by Rafał SŁOTA
The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section), sitting on 15 September 2009 as a Chamber composed of:
Nebojša Vučinić, judges,
and Fatoş Aracı, Deputy Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 22 March 2007,
Having regard to the formal declarations accepting a friendly settlement of the case,
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicant, Mr Rafał Słota, is a Polish national who was born in 1973 and lives in Warsaw. The Polish 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 11 October 2004 the applicant was arrested by the police.
On 13 October 2004 the Zamość District Court (Sąd Rejonowy) decided to detain him on remand in view of the reasonable suspicion that he had committed an armed robbery with the help of accomplices.
The applicant’s detention was prolonged on 29 December 2004 by the Zamość Regional Court (Sąd Okręgowy). The court relied on the reasonable suspicion against the applicant and on the severity of the penalty that might be imposed.
On 31 March 2005 the applicant and 8 co-accused were indicted before the Zamość Regional Court.
Subsequently, the applicant’s detention was prolonged on several occasions.
The trial court held the first hearing on 17 May 2005. In 2005 it held in total 5 hearings.
On 7 February 2006 the Zamość Regional Court gave a judgment in the case. The applicant was convicted as charged and sentenced to 5 years and 3 months’ imprisonment. The applicant and the prosecutor each lodged an appeal.
On 11 July 2006 the Lublin Court of Appeal (Sąd Apelacyjny) held a hearing. On 18 July 2006 it quashed the first-instance court’s judgment as regards the applicant’s conviction and remitted the case.
On 26 July 2006 the applicant’s detention on remand was further prolonged by the Court of Appeal. The court justified it by the probability that a severe sentence might be imposed on the applicant, which made it likely that he would obstruct the proceedings.
At the hearings held on 5 December 2006 and 6 February 2007 detention of the applicant and other co-accused was prolonged. The trial court reiterated the grounds given previously and found that the accused had not proved that there were circumstances justifying their release.
On 3 April 2007 the Zamość Regional Court prolonged the applicant’s detention. In addition to the grounds given on previous occasions the trial court referred to the advanced stage of the proceedings.
On 25 April 2007 the Zamość Regional Court gave a judgment. The applicant was convicted as charged and sentenced to 4 years’ imprisonment.
The applicant complained under Article 5 § 3 of the Convention about the unreasonable length of his pre-trial detention.
On 29 June 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 Słota 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.”
On 15 July 2009 the Court received the following declaration signed by the applicant:
“I, Rafał Słota, 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 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.”
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