Press release – 681(2006)
13.11.2006

EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS

Press release issued by the Registrar

FORTHCOMING CHAMBER JUDGMENTS

14 and 16 November 2006

The European Court of Human Rights will be notifying in writing 15 Chamber judgments on Tuesday 14 November 2006 and 19 on Thursday 16 November 2006.

Press releases and texts of the judgments will be available at 11 a.m. (local time) on the Court’s Internet site (http://www.echr.coe.int).

Tuesday 14 November 2006

Louis v. France (application no. 44301/02)
The applicant, Michel Louis, is a French national who was born in 1944 and lives in Paris. He served as lieutenant-colonel in charge of the centre known as “Informatique 1” (Information Technology 1) from 1988 to 1991, later heading the logistics support centre of the Telecommunications Research and Production Division.

In 2000 he was found guilty of, among other things, forgery. He was given a three-month suspended prison sentence and fined the equivalent of 15,244.90 euros (EUR). He lodged an unsuccessful appeal with the Court of Cassation.

The applicant complains under Article 6 § 1 (right to a fair hearing) of the unfairness of the proceedings in the Court of Cassation.

Ong v. France (no. 348/03)
The applicant, Kieng Ong, is a French national who was born in 1958 and lives in Aubervilliers (France). He was the manager of a private limited company which, in particular, operated an Asian catering business.

A tax audit found that the company had been concealing profits and resulted in tax re-assessments. The applicant was found personally liable on account of the serious mismanagement on his part that had resulted in the tax re-assessments. He was accordingly ordered to pay the company approximately EUR 640,438 in damages. The judgment was upheld on appeal.

The applicant appealed on points of law. By an order of 15 March 2000 his appeal was struck out, on the ground that he had not complied with the judgment of the Court of Appeal.

The applicant complains, under Articles 6 (right to a fair hearing) and 13 (right to an effective remedy), that the striking-out of his appeal on points of law has breached his right of access to the Court of Cassation and thus his right to an effective remedy.

Jurevičius v. Lithuania (no. 30165/02)
The applicant, Jurgis Jurevičius, is a Lithuanian national who was born in 1941 and lives in Vilnius.

On 5 February 1999 Kaunas City District Court ordered the local authorities to return property or its equivalent in compensation to the applicant in accordance with the relevant 1991 legislation on the restitution of property rights. The two flats which the applicant had inherited from his parents had been nationalised during the Soviet occupation of Lithuania in the 1940s.

The applicant complains, in particular, that the authorities failed to execute fully and in a timely manner, the court decision of 5 February 1999. He relies on Article 6 § 1 (right to a fair hearing) and Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (protection of property).

Osuch v. Poland (no. 31246/02)
The applicant, Piotr Osuch, is a Polish national who was born in 1976 and lives in Warsaw.

The applicant was arrested on 10 March 1999 and detained until 16 January 2002 when Warsaw District Court convicted him of robbery and extortion, committed in an organised criminal group.

The applicant complains about the length of his pre-trial detention. He relies on Article 5 § 3 (right to liberty and security).

Skibińscy v. Poland (no. 52589/99)
The applicants, Urszula Skibińscy and Henryk Skibińscy, are Polish nationals who live in Częstochowa, where they owned a number of plots of land.

The applicants allege that their right to the peaceful enjoyment of their property had been breached since the land they owned had been designated for expropriation at some undetermined future date. As a result, they had been refused final construction permits and under domestic legislation were not entitled to any compensation. They rely on Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (protection of property).

Gregório de Andrade v. Portugal (no. 41537/02)
The applicant, José Pedro Gregório de Andrade, was a Portuguese national who was born in 1931. After his death in 2004, his son requested leave to continue the proceedings before the Court.

The applicant worked as an official in the Benguela Railway Company (the “CFB”) which operated in Angola when that country was a Portuguese colony. On his return to Portugal after Angolan independence, the applicant, who continued working in Portugal until late 1993, was incorporated into the general pension system. His old-age pension was fixed at EUR 239 in 1994.

The State Counsel brought proceedings on the applicant’s behalf seeking to secure for him the same benefit as that granted to former colleagues of his, namely a re-calculation of his pension to take into account the more advantageous rate of the CFB pension fund. That request was dismissed on appeal. When the applicant received a copy of the judgment it had already become unappealable.
The applicant alleges that he did not have proper access to a court, in view of the fact that he had been notified too late, by the State Counsel acting on his behalf, of the decision of the Supreme Administrative Court. He relies on Article 6 § 1 (right to a fair hearing), Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) and Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (protection of property).

Vozár v. Slovakia (no. 54826/00)
The applicant, Ján Vozár, is a Slovakian national who was born in 1947 and lives in Šoporňa (Slovakia).

The applicant owns a meat processing business. In March 1994 he obtained a judgment in his favour against a State-owned enterprise which owed him money. The enterprise was subsequently privatised and the payment orders were quashed.

In 1997 the applicant also took out separate proceedings concerning the dissolution of two private companies which had bought the enterprise.

The applicant complains, in particular, that he did not have access to a court as he had been unable to challenge the transfer of his claim against the original debtor to the new debtor as a result of the original debtor’s privatisation. He also complains about the length of the bankruptcy proceedings and the proceedings in his action of 1997. He relies on Article 6 § 1 (right to a fair hearing within a reasonable time).

Metin Turan v. Turkey (no. 20868/02)
The applicant, Metin Turan, is a Turkish national who was born in 1966 and lives in Yozgat (Turkey).

In August 2001 the applicant founded the trade union Enerji-Yapı Yol Sen, attached to the Federation of public-sector trade unions (the “KESK”), and was elected to its board.

On the request of the governor of the region under the state of emergency, the applicant was transferred to Yozgat in March 2002 for having participated in actions staged by the KESK which were regarded as dangerous and as constituting a breach of the peace.

The applicant complains about the decision to transfer him, relying on Articles 11 (freedom of assembly and association) and 13 (right to an effective remedy).

Hobbs, Richard, Walsh and Geen v. United Kingdom (nos. 63684/00, 63475/00, 63484/00 and 63468/00)
The applicants are: Thomas William Hobbs, who was born in 1921 and lives in Southampton; Ian Richard, who was born in 1957 and lives in Dunfermline; Paul Walsh, who was born in 1955 and lives in London; and, David Nigel Geen, who was born in 1958 and lives in Maidenhead. They are all British nationals.

All the applicants were denied social security benefits equivalent to those received by widows.

They complain that the United Kingdom authorities’ refusal to grant them widow bereavement allowance or equivalent constituted discrimination on grounds of sex. They rely on Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) and Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (protection of property).

Tsfayo v. United Kingdom (no. 60860/00)
The applicant, Tiga Tsfayo, is an Ethiopian national who was born in Ethiopia in 1975 and lives in London.

In September 1999 the Hammersmith and Fulham Council Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit Review Board (the HBRB) rejected the applicant’s appeal against her local council’s refusal to pay backdated council tax and housing benefits. She subsequently sought judicial review of the HBRB’s decision and ultimately appealed to the High Court without success.

The applicant complains that the HBRB is not an independent and impartial tribunal, as required by Article 6 § 1 (right to a fair hearing).

Repetitive cases

Assad v. France (application no. 66500/01)
The applicant, Eric Assad, is a French national who was born in 1955 and lives in Clermont-Ferrand (France).

From 1980 to 1986 he was confined in mental hospitals in Saint-Avé and Sarreguemines. He lodged appeals against the decisions concerning his confinement and sought damages.

The applicant complains in particular, under Article 6 § 1 (right to a fair hearing) and Article 13 (right to an effective remedy), of the length and unfairness of the proceedings to which he was a party and of the lack of an effective remedy by which to complain about the length of the proceedings.

Braga v. Moldova (no. 74154/01)
Melnic v. Moldova (no. 6923/03)
Both applicants are Moldovan nationals.

The applicants complain, in particular, about the quashing of final judgments in their favour. They rely on Article 6 § 1 (right to a fair hearing within a reasonable time).

Tuncay and Others v. Turkey (nos. 11898/03, 11899/03, 11900/03 to 11904/03, 11907/03, to 11910/03, 11912/03 and 11913/03)

The applicants complain, under Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (protection of property), of delays in the payment of additional compensation for expropriation.

Length-of-proceedings case

In the following case the applicant complains, in particular, of the excessive length of civil proceedings.

Drabicki v. Poland (no. 15464/02)

Thursday 16 November 2006

Hajiyev v. Azerbaijan (no. 5548/03)
The applicant, Fehmin Ahmedpasha oglu Hajiyev, is an Azerbaijani national who was born in 1959 and lives in Baku (Azerbaijan).

The applicant was an activist in the National Front, an organisation which played a key role in the country’s struggle for independence from the Soviet Union. In 1992, when the National Front came into power, he was appointed to a number of high-ranking military posts and in 1993 he became the Commander of the Special Police Force. 

After the National Front lost political power in 1993, he was arrested and detained on remand. In August 1995 the Military Chamber of the Supreme Court sentenced him to ten years’ imprisonment for attempted murder, among other things. In June 1996 the same court convicted him for failing to resist the Armenian occupation of the town of Khojaly and sentenced him to 15 year’s imprisonment, to run concurrently. Two years after lodging an appeal, the Court of Appeal informed him that, due to the new Code of Criminal Procedure which had come into force, they could not deal with his case and advised him to appeal to the Supreme Court. He was subsequently pardoned and released from prison.

The applicant complains, in particular, that he was denied a fair and public hearing because the Court of Appeal failed to examine his appeal. He relies on Article 6 § 1 (access to court).

Boneva v. Bulgaria (no. 53820/00)
The applicant, Mariana Yordanova Boneva, is a Bulgarian national who was born in 1967 and lives in Kirkovo (Bulgaria). At the time, she was the head of the financial department of the Kirkovo municipality.

On 30 September 1999 she was charged with misappropriation of funds and abuse of office and detained on remand. Eight days later, after having appealed against her detention, she was brought before Kurdzhali Regional Court. The applicant was eventually acquitted of the charges against her.

The applicant complains that she was not brought promptly before a judge or other officer authorised by law to exercise judicial power. She relies on Article 5 § 3 (right to liberty and security).

Karov v. Bulgaria (no. 45964/99)
The applicant, Sava Kolev Karov, is a Bulgarian national who was born in 1957 and lives in Burgas (Bulgaria). He was a detective inspector in the Burgas criminal investigation police.

The applicant was charged with accepting or soliciting bribes and temporarily suspended from duty on 3 August 1995; payment of his wages was also withheld. On two occasions, in February 1996 and in December 2003, he was convicted as charged, but the convictions were set aside on appeal on account of a procedural defect. The case is apparently still pending at the preliminary investigation stage.

During the proceedings, as the suspension remained in force, the applicant handed in his resignation on several occasions and unsuccessfully lodged appeals against the minister’s tacit refusals to accept it. In May 2000 the suspension order was discharged and he was reinstated in the national police force.

The applicant complains of the excessive length of the criminal proceedings against him and that he was suspended without pay and prevented from resigning because of the pending proceedings. He relies on Article 6 § 1 (right to a fair trial within a reasonable time), Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life) and Article 13 (right to an effective remedy).

Spasov v. Bulgaria (no. 51796/99)
The applicant, Veselin Petrov Spasov, is a Bulgarian national who was born in 1969 and lives in Plovdiv.

On 15 October 1997 the applicant was arrested and detained on remand on charges relating to murder. On 1 February 2000 he was convicted of robbery and murder and was sentenced to 17 years imprisonment. That judgment was subsequently quashed on 13 June 2000. The applicant was remanded in custody while his case was re-heard and on 9 July 2001 he was found guilty for the second time.

The applicant complains, in particular, that his detention was excessively lengthy and unjustified. He relies on Article 5 §§ 3 and 4 (right to liberty and security).

Tsalkitzis v. Greece (no. 11801/04)
The applicant, Vassilis Tsalkitzis, is a Greek national who was born in 1944 and lives in Afidnes (Greece). He is a property developer.

In 1996 the applicant was granted planning permission to build a complex of offices and shops in Kifissia, a suburb to the north of Athens. However, in March 1997, the Kifissia municipal council ordered the building work to be halted. The applicant claims that C.T., the mayor, then asked him for about EUR 205,400 in exchange for permission to continue the work.

In November 2001 the applicant lodged a complaint for blackmail and abuse of office against the mayor of Kifissia, who had in the meantime been elected to parliament. In spite of the public prosecutor’s efforts to bring criminal proceedings against the MP for attempted blackmail, abuse of office and subornation, Parliament refused to withdraw C.T.’s parliamentary immunity.

The applicant complains about the Greek parliament’s refusal to allow criminal proceedings to be brought against the MP, relying on Article 6 § 1 (right of access to a court).

Čiapas v. Lithuania (no. 4902/02)
The applicant, Rolandas Čiapas, is a Lithuanian national who was born in 1966 and is currently serving a sentence at Marijampolė Prison.

In November 2000 the applicant was arrested in the context of criminal proceedings for robbery and blackmail and detained on remand at Šiauliai Remand Prison. Between 19 November 2001 and 1 April 2003 the applicant’s correspondence was censured to prevent him from influencing witnesses and victims of the criminal proceedings.

The applicant complains, in particular, about the censorship of his correspondence. He relies on Article 8 (right to respect for correspondence).

Vaivada v. Lithuania (nos. 66004/01 and 36996/02)
The applicants, Valdas Vaivada and his uncle, Raimondas Vaivada, are Lithuanian nationals.

Both applicants were arrested on separate occasions in the context of criminal proceedings and detained on remand.

The applicants complain that their detention on remand from 1 March to 15 April 1998 had been in breach of Article 5 § 1 (right to liberty and security), and that they had been unable to take court proceedings to contest the lawfulness of their detention until 1 January 1999, in breach of Article 5 § 4 (right to have lawfulness of detention decided speedily by a court).

Dima v. Romania (no. 58472/00)
The applicant, Victor Dima, is a Romanian national who was born in 1953 and lives in Bucharest. As a graduate of the Institute of Plastic Arts in Bucharest, he was at the material time an active officer in the Romanian army and worked in the Defence Ministry’s plastic arts studio.

After the fall of the Communist regime in December 1989, the Romanian authorities decided to adopt a new State emblem. The design produced by the applicant was approved by Parliament and published in the Official Gazette in 1992. His name was published with the indication that he was the “graphic designer”. In 1996 the applicant brought proceedings against a number of companies, including the State-owned company responsible for mintage of Romanian coins, seeking to obtain from them the statutory percentage of the profits made from the reproduction of his design. His applications were rejected.

The applicant complains of the unfairness of the proceedings to which he was a party. He relies on Article 6 § 1 (right to a fair hearing).

Dragne and Others v. Romania (no. 78047/01) Just satisfaction
The applicants, Filofteia Dragne, Smaranda Branescu, Smaranda Matei, Maria Neagoe, Iulia Orban and Vasile Galbeneanu, are Romanian nationals who were born in 1940, 1942, 1947, 1933, 1938 and 1936 respectively. They live in Piteşti, Voineşti, Câmpulung Muscel, Movileni and Călimăneşti (Romania).

The applicants brought proceedings to recover possession of a plot of land of 33.5 hectares that they had inherited from their father. Their claims were upheld in judgments of 1995, 1996 and 1997, which ordered the return of the land to the applicants and awarded them, in particular, compensation of more than 97 million Romanian lei in respect of the damage caused by their inability to farm the disputed land. But despite their efforts, those judgments have never been enforced.

The applicants complain about the failure by the authorities to enforce those judgments, relying on Article 6 § 1 (right to a fair hearing) and Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (protection of property).

In a judgment of 7 April 2005, the European Court of Human Rights found that there had been a violation of Article 6 § 1 and Article 1 of Protocol No. 1. At that time it considered that the question of just satisfaction was not ready for decision.

Klimentyev v. Russia (no. 46503/99)
The applicant, Andrey Anatolyevich Klimentyev, is a Russian national who was born in 1954 and lives in Nizhniy (Russia).

On 7 March 1995 criminal proceedings were brought against him for his involvement in a number of economic crimes.

The applicant complains about the unfairness of those proceedings, relying on Article 6 §§ 1 and 3 (b), (c) and (d) (right to a fair trial).

Zaytsev v. Russia (no. 22644/02)
The applicant, Yuriy Mikhaylovich Zaytsev, is a Russian national who was born in 1977 and lives in Novomoskovsk (Russia).

In September 2001 the applicant, a school teacher, was convicted of cruelty to his pupils and given an 18 months’ suspended prison sentence. He appealed.

The applicant alleges, in particular, that the proceedings before the trial court were unfair and that he was not notified of the hearing on appeal. He relies on Article 6 §§ 1 and 3 (c) (right to a fair trial).

Huylu v. Turkey (no. 52955/99)
The applicant, Binali Huylu, is a Turkish national who was born in 1943 and lives in Ankara (Turkey).

In August 1998 the applicant’s son, Engin Huylu, aged 22, was given a prison sentence of 18 years and 20 days for belonging to an illegal armed organisation. Since March 1998 Engin had been suffering from severe headaches. According to the applicant, his son had been taken several times to Çankırı public hospital and after a few months he lost his ability to eat, read or perform manual tasks.

On 5 February 1999, at 11 p.m., Engin was rushed off to Çankırı public hospital, where he was given painkillers before being returned to prison. The next morning at 2.40 a.m., a doctor from Çankırı public hospital requested Engin’s emergency transfer to the neurology unit at Ankara public hospital, where he was admitted at 4 a.m. At 6.50 a.m. Engin died from respiratory failure and vasodepression, according to the autopsy report.

The applicant complains under Article 2 (right to life) that his son’s death was the result of inaction by the national authorities.

Repetitive cases

Immobiliare Podere Trieste s.r.l. v. Italy (no. 19041/04)
Rita Ippoliti v. Italy (no. 162/04)
Trapani Lombardo and Others v. Italy (no. 25106/03)
In these three cases, the applicants were all owners of land of which the authorities took possession with a view to their expropriation and on which building work was then started. Since no expropriation order had been issued and no compensation paid to the applicants, they brought proceedings seeking damages for the unlawful occupancy of their land.

The applicants complain of the occupancy of their land, relying on Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (protection of property) and Article 6 § 1 (right to a fair hearing).

Davidescu v. Romania (no. 2252/02)
The applicant, Ion Ilus Davidescu, is a Romanian national who was born in 1943 and lives in Sinaia.

In 1997 the applicant brought proceedings for the recovery of possession of a block of flats in Bucharest which had been nationalised in 1950. The Romanian courts gave judgment in his favour, but the State had sold the three flats to the occupiers. The applicant sought annulment of the contracts of sale, but his actions were unsuccessful.

The applicant alleges that the sale of his property to third parties by the State, which had been validated by the Romanian courts, entailed a breach, in particular, of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (protection of property). He also complains, under Article 6 § 1 (right to a fair hearing), of the unfairness of the proceedings concerning the annulment of the contracts of sale.

Kondrashova v. Russia (no. 75473/01)
The applicant, Lyutsiya Ivanovna Kondrashova, is a Russian national who was born in 1939 and lives in Petrozavodsk (Russia).

The applicant complains that a final judgment in her favour was quashed in supervisory review proceedings, relying on Article 6 § 1 (right to a fair hearing) (and Article 1 of Protocol No. 1).

Length-of-proceedings cases

In the following cases the applicants complain of the excessive length of civil proceedings.

Mužević v. Croatia (no. 39299/02)
Guţǎ v. Romania (no. 35229/02)

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Press contacts
Emma Hellyer (telephone: 00 33 (0)3 90 21 42 15)
Stéphanie Klein
(telephone: 00 33 (0)3 88 41 21 54)
Beverley Jacobs
(telephone: 00 33 (0)3 90 21 54 21)

The European Court of Human Rights was set up in Strasbourg by the Council of Europe Member States in 1959 to deal with alleged violations of the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights.



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