ICCPR Case Digest




Submission: 2017.10.12

View Adopted: 2021.11.05

G.B. v. Latvia

The Author alleged that the State of Latvia violated his right to fair trial and presumption of innocence- held inadmissible

Substantive Issues
  • Fair trial
  • Presumption of innocence
Relevant Articles
  • Article 14.1
  • Article 14.2
  • Article 14.6
Full Text


The author, a national of Latvia, claimed that the State party has violated his rights under articles 14 (1) (2) and (6) of the Covenant.

The author was contacted by undercover police officers pretending to be a drug dealer, as part of a special investigative experiment, namely “operation rebus” against the author. The undercover officer incited the author to procure drugs for him and the author committed the offence on 3 November 2004. The Riga Regional Court convicted the author on 21 October 2005, for the aggravated, unauthorized acquisition and possession of narcotic substances with the intent to sell and sentenced him to 10 years of imprisonment and the confiscation of funds. The Chamber of Criminal Cases of the Supreme Court and the Senate of the Supreme Court dismissed the author’s appeal and cassation complaint on 15 September 2006 and 19 March 2007, respectively.

On 12 June 2007, the author submitted an application to the European Court of Human Rights. The Court found a violation of article 6 (1) of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (European Convention on Human Rights), noting that, in the criminal proceedings against the author, the domestic courts had not properly addressed his allegation of incitement and had failed to examine the relevant decisions authorizing the special investigative measure. It also awarded €5,000 in compensation for non-pecuniary damages. On 20 June 2013, the Head Prosecutor of the Specialized Prosecution Office for Organized Crime and other branches reopened the criminal proceedings on the basis of newly discovered facts. And on 1 October 2013, the Senate of the Supreme Court overturned its previous decision and reopened the proceedings. It transferred the case to the Chamber of Criminal Cases for de novo adjudication in order to examine the finding of the European Court of Human Rights that the author’s human rights had been violated. The Chamber dismissed the author’s allegations concerning the lawfulness of the special investigative measures against him. The author filed an appeal against the decision, which was dismissed. Further, on 1 December 2016, the author filed another complaint to the European Court of Human Rights regarding its judgment in Baltiņš v. Latvia, which was dismissed by the Court.


The Committee found that the author had failed to sufficiently substantiate his claim under articles 14(1) and 14(2), and declared it inadmissible under article 2 of the Optional Protocol. As to the author’s allegations under article 14 (6) of the Covenant, the Committee observed that, in the present case, the author’s conviction has never been reversed by any later judicial decision and that the author has never been pardoned, and concluded that article 14 (6) does not apply in the present case and that the author’s claim is inadmissible ratione materiae under article 3 of the Optional Covenant.


By Sugandha Sawhney

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