by Leszek DROGOSZ
The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section), sitting on 3 November 2009 as a Chamber composed of:
Nicolas Bratza, President,
David Thór Björgvinsson,
Mihai Poalelungi, judges,
and Fatoş Aracı, Deputy Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 2 October 2008,
Having regard to the formal declarations accepting a friendly settlement of the case,
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicant, Mr Leszek Drogosz, is a Polish national who was born in 1974 and is currently detained in Kielce. 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 an unspecified date in 2000 the applicant and a certain K.J. were charged with having committed an offence of extortion.
On 8 January 2000 the applicant was detained on remand by the Kielce District Court (Sąd Rejonowy).
The Kielce District Court held five hearings in 2000.
Five hearings scheduled in 2001 were adjourned, as the applicant was not escorted to the court from the Kielce Remand Centre.
In the meantime, the charges against K.J. were severed and the proceedings against him terminated on 24 October 2001.
It appears that a new judge was appointed to deal with the case in 2003.
The trial court held five hearings in 2003, five hearings in 2004 and eight hearings in 2005.
On 31 August 2005 the Kielce District Court gave its judgment. The applicant was found guilty as charged and sentenced to three years’ imprisonment.
On 5 February 2007 the Kielce Regional Court (Sąd Okręgowy) quashed the judgment and remitted the case.
The Kielce District Court held five hearings in 2007.
A hearing scheduled for 10 January 2008 was cancelled, due to the assistant-judge’s illness.
The subsequent hearing could only be scheduled for 29 May 2008, as the assistant-judge dealing with the case had finished his training and had been awaiting to be appointed as judge.
On 22 October 2008 the trial re-commenced.
The proceedings are still pending before the Kielce District Court.
The applicant complained under Article 6 § 1 of the Convention about the unreasonable length of the proceedings.
On 10 August 2009 the Court received the following declaration from the Government:
“I, Jakub Wołąsiewicz, Agent of the Government, declare that the Government of Poland offer to pay PLN 18,000 (eighteen thousand Polish zlotys) to Mr Leszek Drogosz 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. 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 24 June 2009 the Court received the following declaration signed by the applicant:
“I, Leszek Drogosz, note that the Government of Poland are prepared to pay me the sum of PLN 18,000 (eighteen 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. 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