Aliev v Ukraine, UN Human Rights Committee (1997) (excerpts)

Aliev v Ukraine, UN Human Rights Committee Communication 781/1997 (excerpts)

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7.3 Secondly, the author alleges that, subsequently, on 17 July 1997, the Supreme Court heard his case in his absence and in the absence of his counsel. The Committee notes that the State party has not challenged this allegation and has not provided any reason for this absence. The Committee finds that the decision of 17 July 1997 does not mention that the author or his counsel was present, but mentions the presence of a procurator. Moreover it is uncontested that the author had no legal representation in the early stages of the investigations. Bearing in mind the facts before it, and in the absence of any relevant observation by the State party, the Committee considers that due weight must be given to the author's allegations. The Committee recalls its jurisprudence that legal representation must be available at all stages of criminal proceedings, particularly in cases in which the accused incurs capital punishment (2). Consequently, the Committee is of the view that the facts before it disclose a violation of article 14, paragraph 1, as well as a separate violation of article 14, paragraph 3 (d), of the Covenant.