Saturday 10/16/21
FRAUD

European Court annulled sanction to Finland for human rights violation

The Court now says that the plaintiff lied and knowingly submitted false documentation claiming that her father had been murdered in Baghdad after being returned to Iraq
The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. Photo: Pixabay.
The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. Photo: Pixabay.

On 13 July 2021, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) issued a decision, which annuls the Court’s previous judgment concerning Finland in the case of an Iraqi citizen named Ali, a former officer in Saddam Hussein's army who was returned to his country in November 2017.

His daughter Noor A., who took the case to the ECHR in Strasbourg, presented false documentation in order to prove that Ali was killed a month later in Baghdad by unidentified gunmen. Finland was sanctioned in the wake of the case, and the police temporarily halted deportations to Irak.

Shortly thereafter, Finnish police started an investigation on aggravated fraud after suspecting that the documents presented by Noor regarding his father's death were forged. The police said they could proof that Ali was still alive in Baghdad.

The Court now agrees with the police and says that the applicant knowingly deceived the Court by presenting false evidence. If the facts had been known to the Court before it issued its decision, the application would have been considered inadmissible under the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

In accordance with the judgment issued on 14 November 2019, which was now annulled in its entirety, the ECtHR considered that Finland had violated Article 2 (right to life) and Article 3 (prohibition of torture and inhuman treatment) of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

The ECHR ordered the State to pay the applicant 20,000 euros in respect of non‑pecuniary damage and 4,500 euros in respect of legal costs. The compensation determined in the judgment has not been awarded.

The fraud

On 6 March 2020, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) launched a criminal investigation of a suspected aggravated fraud and aggravated forgery that are linked to the documents and evidence submitted by the appellant to the ECHR.

In a decision issued by the Helsinki District Court on 11 February 2021, the appellant was sentenced to 1 year and 10 months' imprisonment for aggravated fraud and aggravated forgery and a false statement in official proceedings. The processing of the matter is still pending in the Helsinki Court of Appeal.

On 6 September 2020 Finland submitted a request under Rule 80 to the European Court of Human Rights to revise the judgement. The request was complemented after the criminal investigation and national judicial proceedings progressed.

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