CASE OF ESKELINEN AND OTHERS v. FINLAND
(Application no. 43803/98)
8 August 2006
This judgment will become final in the circumstances set out in Article 44 § 2 of the Convention. It may be subject to editorial revision.
In the case of Eskelinen and Others v. Finland,
The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section), sitting as a Chamber composed of:
Sir Nicolas Bratza, President,
Mr J. Casadevall,
Mr M. Pellonpää,
Mr S. Pavlovschi,
Mr L. Garlicki,
Ms L. Mijović,
Mr J. Šikuta, judges,
and Mr T.L. Early, Section Registrar,
Having deliberated in private on 14 June 2005 and on 4 July 2006,
Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on the last mentioned date:
I. THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE
A. The business arrangements
At the beginning of 1993 HCS and VIS signed another contract, according to which HCS would buy wind-block panels from VIS. The cooperation between the two companies covered, as a result, all the marketing rights of VIS products in Finland, Sweden and west-European countries.
HCS, which was still producing Halltex-panels of its own, later allegedly ignored the above-mentioned cooperation contracts, causing VIS financial difficulties. VIS considered that the agreements had been terminated and decided to build its own production line to make coated decorative panels. The production line was ordered through Oy Finnhallex Ltd, a Finnish company apparently owned by the first, second and fourth applicants, from a company called Lappeenrannan Konemetalli Oy, owned by the third applicant.
B. The criminal investigation
C. The proceedings before the domestic courts
On 22 January 1998 the Supreme Court (korkein oikeus, högsta domstolen) refused leave to appeal.
II. RELEVANT DOMESTIC LAW AND PRACTICE
I. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 6 OF THE CONVENTION
A. The parties’ submissions
“1. In the determination of ... any criminal charge against him, everyone is entitled to a fair ... hearing ... by [a] ... tribunal ...
3. Everyone charged with a criminal offence has the following minimum rights:
(d) to examine or have examined witnesses against him and to obtain the attendance and examination of witnesses on his behalf under the same conditions as witnesses against him;
B. The Court’s assessment
Accordingly, there has been no violation of Article 6 § 1 in the present case.
FOR THESE REASONS, THE COURT UNANIMOUSLY
Holds that there has been no violation of Article 6 § 1 of the Convention.
Done in English, and notified in writing on 8 August 2006, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.
T.L. Early Nicolas Bratza