by Bogusław ROLKA
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 21 March 2004,
Having regard to the formal declarations accepting a friendly settlement of the case,
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicant, Mr Bogusław Rolka, is a Polish national who was born in 1965. He is currently serving a prison sentence in Strzelce Opolskie 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 2 February 2002 the applicant was arrested by the police. On 3 February 2002 the applicant was informed about the charges against him and questioned. On 4 February 2002 the Kędzierzyn-Koźle District Court detained him on remand on a charge of attempted murder of his wife.
On 20 August 2003 the Opole Regional Court convicted the applicant of murder and sentenced him to 25 years’ imprisonment. On 27 November 2003 the Wrocław Court of Appeal upheld the first-instance judgment.
On 16 January 2004 the court assigned a legal-aid lawyer to file a cassation appeal with the Supreme Court. In a letter to the court dated 28 January 2004 the lawyer informed it that he had found no grounds on which to prepare a cassation appeal in the applicant’s case. The lawyer also sent a copy of that letter to the applicant’s address. The applicant, who was at that time serving his prison sentence, was served with that letter on an unspecified later date. The court did not inform the applicant of his further procedural rights.
The applicant complained that on the day of his apprehension he had not been informed about the charges against him. He further complained about the outcome and unfairness of the proceedings, in particular that the courts dealing with his case had wrongly established the facts and evaluated the evidence.
The applicant complained that he had been denied an effective access to the Supreme Court because the letter informing him about the lawyer’s refusal to prepare a cassation appeal had been sent to his home address and as a result the time-limit for lodging a cassation appeal expired.
On 10 August 2009 the Court received the following declaration signed by the applicant:
“I, Bogusław ROLKA, 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.”
On 19 September 2009 the Court received the following signed 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 Bogusław Rolka 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.”
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