Former Judge of the European Court of Human Rights, Boštjan M. Zupančič, says the house search of Minister Počivalšek’s home, is a serious violation of human rights

Former Judge of the European Court of Human Rights, Boštjan M. Zupančič (Photo: STA)

The house searches affair is unfounded and a farce. In any normal country, governed by the rule of law, a motion for a house search, similar to this one, would have been rejected. A Judge simply should not issue an order for such a severe invasion of privacy by quoting television shows and statements of the people involved. We asked the former Judge of the European Court of Human Rights, Boštajn M. Zupančič, Ph.D., to comment on the matter.

“The law is the same for everyone, but still. Then, there should be  reasonable suspicion for such a thing. If this comrade was a student of mine, then she should have known that the suspicion must be well-founded, for any invasion of privacy to be allowed. Such an invasion of privacy of any individual requires four conditions to be met, in the sense of a well-founded suspicion. These conditions are: concreteness, specificity, articulateness, and precedence,” the former constitutional Judge, Boštjan M. Zupančič, said.

Boštjan M. Zupančič was surprised that the orders for house searches were issued on the basis of information from the show Tarča (target). “What was evident from the media was that the suspicion the Judge considered to be justified, was based on what came out in Tarča, and so in, in the media, and not much else. I would like to see this search warrant. First, for the detention of Minister Počivalšek.”

And secondly, the Judge has no right to order a house search, if it is not articulated. Articulated means that the suspicion must be substantiated in detail so that the Judge can verify it, based on the data. Because this is not an “empty bill” investigation; any information for this investigation should be given in such a way that the Judge can check it by hearing the witnesses testify, checking the material evidence, and so on, to see if the suspicion is really true,” Zupančič explained.  

Article 6 of the Convention on Human Rights is being violated
Zupančič, an expert in criminal procedural law, went on to say that in the case of house searches at Počivalšek’s home, the Convention on Human Rights was being violated. “If the case ultimately came to Strassbourg, then the European Court of Human Rights would assess whether or not the suspicion was well-founded, under Articles 5 and 6 of the Convention.”

“From what I have heard from the media, since I have not seen the order yet, the whole thing is fabricated and based on unfounded suspicion, or perhaps, on less demanding grounds for suspicion than what is written in the Criminal Procedure Code. Supposedly, it is based on something which is not articulated, and the prosecution is sure that the case will only be substantiated after the investigation is carried out. This investigation, which took place at the home of the Minister, and so on, I repeat, is a serious encroachment on the rights of the suspect and this, according to what I know about the case, is completely unacceptable, and a violation of Article 6 of the Convention on Human Rights,” the former Judge of the European Court of Human Rights, Boštjan M. Zupančič, Ph.D., told us.

Luka Perš