The applicants complained that they had not been informed in due time of the true nature of the charge against them. There had been no relevant grounds for initially classifying the charge against them as an ordinary criminal offence for which legal assistance was not mandatory, and then reclassifying it as a particularly serious criminal offence, for which it was. At the initial stages of the proceedings they had not been properly informed of their procedural rights. Their pre-trial statements and those of the five witnesses against them, as well as the search report of 7 November 2009, should have been excluded from evidence. By obscuring the true nature of the charge against them at the beginning of the proceedings, the authorities had deprived them of their right adequately to mount their defence. Lastly, they complained that their conviction had been arbitrary.