by Dariusz KUJAWKA
The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section), sitting on 23 June 2009 as a Chamber composed of:
Nebojša Vučinić, judges,
and Lawrence Early, Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 19 May 2008,
Having regard to the formal declarations accepting a friendly settlement of the case,
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicant, Mr Dariusz Kujawka, is a Polish national who was born in 1973 and lives in Szamotuły. 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 28 May 2002 the applicant was indicted before the Wągrowiec District Court (Sąd Rejonowy). He was charged with numerous counts of fraud. The bill of indictment comprised 360 charges brought against 43 defendants.
On 8 October 2002 the Wągrowiec District Court held the first hearing.
Between November 2002 and October 2007 the court held about 57 hearings, at least 36 were adjourned or cancelled.
The proceedings are still pending before the Wągrowiec District Court.
B. Proceedings under the 2004 Act
On 31 January 2008 the applicant lodged a complaint with the Poznań 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 Wągrowiec 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 30 April 2008 the Poznań Regional Court dismissed the applicant’s 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 or his co-accused. It referred to the complexity of the case and the number of accused. In the event, the court held that the proceedings had been conducted diligently.
The applicant complained under Article 6 § 1 of the Convention about the unreasonable length of the proceedings.
On 18 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 13,500 (thirteen thousand five hundred Polish zlotys) to Mr Dariusz Kujawka 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.”
On 18 May 2009 the Court received the following declaration signed by the applicant:
“I, Dariusz Kujawka, note that the Government of Poland are prepared to pay me the sum of PLN 13,500 (thirteen thousand five hundred 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.”
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.
Lawrence Early Nicolas Bratza Registrar President