FIFTH SECTION

DECISION

Application no. 19651/04 
by Winnie LOFT CHRISTENSEN 
against Denmark

The European Court of Human Rights (Fifth Section), sitting on 11 September 2006 as a Chamber composed of:

Mrs S. Botoucharova, President
 Mr P. Lorenzen
 Mr K. Jungwiert
 Mr V. Butkevych
 Mrs M. Tsatsa-Nikolovska
 Mr R. Maruste, 
 Mr M. Villiger, judges
and Mrs C. Westerdiek, Section Registrar,

Having regard to the above application lodged on 24 May 2004,

Having regard to the decision to apply Article 29 § 3 of the Convention and examine the admissibility and merits of the case together.

Having regard to the observations submitted by the respondent Government,

Having deliberated, decides as follows:

THE FACTS

The applicant, Mrs Winnie Loft Christensen, is a Danish national who was born in 1961 and lives in Knebel. She is represented before the Court by Mr Lars Henriksen, a lawyer practising in Copenhagen. The Danish Government (“the Government”) are represented by their Agent, Mrs Nina Holst-Christensen of the Ministry of Justice.

The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.

The applicant was charged with fraudulent tax evasion on 18 February 1998. On 13 October 2004 an indictment to that effect was submitted to the City Court, before which on 31 May 2005 the prosecution claimed that the applicant be acquitted partly due to the length of the proceedings, partly due to the fact that evidence in the form of an agenda had gone missing. Consequently, by a City Court judgment of 7 June 2005 the applicant was acquitted.

COMPLAINT 

The applicant complained that the criminal charge against her was not determined within a reasonable time as required by Article 6 § 1 of the Convention.

PROCEDURE

On 17 January 2006 the Court decided, under Rule 54 § 2 (b) of the Rules of Court, to give notice of the application to the respondent Government and invite them to submit written observations on the admissibility and merits of the case.

By letter of 16 March 2006, referring to the fact that the Regional Public Prosecution by decision of 5 September 2005 had granted the applicant 25,000 Danish kroner (DKK), equal to approximately 3,350 euros (EUR), in compensation for the length of the proceedings, a decision which the applicant had not appealed against, the Government requested that the Court allowed them to limit their observations for the time being to the admissibility of the case.

By letter of 28 March 2006 the parties were informed that the Court had granted the request.

The Government’s observations on the admissibility of the case, submitted on 18 April 2006, were transmitted to the applicant on 27 April 2006 and the applicant was invited to submit her observation in reply before 8 June 2006.

On 28 July 2006, not having received any comments from the applicant or her representative, the Registry sent a registered letter to the representative recalling the state of the proceedings and drawing the latter’s attention to Article 37 § 1 (a) of the Convention. No reply was submitted thereto.

THE LAW

In the light of the above, the Court considers that the applicant does not intend to pursue her application (Article 37 § 1 (a) of the Convention). It is satisfied that respect for human rights as defined in the Convention and its Protocols does not require a continuation of the application (Article 37 § 1 in fine of the Convention).

For these reasons, the Court unanimously

Decides to discontinue the application of Article 29 § 3 of the Convention and strike the application out of its list of cases.

Claudia Westerdiek Snejana Botoucharova 
 Registrar President

LOFT CHRISTENSEN v. DENMARK DECISION


LOFT CHRISTENSEN v. DENMARK DECISION