by Eduard IONOV
The European Court of Human Rights (First Section), sitting on 26 March 2009 as a Chamber composed of:
Sverre Erik Jebens,
George Nicolaou, judges,
and Søren Nielsen, Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 21 March 2005,
Having regard to the decision to apply Article 29 § 3 of the Convention and examine the admissibility and merits of the case together,
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicant, Mr Eduard Yevgenyevich Ionov, is a Russian national who was born in 1971 and lives in Lyubertsy in the Moscow Region. The respondent Government were represented by Mr G. Matyushkin, Representative of the Russian Federation at the European Court of Human Rights.
The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.
On 28 March 2002 a criminal case was opened against the applicant on suspicion of bribe-taking. On 19 June 2002 the applicant was formally charged and gave an undertaking to appear. On 26 June 2002 the case was submitted for trial to the Basmanniy District Court of Moscow.
By judgment of 10 March 2004, the District Court convicted the applicant of corruption and sentenced him to four years’ imprisonment. The court ordered that the applicant be taken into custody and that the measure of restraint be maintained until the judgment had become final.
Further to an appeal by the applicant, on 27 July 2004 the Moscow City Court quashed the conviction on procedural grounds and ordered a new trial. It maintained that the applicant should remain in custody, without citing any grounds for that decision.
The applicant’s detention was subsequently extended on several occasions by the District Court and confirmed on appeal by the Moscow City Court.
On 18 July 2005 the applicant was convicted as charged and sentenced to three years’ imprisonment.
The applicant complained under Article 5 § 1 (c) of the Convention that his placement in custody was not authorised in accordance with the procedure established in the domestic law.
The applicant complained under Article 5 § 3 that his detention was excessively long and not founded on relevant and sufficient reasons.
The applicant complained under Article 5 § 4 that he was not allowed to appear before the appeal court.
The Court recalls Article 37 of the Convention which, in the relevant part, reads as follows:
“1. The Court may at any stage of the proceedings decide to strike an application out of its list of cases where the circumstances lead to the conclusion that
(a) the applicant does not intend to pursue his application;
However, the Court shall continue the examination of the application if respect for human rights as defined in the Convention and the Protocols thereto so requires.”
The Court observes that, by letter of 2 September 2008, the Government’s observations were forwarded to the applicant who was requested to submit observations together with any claims for just satisfaction in reply by 4 November 2008. No response was received from the applicant.
By letter of 5 December 2008 sent by registered mail, the applicant was advised that the period allowed for submission of his observations had expired and that no extension of time had been requested. His attention was drawn to Article 37 § 1 (a) of the Convention, which provides that the Court would strike a case out of its list of cases where the circumstances lead to the conclusion that the applicant does not intend to pursue the application. It appears from the acknowledgment-of-receipt card that the Court’s letter reached the applicant’s residence on 6 January 2009. Nevertheless, the applicant did not reply to the Court’s reminder.
The Court considers that, in these circumstances, the applicant may be considered as no longer wishing to pursue his application, within the meaning of Article 37 § 1 (a) of the Convention. The Court further considers that respect for human rights as defined in the Convention and its Protocols does not require it to continue the examination of his complaints (Article 37 § 1 in fine). In view of the above, it is appropriate to discontinue the application of Article 29 § 3 of the Convention and to strike the case out of the list of cases.
For these reasons, the Court unanimously
Decides to strike the application out of its list of cases.
Søren Nielsen Christos Rozakis