by Boleslaw KASPRZYK
The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section), sitting on 25 August 2009 as a Chamber composed of:
David Thór Björgvinsson,
Mihai Poalelungi, judges,
and Fatoş Aracı, Deputy Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 21 January 2008,
Having regard to the formal declarations accepting a friendly settlement of the case,
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicant, Mr Boleslaw Kasprzyk, is a Polish national who was born in 1958 and lives in Łęczyca. 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 parties, may be summarised as follows:
On 5 January 2006 the applicant was arrested by the police.
On 6 January 2006 the Pabianice District Court (Sąd Rejonowy) ordered that the applicant be detained on remand in view of a reasonable suspicion that he had committed robbery. The court also relied on the probability that the applicant would interfere with the course of the proceedings as other perpetrators had not yet been arrested.
On 4 April 2006 the applicant’s pre-trial detention was extended, however, for a period shorter than had been requested by the prosecutor. In addition to the grounds given previously, the court considered that there was a risk that a heavy sentence would be imposed on the applicant.
On 25 May and 13 July 2006 the District Court extended the applicant’s detention relying on the grounds given previously and on the fact that the applicant was a habitual offender.
The applicant was indicted on an unspecified date.
At the hearings held on 24 October and 5 December 2006 and on 22 February, 27 April and 19 June 2007 the Pabianice District Court prolonged the applicant’s detention. On every occasion the court relied on the risk that a severe sentence would be imposed on the applicant and that, if released, he could try to put pressure on witnesses.
The applicant’s pre-trial detention was further prolonged by the trial court on 24 August and 31 October 2006. In addition to the grounds invoked before, the court pointed to the progress of the trial and the fact that one witness had not been located.
As the length of the applicant’s detention had reached the statutory time limit of two years laid down in Article 263 § 3 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Kodeks postępowania karnego) the District Court made a series of applications to the Łódź Court of Appeal (Sąd Apelacyjny) for the applicant’s detention to be extended beyond that term. On 28 December 2007, 28 April and 5 June 2008, the Court of Appeal granted the applications and extended his detention, citing, in identically reasoned decisions, the reasonable suspicion against the applicant and the length of the sentence that was likely to be imposed. The court also considered that the applicant would tamper with the proper course of the proceedings, as according to some witnesses he had previously attempted to put pressure on a witness.
On 3 July 2008 the applicant was convicted by the Pabianice District Court and sentenced to five years and six months’ imprisonment.
The applicant primarily complained under Article 5 § 3 of the Convention that his pre-trial detention was excessively lengthy.
On 25 February 2009 the Court received the following declaration signed by the applicant:
“I, Bolesław Kasprzyk, note that the Government of Poland are prepared to pay me PLN 10,000 (ten 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 it 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 19 May 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 10,000 (ten thousand Polish zlotys) to Mr Bolesław Kasprzyk 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 it 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 Bratza
Deputy Registrar President