(Application no. 6093/04)
15 September 2009
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 Jamroży v. Poland,
The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section), sitting as a Chamber composed of:
Nicolas Bratza, President,
Nebojša Vučinić, judges,
and Fatoş Aracı, Deputy Section Registrar,
Having deliberated in private on 25 August 2009,
Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:
I. THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE
A. Criminal proceedings against the applicant and his pre-trial detention
B. Complaint concerning the length of proceedings
II. RELEVANT DOMESTIC LAW AND PRACTICE
I. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 5 § 3 OF THE CONVENTION
“Everyone arrested or detained in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 1 (c) of this Article shall be ... entitled to trial within a reasonable time or to release pending trial. Release may be conditioned by guarantees to appear for trial.”
1. Period to be taken into consideration
Accordingly, the period to be taken into consideration amounts to two years, two months and twenty-two days.
2. The parties' submissions
(a) The Government
(b) The applicant
3. The Court's assessment
(a) General principles
(b) Application of the general principles in the present case
According to the authorities, the likelihood of a severe sentence being imposed on the applicant created a presumption that the applicant would obstruct the proceedings. However, the Court would reiterate that, while the severity of the sentence faced is a relevant element in the assessment of the risk of absconding or re-offending, the gravity of the charges cannot by itself justify long periods of detention on remand (see Michta v. Poland, no. 13425/02, §§ 49, 4 May 2006).
There has accordingly been a violation of Article 5 § 3 of the Convention.
II. OTHER ALLEGED VIOLATIONS OF THE CONVENTION
It follows that this complaint was introduced out of time and must be rejected in accordance with Article 35 §§ 1 and 4 of the Convention.
The Court notes that this complaint is manifestly ill-founded. The applicant was represented by a lawyer and according to Polish law he could regularly lodge appeals against the extension of pre-trial detention or applications for release.
The Court considers that this complaint should be examined under Article 5 § 4 of the Convention. However, it is inadmissible as it was introduced outside the six-month time limit and must be rejected in accordance with Article 35 § 1 of the Convention; the six months' period began to run on 27 February 2003, the date on which the Warsaw District Court issued a decision stating that a ruling on the appeal would be devoid of any purpose.
The Court notes that in such situations the decisions by the Court of Appeal examining the appeal against extension of pre-trial detention are given by a different panel of judges. It follows that this complaint must be declared inadmissible as manifestly ill-founded within the meaning of Article 35 §§ 3 and 4 of the Convention.
III. APPLICATION OF ARTICLE 46 OF THE CONVENTION
“1. The High Contracting Parties undertake to abide by the final judgment of the Court in any case to which they are parties.
2. The final judgment of the Court shall be transmitted to the Committee of Ministers, which shall supervise its execution.”
A. The parties' submissions
1. The applicant
2. The Government
B. The third party's submissions
C. The Court's assessment
IV. APPLICATION OF ARTICLE 41 OF THE CONVENTION
“If the Court finds that there has been a violation of the Convention or the Protocols thereto, and if the internal law of the High Contracting Party concerned allows only partial reparation to be made, the Court shall, if necessary, afford just satisfaction to the injured party.”
B. Costs and expenses
C. Default interest
FOR THESE REASONS, THE COURT UNANIMOUSLY
(a) that the respondent State is to pay the applicant, within three months from the date on which the judgment becomes final in accordance with Article 44 § 2 of the Convention, EUR 1,500 (one thousand five hundred euros) in respect of non-pecuniary damage and EUR 800 in respect of costs and expenses, plus any tax that may be chargeable, to be converted into the currency of the respondent State at the rate applicable at the date of settlement;
(b) that from the expiry of the above-mentioned three months until settlement simple interest shall be payable on the above amounts at a rate equal to the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank during the default period plus three percentage points;
Done in English, and notified in writing on 15 September 2009, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.
Fatoş Aracı Nicolas Bratza
Deputy Registrar President