(Application no. 1915/03)
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 Arzu v. Turkey,
The European Court of Human Rights (Second Section), sitting as a Chamber composed of:
Ireneu Cabral Barreto,
Işıl Karakaş, judges,
and Sally Dollé, 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
II. RELEVANT DOMESTIC LAW AND PRACTICE
I. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLES 3 AND 13 OF THE CONVENTION
“No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
II. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 6 § 2 OF THE CONVENTION
“Everyone arrested or detained in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 1 (c) of this Article shall be brought promptly before a judge or other officer authorised by law to exercise judicial power and shall be entitled to trial within a reasonable time or to release pending trial. Release may be conditioned by guarantees to appear for trial.”
42. Having examined all the material submitted to it, the Court considers that the Government have not put forward any fact or argument capable of persuading it to reach a different conclusion in the present case. Having regard to its case-law on the subject, the Court finds that the length of the applicant’s detention, which lasted over eight years and one month, given the stereotypical reasoning of the first-instance court, has not been shown to have been justified (see Çetin Ağdaş v. Turkey, no. 7331/01, § 33, 19 September 2006).
III. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 6 §§ 1 AND 3 (c) OF THE CONVENTION
“1. In the determination of ... any criminal charge against him, everyone is entitled to a fair ... hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law.
3. Everyone charged with a criminal offence has the following minimum rights:
(c) to defend himself in person or through legal assistance of his own choosing or, if he has not sufficient means to pay for legal assistance, to be given it free when the interests of justice so require.”
1. The fairness of the proceedings
46. The Court reiterates that it has already examined the same grievance of a lack of access to a lawyer whilst in police custody in the case of Salduz v. Turkey and found a violation of Article 6 § 3 (c) of the Convention in conjunction with Article 6 § 1 (judgment cited above, §§ 56-62). The Court has examined the present case and finds no particular circumstances which would require it to depart from its findings in the aforementioned Salduz judgment.
2. The length of the proceedings
IV. OTHER ALLEGED VIOLATIONS OF THE CONVENTION
V. 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 according to Article 44 § 2 of the Convention, the following amounts to be converted into Turkish liras at the rate applicable at the date of settlement:
(i) EUR 10,600 (ten thousand six hundred euros), plus any tax that may be chargeable, in respect of non pecuniary damage;
(ii) EUR 2,500 (two thousand five hundred euros), plus any tax that may be chargeable to the applicant, in respect of costs and expenses;
(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.
Sally Dollé Françoise Tulkens
1 This event is documented in the inadmissibility decision of the European Commission of Human Rights in the case of Nurcan Canpolat v. Turkey ([dec.], no.28491/95, 9 April 1996).