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Russian Constitutional Court bans indefinite detention of defendants in mental hospitals

May 24, 14:42 UTC+3 ST. PETERSBURG

The Constitutional Court reviewed complaints filed by two citizens facing criminal prosecution

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© Vadim Zhernov/TASS

ST. PETERSBURG, May 24. /TASS/. When sending suspects or defendants for treatment to mental hospitals, courts must set time limits for their stay, as they cannot be detained there indefinitely, Russia’s Constitutional Court ruled.

"[The Criminal Code] implies that in case persons set to be put in custody are diagnosed with a mental illness, in sending them to a mental facility the court must set a time limit for their stay… including the date of discharge," the court’s ruling says. "The time limit set by the court cannot be viewed as an obstacle to removing the detained persons from the mental facilities, provided that officials from a relevant medical institution decide there are no reasons to keep them there," the court added.

The Constitutional Court reviewed complaints filed by two citizens (their names were not made public) facing criminal prosecution. Earlier, lower courts decided to place them in custody but for medical reasons and both were transferred to mental facilities.

The plaintiffs said that in their view that the legislation provided for defendants’ indefinite detention in mental hospitals, which was a violation of their constitutional rights.

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