AS TO THE ADMISSIBILITY OF
by Mustafa GEREN
The European Court of Human Rights (Fifth Section), sitting on 6 October 2009 as a Chamber composed of:
Mirjana Lazarova Trajkovska
Zdravka Kalaydjieva, judges
and Claudia Westerdiek, Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 25 May 2005,
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicant, Mr Mustafa Geren, is a Turkish national who was born in 1952 and lives in Istanbul.
A. The circumstances of the case
The facts of the case, as submitted by the applicant, may be summarised as follows.
On 13 November 2001 the applicant was detained in custody on suspicion of having stabbed his wife earlier the same day.
On an unspecified date he was charged with attempted murder.
In a judgment of 4 November 2002 the Burgas Regional Court found him guilty as charged, sentenced him to five years’ imprisonment and ordered him to pay, inter alia, the amount of 909.90 Bulgarian levs (BGN), the equivalent of approximately 460 euros (EUR), costs for expert examinations and for interpreter.
Apparently, on an appeal, in a judgment of an unspecified date the Burgas Court of Appeal remitted the case for procedural breaches.
In a judgment of 6 June 2003 the Burgas Regional Court once again found the applicant guilty as charged, sentenced him to seven years’ imprisonment and ordered him to pay, inter alia, BGN 1,459.90 (approximately EUR 750) costs for expert examinations, a state-appointed lawyer and interpreter, incurred from the beginning of the court proceedings.
On the applicant’s appeals, both the Burgas Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Cassation, in a final judgment of 21 December 2004, upheld the previous court’s judgment. The courts ordered the applicant to pay, inter alia, additional interpretation costs of BGN 150 (approximately EUR 75).
After having served his sentence, on 5 November 2008 the applicant was handed to the migration authorities in order to be deported to Turkey, which was done on 9 January 2009.
B. Relevant domestic law
Costs in criminal proceedings
According to Article 169 § 2 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1974, if an accused is found guilty he or she is liable for all the costs incurred during the proceedings.
The new Code of Criminal Procedure of 2006 provides, in Article 189 § 2, that translation/interpretation costs shall be borne by the prosecution authorities and the court.
The relevant part of Article 6 § 3 (e) of the Convention provides:
“Everyone charged with a criminal offence has the following minimum rights: (...)
(e) to have the free assistance of an interpreter if he cannot understand or speak the language used in court.”
The Court considers that it cannot, on the basis of the case file, determine the admissibility of this complaint and that it is therefore necessary, in accordance with Rule 54 § 2 (b) of the Rules of Court, to give notice of this part of the application to the respondent Government.
It follows that this part of the application must be rejected as being manifestly ill-founded, pursuant to Article 35 §§ 3 and 4 of the Convention.
For these reasons, the Court unanimously
Decides to adjourn the examination of the applicant’s complaint concerning the free assistance of an interpreter;
Declares the remainder of the application inadmissible.
Claudia Westerdiek Peer Lorenzen