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COLOMPAR against Serbia

Importance level
Panel of Judges
Committee (3)
Judgment Date
Date of Application
(Čl. 6) Krivični postupak (Ima povrede)
(Čl. 6) Pravo na pravično suđenje (Ima povrede)
(Čl. 6-1) Pravična rasprava (Ima povrede)
Application Numbers
Verdict/resolution view

Displayjudgmentsin the subjectColumparagainst Serbia, Number34167/15 of

European Court of Human Rights (hereinafter:Slimb) is26.September 2023. yearspassed judgment in the subjectColumparagainst Serbia by which he determined the violation of Article 6. paragraph 1 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (hereinafter: the Convention).

The verdict was delivered by a Board of 3 judges.

The subject refers toon the fairness of criminal proceedings (admissibility of evidence) in which the applicant's guilt was established solely on the basis of recognition by the victim at the main trial after the police had already shown the victim only photographs of the applicant and no one else, and after the victim had seen the applicant as a defendant in the courtroom.


The court judged thatdomestic courts failed to comply with two basic requirements of criminal law: (a) that it is up to the prosecution to prove the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt; and (b) principlein dubio pro reo which requires that, due to the existence of any doubt as to the reliability of the evidence, the defendant should be favored and not the prosecution.


In July 2010, the victim filed a criminal complaintPolice stationinKovacicand statingthat two Roma women stole money from her house.The police showed her on that occasion exclusively photographs of the applicantand it is damaged marked the applicant as the person she saw at the gate coming out of her yard, before she discovered ittheft. The police made an official note about it which is laterexcluded from the case file.

The applicant isaccused of aggravated theft.During of proceedings before the court of first instancethe applicant denied the commission of the crime stating that that she had never been to the village where she liveda theft occurred.The injured party stood by her testimony andidentified the applicant as the person she saw at the gate coming out of her yard on the day her money was stolen. Most of the witnesses stated that they did not see anyone at the scene, that they saw a "suspicious car" in their village that day, but they could not agree on the color of that car or the direction from which it came., and one witness said that he saw two women but could not identify the applicant.

Pthe lower court found the applicant guilty and sentenced her to one year in prison stating that determined decisive facts about the time, place and manner of committing the criminal offense based on the statements given by the partiesdamaged and other witnesses, as well as on the basis of written documentation.First instance courtwas considered a statementdamaged credible, while he rejected the version of events given by the applicant as an attempt to avoid criminal responsibility and as a contradictory statementdamaged.

Court of Appeal in Novi Sadis affirmed the first-instance judgment stating that in the case in questionthe first-instance verdict is not based on the evidence presentedrecognition from Article 104. of the then valid Criminal Procedure Code, but all over again testimony at the main trial, that is, based on the fact that the injured party identified the applicant in the courtroomas a person who was in her yard on the day in question.

The Supreme Court of Cassation isrefused as an unfounded request to protect the legality of the applicant's counsel.

The Constitutional Court rejected the constitutional appeal applicants.


The applicant presented complaints based on the provision of Article 6, paragraph 1 of the Convention, which consisted in the fact that she was declared guilty of aggravated theft and sentenced to a prison sentence of one year solely on the basis of evidence obtained by identification, which wasȃoh been conducted contrary provisions of the Code about criminal procedure.


Slimb is inclaimed that the only evidence on which the conviction was based wasabout recognition applicants as defendants by the injured party at the main trial, and thatafter the police had previously shown the victim the photographsof the applicant and after the injured party saw her in the capacity of the defendant in the courtroom.In addition, according to the Court's opinion, there was no forensic or other physical evidence related to the crime, nor was the statement of the injured party confirmed by the statements of the witnesses in the proceedings.

Although it is from the filecriminal caseexcepted official note orecognition applicants in the police,Sud still concluded that it wasrecognition done in absenceproceduralguarantee prescribed by Article 104 of the Criminal Procedure Code, which makes the testimony of the injured party suspicious, especiallytaking into accountYesthe otherswitnesses could not identifythe applicant as the perpetrator of the crime.

Sit's a limbconcluded that domestic courtsdid not sufficiently clarify existing discrepanciesin witness statements and yesareaccepted the victim's testimony despite the fact that it was not supported by any other evidence.That's how they are domestic courts failed to take into account two basic assumptions of the criminal procedure: that the prosecution is obliged to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt and that in case of any doubts about the reliability of the evidence, the facts should be evaluated in favor of the defendant (in dubio pro reo).

Accordingly, the Court found a violationrightsto a fair trial from Article 6, paragraph 1 of the Convention.

FAIRLY SATISFACTION (Article 41 of the Convention)

The court stated that the provisions of Article 485, paragraph 1, item 3) and Article 492 of the Criminal Procedure Code, which is currently in force, prescribe, among other things, the right of the defendant to request a repetition of the procedure in the country if the Court finds a violation of his/her rights guaranteed by the Convention. Therefore, the Court assessed that, in the specific circumstances of the case in question, establishing a violation of the Convention sȃmo as per to myself represents enough fairly satisfaction in view there were what kind intangible damage which one is suffered applicant.

The court obliged the Republic of Serbia to pay the applicant the amount of 4.500 euros in the name of compensation for the costs of the procedure.

Related cases/References
Decisions made at the domestic level which preceded the application to the ECHR
решење Уставног судаУж-9425/2013 од 25. марта 2015. године
пресуда Врховног касационог суда Кзз. 227/2013 од 18. децембра 2013. године
пресуда Апелационог суда у Новом Саду Кж1- 3992/12 од 8. октобра 2013. године
пресуда Основног суда у Панчеву К. 3746/10 од 24. септембра 2012. године
Specific Measures
Naknada troškova pred Sudom (U toku)
General Measures
Action Plan/Report
Action Plan/Report sent
CM Decisions
Final Resolution