Paris, Elysee, June 14, 2008.

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