Summary Case Law: Plonka v. Poland

Summary of the Case Law Plonka v. Poland (Week 1), Comparative Criminal Law (2016/2017)


Plonka v. Poland, ECtHR 31 March 2009, appl. No. 20310.02

 

Introduction

The Plonka case is a decision made by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. The case was decided in March 2009 and it concerns interrogation by the police. The applicant claims that there has been a breach of article 6(3)(c) of the Convention.

 

Facts

In the Plonka case, the applicant was arrested on suspicion of homicide (par. 6). She was first interviewed by a police officer. The day after she was arrested she was charged with murdering. One day later, she was questioned by the Sosnowiec District Prosecutor. The applicant stated that she had been having alcohol problems for the past 20 years. At the night of the killing, she drank too much and didn’t remember much of what happened. She confessed killing her former work colleague, but hadn’t meant to kill him. He had made her very angry, and she had stabbed him with scissors while she was drunk.

The applicant was not consisted by a lawyer during her police interrogation (par. 7). She however signed a form that she had been informed of her rights, including the right of access to a lawyer. The applicant was held criminally responsible for the killing of the victim (par. 8). She was indicted with charges of murder (par. 11).

 

Throughout the trial the applicant maintained that she suffered from alcoholism. She retracted her confession made during police custody, alleging that she had been questioned under duress and forced by the police officers to make self-incriminating statements (par. 12). The applicant got convicted, based on the applicant’s statements made during the initial phase of the investigation and on evidence given by several witnesses (par. 14). The lawyer of the applicant stated... Interested? Read the instructions below in order to read the full content of this page.

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