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PRESS RELEASE

People’s Advocate, Mihail Cotorobai shares the concerns of international bodies, civil society and relatives in the case Serghei Cosovan. The Ombudsman makes appeal to authorities to comply with the provisions of criminal procedural law (art.176, 185 CPC), jurisprudence of ECHR, international recommendations both in the case Cosovan and in other cases where the long-term detention of patients with serious illness is applied, in order to ensure the rights to life, physical and mental integrity of persons who are under the state custody.

People’s Advocate shares the concerns exposed by World Organization Against Torture (OMCT), Promo-LEX Association and relatives of Serghei Cosovan related to his long-term pre-trial detention (more than 8 months) in the Penitentiary 16-Pruncul (hospital-penitentiary) despite the fact that he has a critical health condition.

On February 02, 2018, the People’s Advocate Office has initiated an investigation on keeping under an inhuman or degrading treatment of Serghei Cosovan who is on pre-trial detention in the Penitentiary  16-Pruncul by the impossibility of offering a corresponding treatment for his illness. During the investigation process, the staff of People’s Advocate Office have made documentation visits to the Penitentiary 13 and Penitentiary no.16, it took evidentiary matters, transmitted approaches on this case and had confidential discussions with the victim. As the consequence of these visits, Serghei Cosovan was placed in a separate room with better conditions.

Referring to medical care services, the staff of People’s Advocate Office found the minimum level of medical care services are offered, but not the necessary level, including that which corresponds to the additional prescriptions. It also was found that the health condition of patient becomes more serious due to worsening and progression of the serious hematological disease. The Administration of the Penitentiary no.16 has organized the meeting of Consultative Medical Council made up of civil specialist doctors, currently being executed the recommendations indicated by it. 

On April 17, 2018 People’s Advocate sent an emergent approach to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Protection where he asked for the involvement of responsible authorities in order to identify prompt solutions in this case and to ensure the right to life, physical integrity and health to Serghei Cosovan who is in pre-trial detention. Based on this approach, People’s Advocate was informed about the fact that Serghei Cosovan was examined at the penitentiary institution by the hematologist of the Republican Clinical Hospital, Natalia Taran who confirmed the main diagnosis. According to clinical protocol for liver transplant, the patient meets the examination criteria as the potential candidate for being included in the waiting and performance of liver transplantlist. The final decision in inclusion of the patient in the waiting list will be taken by the Interdisciplinary commission based on medical results, including the compatibility grid.

A decision on changing the preventive measure arrest with other safety measure, including moving and being guarded in the civil medical institution belongs to the court. Or, in case Dorneanu vs Romania (Claim no.1818/02), ECHR stated that keeping in detention a person who has cancer in final phase represents an inhuman treatment and do not comply with the provisions of the art.2,3 of the European Convention. ECHR Jurisprudence offers for cases like these solutions on not applying of non-privative measure, the courts following to base when making decisions firstly on principle of proportionality for ensuring the right to life, physical integrity of victim vs. interests of criminal investigation. Additionally, People’s Advocate reminds that the Norms of CPT for the prevention of torture indicate on the necessity to find a balance between the case exigencies and putting into application the isolation regime which represents a measure with possible bad consequences for the person. 

Within his mandate, People’s Advocate makes appeal to law enforcement and national courts to respect the provisions of criminal procedural law (art.176, 185 CPP), jurisprudence of ECHR, international recommendations both in the case Cosovan and in other cases where the long-term detention of patients with serious illness is applied,  in order to ensure the rights to life, physical and mental integrity of persons who are under the state custody.  After analyzing all the accumulated materials, People’s Advocate will make a Public Report. 

 

Department on promotion of human rights,

international relations and communication

of People’s Advocate Office