by Paweł TRĘBACZ
The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section), sitting on 26 May 2009 as a Chamber composed of:
Nebojša Vučinić, judges,
and Lawrence Early, Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 24 July 2007,
Having regard to the formal declarations accepting a friendly settlement of the case,
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicant, Mr Paweł Trębacz, is a Polish national who was born in 1980. He is currently serving a prison sentence. 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 April 2001 the applicant was detained on remand. He was released from detention on an unspecified later date.
On 19 February 2002 he was served with the bill of indictment, concerning multiple charges of car theft committed with other persons.
A first hearing in the case was held on an unspecified date in 2002. During the proceedings the judge rapporteur was changed on five occasions. In January 2003 the court started to conduct the judicial proceedings anew, for unknown reasons. Altogether, over 35 hearings were held in the case. A number of hearings were adjourned as the police had failed to bring certain defendants from the detention centre. A number of hearings were adjourned as the witnesses had failed to comply with the summonses.
On 21 December 2007 the Chrzanów District Court convicted the applicant of multiple counts of theft and sentenced him to five years’ imprisonment. The applicant appealed.
On 15 October 2008 the Kraków Regional Court upheld the judgment.
2. Proceedings under the 2004 Act
On an unspecified date the applicant filed a complaint with the Kraków Regional Court under 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”). He alleged that the proceedings had exceeded a “reasonable” time.
On 28 February 2007 the Kraków Regional Court acknowledged the applicant’s complaint about the excessive length of the proceedings pending before the first-instance court. It observed that the court had failed to organise the proceedings correctly. It dismissed the applicant’s request for compensation.
The applicant complained, relying on Article 6 § 1 of the Convention, that the criminal proceedings against him had lasted an unreasonably long time.
On 15 April 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 (seven thousand eight hundred Polish zlotys) to Mr Paweł Trębacz 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 6 February 2008 the Court received the following declaration signed by the applicant:
“I, Paweł Trębacz, note that the Government of Poland are prepared to pay me the sum of PLN 7,800 (seven thousand eight hundred 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