On Tuesday, The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) is expected to rule on a complaint by a Nigerian citizen against Lithuania for violating and restricting his rights by failing to bring charges against him for four years.
The country’s law-enforcement brought suspicions of money laundering and forgery of documents against the Nigerian national, who was born in 1989 and lives in Vilnius, in July 2014. He was initially detained, but later released, according to his complaint.
The applicant says that, in the same year, his Lithuanian residence permit was not renewed on the ground that he was considered a threat to national security. However, he was ordered to stay in Lithuania and periodically register with the police.
In August 2015, a son was born to the applicant and a Lithuanian citizen. The child has a Lithuanian passport.
The applicant says that the criminal investigation is still pending and that his complaints that the process had been unjustifiably long were dismissed by court in December 2017.
The Nigerian citizen complains that the unjustifiably long criminal investigation has prevented him from declaring his legal residency in Lithuania and finding a job and getting married.
“Under Articles 6 and 8 of the Convention, the applicant complains about the length of the criminal investigation and of the fact that, because of its length, he is in a precarious situation, which negatively impacts his private and family life,” the Strasburg court said.
The court will rule on whether Lithuania has breached the applicant’s right to a trial within reasonable time, and to respect for his private and family life.
The ECHR has invited Lithuania to provide it with “information about the most recent state of the criminal proceedings against the applicant and whether the restrictions complained of are still in force or have been lifted and, if so, then when”.