(Application no. 24023/06)
13 January 2009
This judgment will become final in the circumstances set out in Article 44 § 2 of the Convention. It may be subject to editorial revision.
In the case of Łoś v. Poland,
The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section), sitting as a Chamber composed of:
David Thór Björgvinsson,
Mihai Poalelungi, judges,
and Lawrence Early, Section Registrar,
Having deliberated in private on 9 December 2008,
Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:
I. THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE
Criminal proceedings against the applicant and her detention on remand
On 7 March 2006 the Warsaw Court of Appeal prolonged the detention of the applicant until 9 June 2006, reiterating the grounds previously given for her detention. The court pointed out that the three-month time-limit was sufficient for examining the evidence.
On 30 May 2006 the Warsaw Court of Appeal prolonged the detention of the applicant until 9 December 2006. The court stressed the complexity of the case in view of the number of witnesses to be heard. It also pointed out that the trial court should re-consider if it was necessary to hear all the witnesses listed in the bill of indictment. The trial court was instructed to take all necessary measures in order to expedite the proceedings.
On 8 December 2006 the Warsaw Court of Appeal prolonged the applicant's detention until 31 December 2006. The court relied on the grounds stated in the previous decisions.
II. RELEVANT DOMESTIC LAW AND PRACTICE
I. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 5 § 3 OF THE CONVENTION
“Everyone arrested or detained in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 1 (c) of this Article shall be ... entitled to trial within a reasonable time or to release pending trial. Release may be conditioned by guarantees to appear for trial.”
1. Period to be taken into consideration
2. The parties' submissions
(a) The applicant
(b) The Government
3. The Court's assessment
(a) General principles
(b) Application of the above principles in the present case
In the Court's view, the fact that the case concerned a member of a such criminal group should be taken into account in assessing compliance with Article 5 § 3 (see Bąk v. Poland, no. 7870/04, § 57, 16 January 2007).
There has accordingly been a violation of Article 5 § 3 of the Convention.
II. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 5 § 1 OF THE CONVENTION
Accordingly, the complaint must be rejected under Article 35 §§ 1 and 4 of the Convention for non-compliance with the six-month time requirement.
III. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 6 § 1 OF THE CONVENTION ON ACCOUNT OF THE UNFAIRNESS OF THE PROCEEDINGS
It follows that it must be rejected under Article 35 §§ 1 and 4 of the Convention for non-exhaustion of domestic remedies.
IV. APPLICATION OF ARTICLE 41 OF THE CONVENTION
“If the Court finds that there has been a violation of the Convention or the Protocols thereto, and if the internal law of the High Contracting Party concerned allows only partial reparation to be made, the Court shall, if necessary, afford just satisfaction to the injured party.”
B. Costs and expenses
C. Default interest
FOR THESE REASONS, THE COURT UNANIMOUSLY
(a) that the respondent State is to pay the applicant, within three months from the date on which the judgment becomes final in accordance with Article 44 § 2 of the Convention, EUR 1,500 (one thousand five hundred euros) in respect of non-pecuniary damage; to be converted into Polish zlotys at the rate applicable at the date of settlement, plus any tax that may be chargeable;
(b) that 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;
Done in English, and notified in writing on 13 January 2009, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.
Early Nicolas Bratza