by Rafał KOSIARZ
The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section), sitting on 9 June 2009 as a Chamber composed of:
Nicolas Bratza, President,
Nebojša Vučinić, judges,
and Fatoş Aracı, Deputy Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 5 May 2008,
Having regard to the formal declarations accepting a friendly settlement of the case,
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicant, Mr Rafał Kosiarz, is a Polish national who was born in 1973 and lives in Bydgoszcz. The Polish Government (“the Government”) were represented by their Agent, Mr J. Wołąsiewicz of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The facts of the case, as submitted by the applicant, may be summarised as follows.
A. Criminal proceedings against the applicant
On 10 December 2003 the applicant was arrested on suspicion of having committed bribery.
On 27 December 2004 the applicant was indicted before the Bydgoszcz District Court (Sąd Rejonowy).
On 26 April 2005 the first hearing was held.
Between October 2005 and April 2008 the court held fourteen hearings, ten were cancelled and three hearings were adjourned.
On 10 April 2008 the Bydgoszcz District Court gave judgment. The applicant appealed.
The case is pending before the Bydgoszcz Regional Court (Sąd Okręgowy).
B. Proceedings under the 2004 Act
On an unspecified date in 2008 the applicant lodged a complaint with the Bydgoszcz Regional Court under section 5 of the Law of 17 June 2004 on complaints about a breach of the right to a trial within a reasonable time (Ustawa o skardze na naruszenie prawa strony do rozpoznania sprawy w postępowaniu sądowym bez nieuzasadnionej zwłoki) (“the 2004 Act”).
The applicant sought a ruling that the length of the proceedings before the Bydgoszcz District Court had been excessive and an award of just satisfaction in the amount of 10,000 Polish zlotys (PLN) (approx. 2,500 euros (EUR)).
On 22 April 2008 the Bydgoszcz Regional Court dismissed the complaint. The court observed that the length of the proceedings in the applicant’s case could not be considered unreasonable. It further held that the trial court could not be held responsible for delays caused by the absence of the applicant and his co-accused or by the negligent conduct of the applicant’s co-accused’s lawyer. It referred to the complexity of the case and the number of accused. In the end, the court held that the proceedings were being conducted diligently.
On 26 February 2009 the Court received the following declaration signed by the applicant:
“I, Rafał Kosiarz, note that the Government of Poland are prepared to pay me the sum of PLN 9,000 (nine thousand Polish zlotys) with a view to securing a friendly settlement of the above-mentioned case pending before the European Court of Human Rights.
This sum, which is to cover any pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage as well as costs and expenses, will be free of any taxes that may be applicable and will be payable within three months from the date of notification of the decision taken by the Court pursuant to Article 37 § 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights. From the expiry of the above-mentioned three months until settlement simple interest shall be payable on the above amount at a rate equal to the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank during the default period plus three percentage points.
I accept the proposal and waive any further claims against Poland in respect of the facts giving rise to this application. I declare that this constitutes a final resolution of the case.”
On 31 March 2009 the Court received the following declaration from the Government:
“I, Jakub Wołąsiewicz, Agent of the Polish Government, declare that the Government of Poland offer to pay PLN 9,000 (nine thousand Polish zlotys) to Mr Rafał Kosiarz with a view to securing a friendly settlement of the above mentioned case pending before the European Court of Human Rights.
This sum, which is to cover any pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage as well as costs and expenses, will be free of any taxes that may be applicable and will be payable within three months from the date of notification of the decision taken by the Court pursuant to Article 37 § 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights. In the event of failure to pay this sum within the said three-month period, the Government undertake to pay simple interest on it, from expiry of that period until settlement, at a rate equal to the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank during the default period plus three percentage points. The payment will constitute the final resolution of the case.”
The Court takes note of the friendly settlement reached between the parties. It is satisfied that the settlement is based on respect for human rights as defined in the Convention and its Protocols and finds no reasons to justify a continued examination of the application (Article 37 § 1 in fine of the Convention). In view of the above, it is appropriate to strike the case out of the list.
For these reasons, the Court unanimously
Decides to strike the application out of its list of cases.
Fatoş Aracı Nicolas
Deputy Registrar President