by Bartłomiej GRZEŚKOWIAK
The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section), sitting on 10 November 2009 as a Chamber composed of:
David Thór Björgvinsson,
Mihai Poalelungi, judges,
and Lawrence Early, Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 10 February 2006,
Having regard to the formal declarations accepting a friendly settlement of the case,
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicant, Mr Bartłomiej Grześkowiak, is a Polish national who was born in 1982. He is currently serving a prison sentence in Potulice prison. 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 22 October 2004 the Skierniewice District Court convicted the applicant of robbery and rape and sentenced him to nine years’ imprisonment. On 27 June 2005 the Łódź Regional Court upheld the first instance judgment. It was served on the applicant on 20 July 2005.
On an unknown date in July 2005 the applicant requested to be granted legal aid for the purpose of drafting a cassation appeal. In a letter dated 27 September 2005 the Łódź Regional Court informed a legal-aid lawyer that he had been assigned to the case to prepare a cassation appeal.
In a letter to the court dated 20 October 2005 the lawyer informed it that he had found no grounds on which to prepare a cassation appeal in the applicant’s case. On the same date the lawyer sent a letter to the applicant’s address in Potulice prison. The letter was later returned to the lawyer as the applicant had in the meantime been transferred to the Warsaw Detention Centre. The lawyer’s refusal to draft a cassation appeal was ultimately served on the applicant on 27 November 2005, after the time limit had expired.
The applicant complained about the outcome and unfairness of the proceedings, in particular that the courts dealing with his case had wrongly established the facts and assessed the evidence.
The applicant further complained that he had been denied an effective access to the Supreme Court.
On 19 September 2009 the Court received the following declaration from the Government:
“I declare that the Government of Poland offer to pay PLN 4,500 (four thousand five hundred Polish zlotys) to Mr Bartłomiej GRZEŚKOWIAK 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 14 August 2009 the Court received the following declaration signed by the applicant:
“I, Bartłomiej GRZEŚKOWIAK, note that the Government of Poland are prepared to pay me the sum of 4,500 (four thousand five hundred 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.
Lawrence Early Nicolas Bratza