The Strasbourg Court takes the decision on the murder of Aleks Nika on January 21: The violations committed in this case

The Strasbourg Court takes the decision on the murder of Aleks Nika on January

The Strasbourg court has given its verdict on the death of Alex Nika, one of the 4 protesters who were killed on January 21, 2011.

According to the Court's decision, there are two violations in this case, which are murder and failure to disclose the incident.

The court says that the law of the time and the Guard's plan of measures did not guarantee life and the investigation of the event was not carried out.

Nika's family sent a lawsuit to the European Court of Human Rights after his death.


Although the response of the authorities to the incident had been swift, the Court considered that there had been a number of shortcomings that raised suspicions that the authorities had tried to divert the investigation or intervene unjustly.

First, senior officials had made several hasty public statements immediately after the incident, saying that the victims had been shot at close range and with different types of weapons to those used by the Garda and police. The General Prosecutor was subjected to harsh criticism from the Prime Minister at the time and from a parliamentary investigative commission which had started work in parallel with the criminal investigation. Such an approach had a negative impact on the effectiveness of the investigation, in particular because of the potential to discourage witnesses from cooperating with the investigation.

Furthermore, even though restraining orders had been issued in relation to the suspected officers of the Republic Guard, they had not been implemented, claiming inaccuracies in their content. It was the officers themselves who surrendered 18 days later, which resulted in a loss of time at a critical stage, as well as the opportunity to minimize cooperation or distortion of the truth.

Also significant was the fact that video recordings of the incident, stored in the Prime Minister's server room, had been deleted. Suspicion that the erasure may have been deliberate was not answered in the criminal trial against an IT employee, which failed to establish by whom and how the records were deleted.

Other deficiencies in the investigation included the failure to investigate the possibility that demonstrators, including the applicants' relative, had been directly targeted and to what extent commanding officers had been responsible for the course of events. Nor was a precise chronology of events established, including the sequence and nature of the orders given by those in the Garda chain of command and the exact moment when the victims were shot. In fact, some key investigative leads, such as the bullet marks found at human height on the iron fence surrounding the Prime Minister's Office, had not been exhausted.

Furthermore, regarding the deficiencies in the specific investigation into the death of the applicants' relative, the Court found that the authorities had not performed the expert examination on the victim's body in time, and the applicants complained that they were denied access during the investigation, a claim that the Government could not disprove with evidence.

Therefore, taking into account the totality of the circumstances, the Court found that the investigation of the case had not been effective as it had failed to determine the truth or lead to the identification and punishment of the persons responsible, which constitutes a violation of Article 2.