by Oleg Gennadyevich MESHCHERYAKOV
The European Court of Human Rights (First Section), sitting on 7 May 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 27 January 2003,
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 Oleg Gennadyevich Meshcheryakov, is a Russian national who was born in 1963 and lived until his arrest in the town of Petrovsk in the Saratov Region. The respondent Government were represented by Mr P. Laptev and Mrs V. Milinchuk, former Representatives 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.
According to the applicant, on 27 April 2002 he was arrested and brought to a police station where he was interrogated for several hours about his suspected involvement in a theft. The interrogation was allegedly accompanied by severe beatings.
On 29 April 2002 the applicant was taken to the Perelyub District Court, which, on the basis of police officers’ written statements, found him guilty of disorderly behaviour and sentenced him to five days’ administrative arrest.
On 4 May 2002 an investigator of the Perelyub District police department authorised the applicant’s detention until 7 May 2002. The detention was subsequently extended on a number of occasions.
On 15 October 2002 the Saratov Regional Court, in the final instance, found the applicant guilty of aggravated theft and sentenced him to eight years’ imprisonment.
The applicant’s complaints to the Perelyub District prosecutor’s office about his unlawful arrest on 27 April 2002, his subsequent unacknowledged two-day detention and the beatings in the police station were dismissed as being manifestly ill-founded. The most recent decision was issued on 21 February 2005.
The applicant complained under Articles 2, 3, 5, 7 and 17 of the Convention that the police officers had ill-treated him during several days following his arrest on 27 April 2002, that he had been unlawfully apprehended on 27 April 2002, that he had been subsequently unlawfully detained until his conviction on 19 August 2002, and that the domestic courts had incorrectly applied the domestic law and had based his conviction on forged evidence and untrue statements by witnesses.
On 19 November 2007 the application was communicated to the respondent Government.
On 11 February 2008 the Government’s observations on the admissibility and merits of the application were received. Three days later the Court invited the applicant to submit his written observations in reply by 17 April 2008.
On 6 March 2008 the English version of the Government’s observations was forwarded to the applicant. The time-limit for the submission of the applicant’s observations remained unaffected.
On 14 March 2008 the Court received a letter from the applicant, by which the latter informed the Court that his address had changed.
Five days later the Court sent a letter to the applicant, informing him that his new address had been noted. It also enclosed copies of its letters of 19 November 2007, 14 February and 6 March 2007 with relevant attachments, inviting the applicant to submit written observations and claims for just satisfaction by 17 April 2008. At the same time the Court instructed the applicant to sent a written response if he needed any extension of that time-limit.
As the applicant’s observations on the admissibility and merits had not been received by 17 April 2008 and the applicant did not apply for an extension of the time-limit for submitting his observations, on 17 June 2008 he was advised by registered mail that the failure to submit his observations might result in the strike-out of the application. As it follows from the acknowledgement of receipt which returned to the Court, the letter of 17 June 2008 reached the applicant on 2 July 2008. The applicant did not reply.
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 notes that the applicant was requested to submit written observations on the admissibility and merits of the case. He subsequently received a reminder thereof. The applicant was also informed about a consequence of his failure to submit the observations. No response has been received to date. The Court infers therefrom that the applicant does not intend to pursue his application. Furthermore, the Court considers that respect for human rights as defined in the Convention and its Protocols does not require it to continue the examination of the case.
In these circumstances it considers that Article 29 § 3 of the Convention should no longer apply to the case and it should be struck out of the list in accordance with Article 37 § 1 (a) of the Convention.
For these reasons, the Court unanimously
Decides to discontinue the application of Article 29 § 3 of the Convention and to strike the application out of its list of cases.
Søren Nielsen Christos Rozakis