Litvin v Ukraine, UN Human Rights Committee (2006) (excerpts)

Litvin v Ukraine, UN Human Rights Committee Communication 1535/2006 (excerpts)


10.4 The Committee further notes the author's claim that the court ignored her son’s request to call and examine several important witnesses that testified during the preliminary investigation and confirmed, inter alia, his alibi and the absence of injuries on his face after the commission of the crimes. The court also declined her son’s motions for the conduct of additional forensic examinations. The Committee recalls that, as an application of the principle of equality of arms, the guarantee of article 14, paragraph 3(e) is important for ensuring an effective defence by the accused and their counsel and guaranteeing the accused the same legal power of compelling the attendance of witnesses relevant for the defence and of examining or cross-examining any witnesses as are available to the prosecution13. In the present case, the Committee observes that the State party failed to respond to these allegations and to provide any information as to the reasons for refusing to examine the respective witnesses. In the absence of information from the State party in that respect, the Committee concludes that the facts, as reported, amount to a violation of Mr. Shchetka’s rights under article 14, paragraph 3(e), of the Covenant.