CASE OF MAZEPA AND OTHERS v. RUSSIA, (Application no. 15086/07)

STRASBOURG, 17 July 2018


1. The case originated in an application no.15086/07 against the Russian Federation lodged with the Court under Article 34 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (“the Convention”) by four Russian nationals:

Ms Raisa Aleksandrovna MAZEPA, born in 1929, mother of Anna Politkovskaya;
Ms Yelena Stepanovna KUDIMOVA, born in 1957, sister of Anna Politkovskaya;
Ms Vera Aleksandrovna POLITKOVSKAYA, born in 1980, daughter of Anna Politkovskaya;
Mr Ilya Aleksandrovich POLITKOVSKIY, born in 1978., son of Anna Politkovskaya, (“the applicants”), on 6 April 2007.

2. The applicants live in Moscow. They were represented by Ms K. Moskalenko [Moskalenko Karina Akopovna, 09.02.1954] and Ms A. Stavitskaya [Stavitskaya Anna Edvardovna, 26.06.1972], lawyers practising in Strasbourg and Moscow, respectively.

The Russian Government (“the Government”) were represented by Mr G. Matyushkin, [Matyushking Georgiy Olegovich, 10.06.1966]  Representative of the Russian Federation to the European Court of Human Rights, and then by his successor in that office, Mr M. Galperin [Galperin Mikhail Lvovich, 15.06.1983].

3. The applicants alleged, in particular, that the criminal investigation into the assassination of their close relative, Ms Anna Politkovskaya, had not been effective, contrary to the guarantees of Article 2 of the Convention.

4. On 2 November 2015 the complaint concerning the promptness and reasonable expedition of the investigation was communicated to the Government and the remainder of the application was declared inadmissible pursuant to Rule 54 § 3 of the Rules of Court.

V. Conclusion

21. It seems clear to us that there are several factors which raise concerns about the independence of the investigation in the present case. In previous cases the Court, by considering the specific context and circumstances, has both judged whether or not an investigation was independent and suggested ways that States could guarantee independence. Several countries have implemented various methods for ensuring the impartiality and independence of an investigation when allegations are made against State agents. Russia, for its part, has established special procedures when high-level officials are accused of criminal offences, and was thus in a position to take into account the allegations levelled at lower-level State employees and establish procedural guarantees to ensure the independence of the investigation.

22. The Court should have assessed this parameter in order to draw attention to the problem of independence in this and similar cases. By failing to make this assessment, the Court has effectively bypassed analysis of an important element of an effective investigation and failed to examine the allegations fully.

CASE OF MAZEPA AND OTHERS v. RUSSIA, full text of the Judgement in PDF

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