FIRST SECTION

DECISION

Application no. 22491/05 
by OFFICIAL RECEIVER AND PROVISIONAL LIQUIDATOR OF 
LOUCOS TRADING CO LTD and Others 
against Cyprus

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

Mr C.L. Rozakis, President
 Mr L. Loucaides
 Mrs F. Tulkens
 Mrs E. Steiner
 Mr K. Hajiyev
 Mr D. Spielmann, 
 Mr S.E. Jebens, judges
and Mr S. Nielsen, Section Registrar,

Having regard to the above application lodged on 13 June 2005,

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 parties’ correspondence,

Having deliberated, decides as follows:

THE FACTS

The first applicant, is the Official Receiver and Provisional Liquidator of Loucos Trading Co Ltd, a company registered under Cypriot law. The second and third applicants, Mr Loukis Papachristophorou and Ms Dora Papachristophorou, are the directors of the relevant company which has been subject to liquidation. They are Cypriot nationals living in Nicosia. The fourth applicant, Dora Holdings Ltd, is also a company registered under Cypriot law who was acting as a guarantor of Loukos Trading Co Ltd. The applicants were represented before the Court by Mr S. Drakos, a lawyer practising in Nicosia. The Cypriot Government (“the Government”) were represented by their Agent, Mr P. Clerides, Attorney-General of the Republic of Cyprus.

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

On 10 March 1995 the National Bank of Greece (the ‘plaintiff bank’), lodged an action (no. 2213/95) with the District Court of Nicosia, against the first applicant as the debtor and the remaining applicants as the guarantors. The plaintiff bank claimed payment of the amount of 284,689.49 Cypriot pounds (CYP) plus interest owed by virtue of the contracts regulating the operation of certain bank accounts held by the applicants with the plaintiff bank. The applicants filed a counterclaim in which they claimed the sum of CYP 585,205.39 plus interest in view of the fact that the bank had wrongly charged them interest exceeding the fixed amount of 9 per cent allowed by the domestic laws in force at the time.

On 28 November 1998 the district court delivered a decision on the basis of the mutual consent of the parties that the applicants had to pay the plaintiff bank the amount of CYP 217,350.50. The execution of this decision was suspended pending a determination of the applicants’ counterclaim.

On 21 May 1999 counsel for the applicants reduced their counterclaim by CYP 6,655.26.

In its decision of 4 April 2002 the district court concluded that the calculations of the applicant’s expert had been wrong. Further, in the absence of an agreement between the parties, the bank had had the right to estimate interest until the date that each payment had been made, and use such payments to, firstly, cover the relevant interests and then the relevant capital. However, the plaintiff bank, by additionally charging certain expenses for setting up the relevant accounts had in effect exceeded the maximum of 9 per cent interest that could have been charged on the basis of the relevant legislative provisions in force at the time. They were therefore ordered to return the amount of CYP 4,711.36 to the applicants.

On 24 March 2002 the applicants lodged an appeal (no. 11379) with the Supreme Court.

On 13 January 2005, the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal and upheld the first instance decision. It observed that the district court had correctly interpreted the relevant legislative provisions and the requirements of the relevant case-law and thus, had reached the right decision on the basis of the available evidence before it.

COMPLAINTS

The applicants complained under Article 6 § 1 of the Convention about the following:

(a) the domestic courts had failed to properly examine and take seriously the submissions and evidence that had been submitted by the applicants;

(b) the decision of the Supreme Court had not been duly reasoned;

(c) the judgments of the domestic courts had erred in law; and finally,

(d) the length of the proceedings had exceeded the requirements of “reasonable time”.

THE LAW

By letter dated 11 April 2006 the Government informed the Court that the parties had reached an agreement to settle the case. Subsequently, by letter dated 27 April 2006, the Government informed the Court that the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Cyprus had approved the terms of the friendly settlement and that the Government would pay the applicants jointly 7,500 Cyprus pounds in full and final settlement of their claim under the Convention, costs and expenses included. By letter dated 6 June 2006 the applicants confirmed the settlement and informed the Court that they wished to withdraw their application.

The Court takes note of the friendly settlement reached between the parties and the applicants’ wish to withdraw their application. It is satisfied that the settlement is based on respect for human rights as defined in the Convention and its Protocols and finds no public policy reasons to justify a continued examination of the application (Article 37 § 1 in fine of the Convention).

Accordingly, the application of Article 29 § 3 of the Convention to the case should de discontinued and it should be struck out of the list.

For these reasons, the Court unanimously

Decides to discontinue the application of Article 29 § 3 of the Convention;

Decides to strike the application out of its list of cases.

Søren Nielsen Christos Rozakis 
 Registrar President

OFFICIAL RECEIVER AND PROVISIONAL LIQUIDATOR OF LOUCOS

TRADING CO LTD AND OTHERS v. CYPRUS DECISION


OFFICIAL RECEIVER AND PROVISIONAL LIQUIDATOR OF LOUCOS 

TRADING CO LTD AND OTHERS v. CYPRUS DECISION