Effective investigations as a tool for establishing the truth and maintaining public confidence in institutions. Procedural dimension of Art. 3 ECHR. Collective dimension of the right to the truth.
Art. 3 ECHR
1. The lack of an effective, prompt and thorough investigation into the applicant allegations of ill-treatment and secret detention under the CIA extraordinary rendition program breaches Article 3 of the Convention in its procedural aspect. The effectiveness of the legal prohibition of torture requires inquiries capable of clarifying the facts related to applicants’ complaint and of leading to the identification and punishment of those responsible.
2. Authorities must always make a serious attempt to find out the truth about victims’ credible allegations of grave violations of human rights, given their right to obtain an accurate account of the suffering endured. Moreover, given the importance and gravity of the alleged events, not only the victim but also the public has a right to know the truth regarding the relevant circumstances of the case and to be informed of the criminal proceeding and its result.
3. Effective investigation capable of securing proper accountability of those responsible for serious crimes is conducive to maintaining confidence in the adherence by the State’s institutions to the rule of law.
(In the instant case, the applicant, a Saudi Arabian national suspected of terrorist offences, was captured in the United Arab Emirates and, among others, he was transferred to a secret CIA prison in Romania. He lodged a criminal complaint, since Romania had enabled the CIA to detain him secretly on its territory, thereby allowing his ill-treatment. However, inquiries undertaken by the prosecuting authorities failed to comply with the requirements of a “prompt”, “thorough” and “effective” investigation for the purposes of Article 3 of the Convention).