(Application no. 46949/07)
28 April 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 Godysz 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 7 April 2009,
Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:
I. THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE
In a decision given on 24 October 2007, the Katowice Court of Appeal Court criticised the manner in which the investigation had been conducted. It also referred to delays in the proceedings which amounted to six months. It acknowledged that almost all the evidence had been gathered and that the risk that the applicant would tamper with evidence had been marginal.
In a decision given on 27 February 2008, the Katowice Court of Appeal ruled that the applicant could be released on bail on payment of security of 800,000 Polish zlotys. The applicant requested the court to reduce the amount of bail. On 28 March 2008 the court reduced it to 300,000 Polish zlotys. The applicant paid the security and he was released on 30 April 2008.
II. RELEVANT DOMESTIC LAW AND PRACTICE
III. RELEVANT COUNCIL OF EUROPE DOCUMENTS
A. The Committee of Ministers
B. The Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights
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 gang 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. APPLICATION OF ARTICLE 46 OF THE CONVENTION
“1. The High Contracting Parties undertake to abide by the final judgment of the Court in any case to which they are parties.
2. The final judgment of the Court shall be transmitted to the Committee of Ministers, which shall supervise its execution.”
“60. The Court thus concludes, as the Committee of Ministers did, that for many years, at least as recently as in 2007, numerous cases have demonstrated that the excessive length of pre-trial detention in Poland revealed a structural problem consisting of “a practice that is incompatible with the Convention” (see mutatis mutandis Broniowski v. Poland [GC], no. 31443/96, §§ 190 191, ECHR 2004 V; Scordino v. Italy (no. 1) [GC], no. 36813/97, §§ 229-231, ECHR 2006 ...; Bottazzi v. Italy [GC], no. 34884/97, § 22, ECHR 1999 V with respect to the Italian length of proceedings cases)”.
III. 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 2,000 (two thousand euros) in respect of non-pecuniary damage, to be converted into the national currency of the respondent State 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 amounts 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 28 April 2009, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.
Early Nicolas Bratza