View Adopted: 2021.07.23
The author, a Lithuanian national, claims that the State party violated his rights under articles 14, 15 and 26 of the Covenant.
On 19 April 2004, the Office of the Prosecutor General began a pre-trial investigation due to suspicion that companies influenced by the author had not paid Value Added Tax (VAT). On 30 December 2009, the prosecutor charged the author with several offences including swindling under the Criminal Code. However, on 23 December 2011, the author was acquitted by a decision of the Vilnius City Second District Court. The prosecutor in 2012 modified the indictment twicet and so the author claimed to have lost a possibility of appeal on certain issues. The Constitutional court held that an indictment may be varied despite the fact that the charged person loses the right to appeal on modified issues. On 27 February 2014, the Vilnius Regional Court granted two modifications of the indictment upon the request of the prosecutor, which increased the unpaid VAT amount. In 2016, the Lithuanian Supreme Court upheld the Regional Court’s decision.
In the present case, the Committee notes that the letter from the European Court, provided to it by the State party only confirms to the State party that the applications of the author were declared inadmissible, without providing the grounds of the decision. Hence the Committee is not precluded from examining the present communication.
The Committee notes that the author chose not to use an effective domestic remedy in the form of civil suit for damages and instead turned to the Committee for monetary compensation. Hence, he failed to exhaust domestic remedies and so his claim under article 14 (3) (c) is inadmissible under article 5 (2) (b) of the Optional Protocol. The Committee notes the claims under article 14 (1) of the Covenant, concerning termination of pre-trial investigation against Ms. J.S and use of the respective prosecutor’s decision in proceedings against him. Claims under article 14 (1) and 14 (3) (e) are insufficiently substantiated and inadmissible under article 2 of the Optional Protocol. It finds the claims under article 14 (5) and 15 of the Covenant to be of general nature and insufficiently substantiated. The author has failed to substantiate why his claims under articles 14 (2) and 26 of the Covenant were not raised in his initial submission. Thus, the Committee finds the communication inadmissible.Thus, this part of the communication is inadmissible under article 3 of the Optional Protocol.
Deadline is 19th January 2022.
By Aakrishti Kumar