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A Moldovan businessman was arrested because the police had “reasonable suspicion” he committed fraud. He was denied bail and held in custody for 10 months, before the investigation was ended. This was justified in Moldovan law, which allows people to be held in detention as long as there is a reasonable suspicion they committed a crime (i.e. the same standard as for arrest).
In an important judgment, the ECtHR ruled that:
Although reasonable suspicion of committing a crime was a justification for arrest, it was not a justification for detention after the accused had first appeared before a court (i.e. a few days after arrest).
After this period of time, there must be other concrete reasons to keep someone in detention and deny them bail, such as a risk of committing another crime or a risk they will not appear in court.
The ECtHR found there was a violation of the right to liberty in Art 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights because there was there no assessment of these risks and the accused was simply kept in detention because he had been arrested.
This judgment led to the accused receiving compensation and law reform in Moldova.
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