by Arkadiusz KRUCZEK
The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section), sitting on 24 March 2009 as a Chamber composed of:
Nebojša Vučinić, judges et the
and Lawrence Early, Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 15 May 2007,
Having regard to the formal declarations accepting a friendly settlement of the case,
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicant, Mr Arkadiusz Kruczek, is a Polish national who was born in 1973 and lives in Gdańsk. The Polish Government (“the Government”) were represented by their Agent, Mr J. Wołąsiewicz of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
A. The circumstances of the case
The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.
1. Criminal proceedings against the applicant
On 28 February 1996 the applicant was arrested by the police on suspicion of robbery in a train. The applicant was released on bail on 10 June 1996.
On 2 October 1996 a prosecutor filed a bill of indictment against the applicant with the Tczew District Court. On 29 January 1997 the case was transferred to the Gdańsk District Court. The first hearing, scheduled for 25 April 1997, was adjourned because of the applicant’s lawyer’s absence. From that date the court scheduled 62 hearings but only 12 of them took place. The court adjourned a number of hearings owing to the absence of lawyers, co-accused and witnesses. There were 4 accused and 22 witnesses in the case. The proceedings are pending before the first-instance court.
2. Proceedings under the 2004 Act.
On 31 July 2007 the applicant lodged a complaint with the Gdańsk Regional Court under section 5 of the Act of 17 June 2004 on complaints about a breach of the right to a trial within a reasonable time (“the 2004 Act”). He also claimed just satisfaction in the amount of PLN 10,000 (approx. EUR 2,630).
On 25 October 2007 the Gdańsk Regional Court dismissed the applicant’s complaint on the ground that there had been no undue delay in the proceedings between the date of entry into force of the Act on 17 September 2004 and the date on which he had lodged his complaint.
The applicant complained under Article 6 § 1 of the Convention of a violation of his right to have his case heard within a reasonable time.
The applicant complained under Article 6 § 3 of the Convention that he had been deprived of adequate time and facilities for the preparation of his defence and of an opportunity to examine witnesses against him.
On 7 January 2009 the Court received the following declaration from the Government:
“I declare that the Government of Poland offer to pay PLN 16,000 (sixteen thousand Polish zlotys) to Mr Arkadiusz Kruczek 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 7 January 2009 the Court received the following declaration signed by the applicant:
“I, Arkadiusz Kruczek, note that the Government of Poland are prepared to pay me the sum of PLN 16,000 (sixteen 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.
Lawrence Early Nicolas Bratza