The European Court of Human Rights obliged Ukraine to pay $8,400 of compensation to the Chinese man, who was wrongly convicted of murdering a Ukrainian in Kharkiv, as Ukrainian News reported referring to the court’s decision as of November 13.
According to the factual allegations, the complainant Zhang is a Chinese citizen, born in 1983. He lives in Tianjin, China.
The incident happened on May 1, 2009 in Kharkiv. Four Ukrainians and a group of Chinese students started a fight, Zhang was among them. As a result, one of the Ukrainians was stabbed and died in the hospital. Zhang was detained and arrested on suspicion of murder.
Judicial proceeding lasted for three years, but in November 2017, new Ukraine’s Code of Criminal Procedure came into force. Under its regulations, the Ukrainian court refused to take into account all the testimony of the Chinese people – the witnesses of the crime, as they have already left Ukraine. The court insisted that their testimony can not be interpreted in favor of protecting, as they were not made in the court.
Therefore, in July, 2013, the court sentenced Zhang to 12 years behind bars. His appeals were overruled.
The accusation was based on the testimony of two Ukrainians, the participants of the fight, who were under the influence of alcohol during the incident.
In his turn, Zhang filed a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights in January 2015. In 2016, the Chinese man was released. He went to China afterwards.
“The European Court of Human Rights unanimously decided that Ukraine violated the article No.6 (the right for fair trial) of the European Convention on Human Rights in his regard. The representatives of ECHR believe that the complainant was sentenced based on controversial and inconsistent testimony of the prosecution witnesses. Besides, the testimony of the defence witnesses was not taken into the account,” the message says.
The European Court stressed that the new norms of Ukraine’s Criminal Code were applied to the Chinese in a wrong way. Therefore, the court ruled that Ukraine must pay $8,400 of compensation to the complainant for moral damage.