THE FACTS

Whereas the facts of the case may be summarised as follows.

The applicant is a German citizen, born in 1934 in Rumania, and at
present detained in prison in Hanover. He has several previous
convictions.

On 29th March, 1966, he lodged with the Commission an application under
Article 25 of the Convention which was registered, on 7th July, 1966,
under file No. 2840/66. In this application, the applicant complained
in substance of the situation set out below.

On 10th July, 1967, the Commission decided to strike the application
off he list on the ground that the applicant had shown no interest in
its maintenance. In fact, the applicant had last written to the
Commission on 9th January, 1967, and there had been no further
correspondence from him since that time. Efforts on the part of the
Commission's Secretary to obtain further information from him as to his
complaints had failed, a letter of 6th April, 1967, sent to the prison
at Kassel where the applicant was then detained, having been returned
with the remark on the letter: "inconnu" - "unbekannt".

The Commission further found that there appeared to be no reasons of
a general character affecting the observance of the Convention which
would necessitate a further examination of his case.

By letter of 22nd July, 1968, the applicant addressed himself again to
the Commission. The letter was sent from prison in Hanover and
contained further requests for assistance. In a further letter of 24th
September, 1968, the applicant made further complaints concerning the
criminal proceedings against him in Kassel supplementing his previous
submissions with regard to both the facts and his allegations as to
violations of the Convention. He also indicated his interest to pursue
his previous application and requested the Commission to deal with the
merits of his case and to examine in particular the consistency with
the provisions of the Convention of certain new complaints relating to
his detention in Hanover.

The facts as they have now been presented by the applicant may be
summarised as follows:

From his statements and from documents submitted by him, it appears
that, on 16th October, 1965, he was arrested on suspicion of having
committed theft and illegally possessing firearms, and remanded in
custody. On 4th January, 1966, he was indicated on these charges and
by decision (Beschluss) of .. February, 1966, proceedings were opened
against the applicant before the Regional Court (Landgericht) at
Kassel. By the same decision, the Regional Court decided that his
detention on remand should continue for the reasons indicated in the
Court's decision of .. January, 1966.

On .. March, 1966, the applicant was convicted by the First High
Criminal Chamber of the Regional Court (1. grosse Strafkammer des
Landgerichts) on the charges of having committed aggravated theft, as
being a recidivist and in conjunction with others (gemeinschaftlicher
schwerer Diebstahl im Rückfall) and of receiving stolen goods
(Hehlerei) in conjunction with illegally possessing firearms. He was
sentenced to a total of 25 months' penal servitude (Zuchthaus). In the
grounds of the decision, the Court stated that the applicant's guilt
with regard to the theft charge was established beyond any reasonable
doubt (mit an Sicherheit grenzender Wahrscheinlichkeit).

The applicant lodged an appeal (Revision) against this decision with
the Federal Court (Bundesgerichtshof). By decision (Urteil) of ..
October, 1966, the Federal Court quashed the conviction insofar as it
related to the charge of having committed aggravated theft, as being
a recidivist and in conjunction with others and set aside the sentence.
The Court considered that it was sufficient only to be convicted of the
applicant's guilt "beyond any reasonable doubt", but that the trial
court had to be certain or otherwise acquit the accused for lack of
evidence in accordance with the principle:  in dubio pro reo. It sent
the case back to the Regional Court at Kassel for further hearing and
decision.

It appears that the proceedings before the Regional Court at Kassel,
insofar as they had been sent back to the said Court for further
hearing and decision, were provisionally discontinued on .. August,
1968, in accordance with Article 154, paragraph 2 of the Code of
Criminal Procedure. The Court held that, in view of the fact that, on
.. August, 1968, the applicant had been convicted by the District Court
(Schöffengericht) of Hanover and sentenced to two and a half years'
imprisonment, it was no longer necessary to determine the theft charge
against the applicant and to sentence him for that offence.

It further appears that the applicant expected two judges of the
Regional Court at Kassel to have been biased. It appears that the
applicant had come to this conclusion by virtue of the fact that both
judges had ordered his continued detention on remand by decision of ..
October, 1966, on the ground that the danger of flight persisted, the
applicant having to expect a sentence which exceeded by far the period
of his detention on remand. Consequently, on 14th December, 1966, he
lodged applications with the Regional Court at Kassel challenging the
presiding judge and one associate judge of that Court. His applications
were rejected by the Regional Court at Kassel on .. December, 1966, as
being ill-founded.

It appears that the applicant was also dissatisfied with the conditions
and his treatment in the prison where he was detained on remand. In his
letters of 18th April, 1966 and 29th June, 1966, to the
Attorney-General (Generalstaatsanwalt) at Frankfurt/Main the applicant
complained that certain sanitary installations in his cell were
inadequate, that his cell was cleaned only once a week, that a prison
guard, on one occasion, had treated him arbitrarily, that wireless
earphones were installed in the cells, instead of toilets which would
have been more useful, that a letter to the Commission was delayed
because he had stamps in his possession, that another prisoner was put
in his cell who was suffering from a venereal disease and that the
prison authorities rejected his request to remove this man from his
cell. He further complained that he had been required to strip naked
in front of three prison guards, that subsequently he was placed in
solitary confinement, and , finally, that his previous complaint of the
conditions in prison to the Attorney-General was held back.

These complaints were referred to the Director of the Prison at Kassel
(Direktor der Straf- und Untersuchungshaftanstalt Kassel) who, by
letter of 18th July, 1966, replied to each of the points raised by the
applicant indicating that certain complaints relating to sanitary
conditions had, in the meanwhile, been remedied, and that other
allegations were either ill-founded or untrue.

The applicant now complains:

-  that he was wrongfully detained on remand;

-  that he was wrongfully convicted and sentenced;

-  that the proceedings concerned were unlawful in that -

he was subjected to degrading treatment and insulted by the Court;

he was unable to understand the statements made by the Public
Prosecutor (Staatsanwalt) in court because he spoke a Saxon dialect;

-  that he was subjected to degrading and inhuman treatment in prison.

He also complains that he was wrongfully detained during a period of
15 months and eight days. In this respect, he explains that the
separate sentence for theft which had been imposed on him by the Kassel
Regional Court on .. March, 1966, had amounted to two years' penal
servitude. The separate sentence for receiving stolen goods had been
fixed at four months' penal servitude. The conviction on that theft
charge had been quashed and subsequently the prosecution thereof had
been discontinued. Since, however, he had been detained from 16th
October, 1965 to 24th January, 1967, his detention on remand during
that period had been unlawful insofar as it exceeded four months.

The applicant alleges generally violations of the Convention and also
claims compensation for his wrongful detention during the proceedings
before the courts at Kassel.

THE LAW

Whereas, the Commission first considered the question whether or not
the applicant was entitled to a reopening of his case and an
examination by the Commission of the admissibility of his application;

Whereas the Commission had regard to its jurisprudence establishing
that the Convention does not provide means for such reopening, either
by the Commission or on appeal to another body, where the application
has been declared inadmissible in accordance with the provisions of
Article 27 (Art. 27) of the Convention (see Application No. 3806/68,
Collection of Decisions, Vol. 27, pages 139, 142);

Whereas the Commission finds that the above jurisprudence does not
apply to applications which have been struck off the list on the ground
that the applicant failed to show an interest in its maintenance;

Whereas in such cases, the Commission also satisfies itself that there
are no reasons of a general character affecting the observance of the
Convention which would necessitate a further examination of the
applicant's complaints;

Whereas the Commission finds that an applicant may have his application
restored to the Commission's lists of cases where the circumstances of
the case as a whole so justify such restoration;

Whereas, in the present case, the applicant, by letter of 24th
September, 1968, indicated that he was, in fact, still interested in
the Commission's examination of his application; whereas the Commission
finds that, in the circumstances, his application should be restored
to its list of cases;

Whereas the Commission next examined the admissibility of the
application;

Whereas, in regard to the applicant's complaint that he was unlawfully
detained during a period of fifteen months and eight days, it is to be
observed that, under Article 26 (Art. 26) of the Convention, the
Commission may only deal with a matter after all domestic remedies have
been exhausted according to the generally recognised rules of
international law; and whereas the applicant failed to show that he
raised this complaint before the Federal Constitutional Court invoking
Article 104 of the Basic Law; whereas, therefore, he has not exhausted
the remedies available to him under German law;

Whereas, in regard to the applicant's complaint relating to the length
of his detention on remand during the proceedings against him at
Kassel, it is again to be observed that, under Article 26 (Art. 26) of
the Convention, the Commission may only deal with a matter after all
domestic remedies have been exhausted according to the generally
recognised rules of international law; and whereas the applicant
equally failed to show that he raised this complaint before the Federal
Constitutional Court;

Whereas, therefore, he has again not exhausted the remedies available
to him under German law;

Whereas, moreover, an examination of the case as it has been submitted,
including an examination made ex officio does not disclose the
existence of any special circumstances which might have absolved the
applicant, according to the generally recognised rules of international
law, from exhausting in either case the domestic remedies at his
disposal;

Whereas, therefore, the condition as to the exhaustion of domestic
remedies laid down in Articles 26 and 27, paragraph (3) (Art. 26, 27-3)
of the Convention has not been complied with by the applicant in
respect of either of these complaints;

Whereas, in regard to the applicant's complaints relating to his
conviction and sentence for receiving stolen goods, an examination of
the case as it has been submitted, including an examination made ex
officio, does not disclose any appearance of a violation of the rights
and freedoms set forth in the Convention and especially in the Articles
invoked by the applicant; whereas, in respect of the judicial decisions
complained of, the Commission has frequently stated that in accordance
with Article 19 (Art. 19) of the Convention its only task is to ensure
observance of the obligations undertaken by the Parties in the
Convention; whereas, in particular, it is not competent to deal with
an application alleging that errors of law of fact have been committed
by domestic courts, except where the Commission considers that such
errors might have involved a possible violation of any of the rights
and freedoms limitatively listed in the Convention; whereas in this
respect, the Commission refers to its decisions Nos. 458/59 (X. v.
Belgium - Yearbook, Vol. III, p. 233) and 1140/61 (X. v. Austria -
Collection of Decisions, Vol. 8, p. 57); and whereas there is no
appearance of any such violation in the present case; whereas it
follows that this part of the application is manifestly ill-founded
within the meaning of Article 27, paragraph (2) (Art. 27-2), of the
Convention;

Whereas, in regard to the applicant's complaints relating to his
conviction and sentence for theft, as well as to the court proceedings
concerned, the Commission observes that his conviction and sentence for
that offence has been set aside by decision of the Federal Court, dated
5th October, 1966; and by virtue of the Kassel Regional Court's
decision of 22nd August, 1968; whereas, consequently, the Commission
finds that the applicant is not a victim in this respect of a violation
by the Federal Republic of Germany of the rights and freedoms set forth
in the Convention; whereas it follows that this part of the application
is also manifestly ill-founded within the meaning of Article 27,
paragraph (2) (Art. 27-2), of the Convention;

Whereas the applicant further complains of the conditions in prison at
Kassel; whereas the Commission has already stated that, under Article
26 (Art. 26) of the Convention, it may only deal with a matter after
all domestic remedies have been exhausted according to the generally
recognised rules of international law; and whereas the applicant failed
to show that he pursued his complaints before the competent German
courts or authorities; whereas, therefore, he had not exhausted the
remedies available to him under German law; whereas, moreover, an
examination of the case as it has been submitted, including an
examination made ex officio, does not disclose the existence of any
special circumstances which might have absolved the applicant,
according to the generally recognised rules of international law, from
exhausting the domestic remedies at his disposal; whereas, therefore,
the condition as to the exhaustion of domestic remedies laid down in
Articles 26 and 27, paragraph (3) (Art. 26, 27-3) of the Convention has
not been complied with by the applicant;

Whereas, in any event, in regard to the above complaint, an examination
of the case as it has been submitted, including an examination ex
officio, does not disclose any appearance of a violation of the rights
and freedoms set forth in the Convention; whereas it follows that this
part of the application is also manifestly ill-founded within the
meaning of Article 27, paragraph (2) (Art. 27-2), of the Convention;

Now, therefore the Commission

1. decides to restore this application to the list

2. declares this application inadmissible.