by Gabor FABIAN
The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section), sitting on 6 October 2009 as a Chamber composed of:
Nicolas Bratza, President,
Işıl Karakaş, judges,
and Fatoş Aracı, Deputy Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 3 February 2003,
Having regard to the partial decision of 3 June 2008,
Having regard to the observations submitted by the respondent Government,
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicant, Mr Gabor Fabian, is a Hungarian national who was born in 1962 and lives in Hungary. The Turkish Government (“the Government”) are represented by their Agent.
The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.
On 12 November 1998 the applicant was arrested by officers from the narcotics bureau of the Istanbul police headquarters in the course of an operation. On 16 November 1998 the applicant made statements to the police with the assistance of an interpreter and in the presence of the Consul-General of Hungary in Istanbul.
On 19 November 1998 a single judge at the Istanbul State Security Court ordered the applicant’s detention on remand.
On 10 December 1998 the public prosecutor at the Istanbul State Security Court filed a bill of indictment against the applicant and thirteen other persons and charged them with drug trafficking.
On 10 March 1999 the Istanbul State Security Court held the first hearing on the merits of the case.
On 25 October 2000 the Consul-General of Hungary in Istanbul sent a letter to the Istanbul State Security Court. The Consul-General requested the court to appoint a lawyer to defend the applicant. On 13 November 2000, at the request of the Istanbul State Security Court, the Istanbul Bar Association appointed a lawyer to represent the applicant in the proceedings brought against him.
On 10 April 2002 the Istanbul State Security Court convicted the applicant of drug trafficking and sentenced him to seventeen years and six months’ imprisonment. The first-instance court based its judgment on, inter alia, the applicant’s statements to the police. During the proceedings, the applicant benefited from the assistance of an interpreter except for the hearing held on 13 October 1999.
On 12 April 2002 the applicant lodged an appeal against the judgment of 10 April 2002. On 15 May 2003 the Court of Cassation upheld the judgment of the first instance court in respect of the applicant.
On 21 February 2005 the applicant was released conditionally and returned to Hungary.
The applicant complained under Article 6 § 1 of the Convention that the criminal proceedings brought against him had not been concluded within a reasonable time. He further submitted under the same head that he had not had a fair trial since he had been denied legal assistance until 13 November 2000.
By letter dated 14 October 2008 the Government’s observations were sent to the applicant, who was requested to submit any observations together with any claims for just satisfaction in reply by 21 November 2008.
By letter dated 26 May 2009, sent by registered post, the applicant was notified that the period allowed for submission of the applicant’s observations had expired on 21 November 2008 and that no extension of time had been requested. The applicant’s attention was drawn to Article 37 § 1 (a) of the Convention, which provides that the Court may strike a case out of its list of cases where the circumstances lead to the conclusion that the applicant does not intend to pursue the application. The applicant received this letter on 6 June 2009. However, no response has been received.
The Court considers that, in these circumstances, the applicant may be regarded as no longer wishing to pursue his application, within the meaning of Article 37 § 1 (a) of the Convention. Furthermore, in accordance with Article 37 § 1 in fine, the Court finds no special circumstances regarding respect for human rights as defined in the Convention and its Protocols which require the continued examination of the case. 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