Judgment 34467/15

Applicant name Sarbu
Applicant type natural person
Number of applicants 1
Country Romania
Application no. 34467/15 
Date 28/03/2023
Judges Gabriele Kucsko-Stadlmayer, présidente,
 Tim Eicke,
 Faris Vehabović,
 Branko Lubarda,
 Armen Harutyunyan,
 Anja Seibert-Fohr,
 Ana Maria Guerra Martins
Institution Court
Type Judgment
Outcome Art. 8 No violation
Reason Necessary (prevention disorder and crime)
Type of privacy Informational privacy
Keywords Secret recordings by civilian
Facts of the case The applicant alleges an infringement of his right to respect for his private life, due to the use, in the criminal proceedings against him, of the recordings made by his co-defendant L.E.
AnalysisWhile the recordings had been made by the co-defendant and saved on the computer of a witness, the prosecution had access to them during the computer search of the witness’s computer in another criminal file and the was added, as evidence against him, to the criminal file in question. During the legal proceedings, the applicant objected to their use, but the courts rejected these arguments and accepted their use in the proceedings (paragraphs 16, 19 and 22 above). The Court recalls that the use of elements obtained following surveillance in the workplace may amount to an interference with the right to respect for private life (López Ribalda and others, cited above, § 91, with the references cited therein).
Therefore, Article 8 of the Convention applies in the present case.

The Court then notes that the use of these elements was limited to criminal proceedings. The recordings related to two one-off incidents, limited in time (paragraph 10 above), and they had not been obtained through constant or prolonged surveillance over a long period. What is more, the criminal proceedings offered sufficient guarantees to the applicant. The applicant raised arguments based on the legality of the recordings, which the courts duly considered and rejected with reasons. The recordings were the subject of a scientific and forensic expertise and the applicant was able to present his arguments in this regard. Furthermore, it does not appear to the Court that the applicant had invoked before the domestic courts arguments expressly based on a possible infringement of his right to respect for his private life, which the courts had not examined.
Other Article violation?
Damage awarded
Documents Judgment