by Jerzy DRĘŻEK
The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section), sitting on 10 February 2009 as a Chamber composed of:
Nebojša Vučinić, judges
and Fatoş Aracı, Deputy Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 25 April 2007,
Having regard to the formal declarations accepting a friendly settlement of the case,
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicant, Mr Jerzy Drężek, is a Polish national who was born in 1957 and lives in Sulejówek. The respondent Government were represented by their Agent, Mr J. Wołąsiewicz of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The circumstances of the case
The facts of the case, as submitted by the applicant, may be summarised as follows.
On an unspecified date in November 1990 the Warsaw District Prosecutor instituted an investigation against the applicant on suspicion of theft and uttering threats with a view to forcing a third person to dispose of a property.
In April 1998 the prosecutor lodged a bill of indictment against the applicant with the Warsaw District Court.
Between 1998 and 2005 the trial court held four hearings in the case.
The applicant was acquitted of the charges on 25 April 2005.
Upon the prosecutor’s appeal, on 13 January 2006 the Warsaw Regional Court quashed the judgment and remitted the case back to the District Court.
On 6 December 2005 the Warsaw Regional Court dismissed the applicant’s complaint about the unreasonable length of the proceedings having only examined the conduct of the proceedings after the date on which the 2004 Act came into force and having found no delays for which the relevant court could be held responsible.
The criminal proceedings are pending before the first instance court.
The applicant complains under Article 6 § 1 of the Convention about the excessive length of the proceedings in his case.
On 1 September 2008 the Court decided to communicate the application to the Government.
On 15 October 2008 the Court received the following declaration signed by the applicant:
“I note that the Government of Poland are prepared to pay me the sum of 20,000 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 3 November 2008 the Court received the following declaration from the Government:
“I declare that the Government of Poland offer to pay 20,000 PLN to Mr Jerzy Drężek 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”.
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