A person suspected of having committed a criminal offence may be arrested. However, the arrest has to be carried out lawfully and respecting human rights.
Case summary

Creanga v. Romania

European Court of Human Rights
23 February 2012

After the applicant (Mr Creanga, Romanian police officer) was questioned by the National Anti-Corruption Prosecution Service (NAP) he was detained in the premises of the NAP for a day with no explanation. He was then officially placed in a pre-trial detention on the basis of a temporary warrant and notified about charges against him. 

There was a dispute in the case between the government and the applicant about whether the applicant was considered detained in the period until the official pre-trial detention or he was free to leave the NAP premises immediately after the questioning.

Court’s ruling
The Court noted, as a general principle, that to assess whether someone has been ‘deprived of his liberty’ account must be taken of a whole range of criteria such as the type, duration, effects and manner of implementation of the measure in question.

In the instant case the applicant was summoned to appear before the NAP and appeared at the premises to make a statement for the purpose of a criminal investigation. The Court noted that it is not decisive whether the applicant was brought to the premises under duress. It is however important that whilst in the premises, he was under the control of the authorities. For those reasons the Court required the government to prove whether the applicant was free to leave the premises. As the government failed to do so, the Court concluded that the applicant was deprived of his liberty.

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