by Czesław MIKOŁAJSKI
The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section), sitting on 5 May 2009 as a Chamber composed of:
David Thór Björgvinsson,
Mihai Poalelungi, judges,
and Fatoş Aracı, Deputy Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 16 October 2007,
Having regard to the formal declarations accepting a friendly settlement of the case,
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicant, Mr Czesław Mikołajski, is a Polish national who was born in 1981 and lives in Bydgoszcz. The Polish Government (“the Government”) were represented by their Agent, Mr J. Wołąsiewicz of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.
1. Criminal proceedings against the applicant
On 7 August 2003 the applicant was charged with theft from cars and five counts of theft of hubcaps.
On 27 October 2003 a bill of indictment was lodged with the Bydgoszcz District Court.
On 5 May 2008 the Bydgoszcz District Court convicted the applicant as charged and sentenced him to one year and four months’ imprisonment. With respect to two charges the proceedings were discontinued due to the rules on prescription.
The applicant submits that on 6 October 2008 the Court of Appeal upheld the judgment of the Bydgoszcz District Court.
2. Proceedings under the 2004 Act
On an unspecified date in 2007 the applicant lodged a complaint with the Bydgoszcz Regional Court about a breach of his right to a trial within a reasonable time in respect of the criminal proceedings against him and asked for just satisfaction. He relied on the Law of 17 June 2004 on complaints about a breach of the right to a trial within a reasonable time (Ustawa o skardze na naruszenie prawa strony do rozpoznania sprawy w postępowaniu sądowym bez nieuzasadnionej zwłoki) (“the 2004 Act”), which entered into force on 17 September 2004.
On 1 October 2007 the Bydgoszcz Regional Court acknowledged the excessive length of the proceedings and granted the applicant PLN 2,000 as just satisfaction (the equivalent of EUR 534 at that time).
On 20 March 2009 the Court received the following declaration from the Government:
“I declare that the Government of Poland offer to pay the sum of PLN 7,800 to Mr Czesław Mikołajski 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 9 January 2009 the Court received the following declaration signed by the applicant:
“I, Czesław Mikołajski, note that the Government of Poland are prepared to pay me the sum of PLN 7,800 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.
Fatoş Aracı Nicolas Bratza
Deputy Registrar President