AS TO THE ADMISSIBILITY OF

                      Applications Nos. 29692/96
                      and 34612/97
                      by R.D.
                      against Poland


      The European Commission of Human Rights (Second Chamber) sitting
in private on 22 October 1997, the following members being present:

           Mrs   G.H. THUNE, President
           MM    J.-C. GEUS
                 G. JÖRUNDSSON
                 A. GÖZÜBÜYÜK
                 J.-C. SOYER
                 H. DANELIUS
                 F. MARTINEZ
                 M.A. NOWICKI
                 I. CABRAL BARRETO
                 J. MUCHA
                 D. SVÁBY
                 P. LORENZEN
                 E. BIELIUNAS
                 E.A. ALKEMA
                 A. ARABADJIEV


           Ms    M.-T. SCHOEPFER, Secretary to the Chamber;


      Having regard to Article 25 of the Convention for the Protection
of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms;

      Having regard to the applications introduced on 31 August 1995
and 11 December 1996 by R.D. against Poland and registered on 4 January
1996 and 28 January 1997 under file Nos. 29692/95 and 34612/97;

      Having regard to the report provided for in Rule 47 of the Rules
of Procedure of the Commission;

      Having deliberated;

      Decides as follows:

THE FACTS

      The applicant, a Polish citizen, born in 1959, is a civil servant
residing in Walbrzych, Poland.  The facts of the case, as submitted by
the applicant, may be summarised as follows:

Particular circumstances of the case

a.    Criminal proceedings instituted against the applicant

      On 16 September 1994 the Walbrzych District Prosecutor
(Prokurator Rejonowy) charged the applicant with receiving a bribe and
detained him on remand in view of the reasonable suspicion that he had
committed the offence in question.  On the same day the prosecutor
confronted the applicant with his co-suspect who had offered him a
bribe, and ordered a search of the applicant's home.  The applicant
took part in the search and did not submit any complaints concerning
its conduct.  On 28 September 1994, upon the applicant's appeal, the
Walbrzych Regional Court (S*d Wojewódzki) altered the preventive
measure imposed on him and released him under police supervision.

      In a letter of 1 February 1995 the applicant requested the
investigating prosecutor to postpone the lodging of a bill of
indictment since, as a result of his illness, he had not been able to
read all the materials contained in the case-file.  On 6 February 1995
the prosecutor rejected his request, finding that the applicant had had
sufficient access to the case-file for two days and that, in view of
the fact that his co-suspects were still in detention, any further
delay in submitting the bill of indictment was impossible.

      On 10 February 1995 the prosecutor lodged the bill of indictment
with the Walbrzych Regional Court.  It comprised twelve different
charges, including an attempt to trafficking in women, against seven
co-accused.

      On 24 February 1995 the applicant submitted a petition to the
Chief Justice of the Walbrzych Regional Court.  He requested the Chief
Justice to reject the bill of indictment as, in his view, he had been
unlawfully charged with an offence which he had never committed and the
accusation against him had not been based on any sound evidence.  In
a letter of 7 March 1995 the Chief Justice informed the applicant that
under Polish law there was no possibility of rejecting a bill of
indictment and that the applicant could put forward all his submissions
concerning the evidence against him during his trial.

      Subsequently, on an unspecified date, the Walbrzych Regional
Court officially appointed a defence counsel for the applicant.

      On 17 March 1995 the applicant unsuccessfully requested the
Walbrzych Regional Court to grant him permission to impart information
about his trial to the public through the press and television.

      The trial court held hearings on 4, 5, 6, 16, 17 and 23 May, on
4 September and 9 November 1995, and on 15 January, 11 March and
15 April 1996.  During this time the court heard evidence from seven
co-defendants and eleven witnesses, and considered documentary
evidence.  On 15 April 1996 the Walbrzych Regional Court pronounced a
judgment, convicted the applicant of receiving a bribe and sentenced
him to one year and six months' imprisonment, suspended for two years.


      On 14 June 1996 the applicant submitted a forty-eight-page
memorandum to the Wroclaw Court of Appeal (S*d Apelacyjny).  This
contained the applicant's submissions concerning the establishment of
the facts of his case, the assessment of the evidence presented during
his trial and his opinion about the way in which the relevant criminal
law had been applied.  On 24 June 1996 the applicant's lawyer submitted
his appeal to the Walbrzych Regional Court.

      On 30 July 1996 the applicant complained to the Walbrzych
Regional Court that the case-file had not been transferred to the
Wroclaw Court of Appeal and that, therefore, he was not able to defend
himself in the appeal proceedings.

      On 27 September 1996 the applicant filed a supplementary
memorandum and submitted documents in support of his arguments.

      Subsequently, on an unspecified date, the Wroclaw Court of Appeal
officially appointed a new lawyer to assist the applicant in the
appellate proceedings.

      On 10 October 1996 the Wroclaw Court of Appeal held a hearing.
The applicant and his officially-appointed lawyer appeared before the
court.  The applicant requested the court to read all the evidence
given by him during the trial at first instance.  The court rejected
the request, finding that the appellate hearing was limited to the
questions of fact and of law which had been put forward by the parties
in their appeal memoranda and oral submissions, and that reading of
voluminous records of the evidence taken from the applicant was
unnecessary.  On the same day the court upheld the judgment of the
court of first instance.

      On 12 October 1996 the applicant lodged a notice of a cassation
appeal with the Wroclaw Court of Appeal, requesting the court to serve
him with the reasons for its judgment.  He also requested that court
to appoint a new lawyer for him in order to assist him in the
preparation of his cassation appeal.  He submitted that his monthly
salary amounted to PLZ 565.90, whereas the costs of court fees and
legal assistance in cassation proceedings would amount to a minimum of
PLZ 1,100.00 and that, therefore, he could not bear such costs without
a substantial reduction in his and his family's standard of living.

      On 9 December 1996 the reasons for the judgment of the Wroclaw
Court of Appeal were served on the applicant.

      On 23 December 1996 the Wroclaw Court of Appeal dismissed the
applicant's request of 10 October 1996, relating to the appointment of
a lawyer for him in cassation proceedings, and held that the applicant
had failed to prove that he could not afford such assistance.

b.    Applicant's requests for criminal proceedings to be instituted

      On 12 January 1995 the applicant requested the Walbrzych Regional
Prosecutor (Prokurator Wojewódzki) to institute criminal proceedings
against M.B and A.Ch, prosecutors at Walbrzych District Prosecution
Office (Prokuratura Wojewódzka), on charges of having abused their
powers in the course of the criminal proceedings instituted against him
on 16 September 1994.  In particular, he submitted that his detention
on remand and a search of his home had been "unlawfully ordered by the
prosecutors", that at the investigative stage he had not had access to
the case-file and that, finally, "the prosecutors had submitted an
invalid and ill-founded bill of indictment".

      Apparently, on an unspecified date, his request was transferred
to the Wroclaw-Sródmiescie District Prosecutor.

       On 25 May 1995 the applicant requested the Wroclaw-Sródmiescie
District Prosecutor to institute criminal proceedings against M.B. and
M.Ch.

      On 18 August 1995 the Wroclaw-Sródmiescie District Prosecutor
dismissed the applicant's request, finding that the prosecutors had
acted lawfully and diligently throughout the criminal proceedings
complained of, and that there was no indication that their conduct had
amounted to a breach of law or abuse of powers.

      On 4 October 1995, upon the applicant's appeal, the Wroclaw
Regional Prosecutor (Prokurator Wojewódzki) upheld the decision of the
prosecutor at first instance and the reasons therefor.

Relevant domestic law and practice

1.    Appeal proceedings

      Under Section 402 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, an appellate
court shall not be allowed to take evidence pertaining to the essence
of the case.  In exceptional instances the appellate court may take
evidence if it is necessary and will expedite the course of the
proceedings.

      Section 403 of the Code, concerning the course of an appellate
hearing, insofar as relevant, provides:

      "1.  An appellate hearing shall begin with an oral report by a
      judge rapporteur who shall present an account of the previous
      course and outcome of the proceedings, the contents of the
      judgment given at first instance and the parties' appeals (...).

      2.   The parties may submit pleadings, statements and motions
      either orally or in writing (...).

      3.   The president of the court shall allow the parties to
      present their arguments in the order established by him.  An
      accused and his defence counsel shall have the right to present
      their arguments after the submissions of other parties."

2.    Legal assistance

      According to Section 69 of the Code of Criminal Procedure a court
may appoint a lawyer for an accused who has proved that he cannot
afford legal assistance, i.e. that the costs of such assistance would
entail a substantial reduction in his and his family's standard of
living.

      Section 71 of the Code of Criminal Procedure lays down the
principle known as "compulsory assistance of a lawyer", providing that:

      "An accused must have a defence counsel [of his own choice or
      officially appointed] when a regional court is competent to deal
      with his case as a court of first instance.  The counsel must
      take part in the main hearing; he must also take part in any
      appellate hearing if the president of the court or the court
      itself has found this necessary."

      Under Section 75 para. 1 of the Code of Criminal Procedure the
official appointment of a lawyer shall be valid for the entire
proceedings.  However, according to domestic practice since 1 January
1996 (the date on which a new cassation appeals procedure was
introduced into the existing system of criminal justice), a lawyer must
again be officially appointed in the cassation proceedings.  There is
no appeal against the court's refusal to grant legal assistance.

3.    Cassation appeal

      As from 1 January 1996, i.e. the date on which the relevant
provisions of a new Law of 29 June 1995 on Amendments to the Code of
Criminal Procedure and Other Criminal Statutes entered into force, a
party to criminal proceedings may lodge a cassation appeal with the
Supreme Court against any final decision of an appellate court which
has terminated the criminal proceedings.

      Section 463a para. 1 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, insofar
as relevant, provides:

      "1.  A cassation appeal may be lodged only on the grounds
      referred to in Section 388 [these include a number of procedural
      irregularities] or on the ground of another flagrant breach of
      law provided that the judicial decision in question was affected
      as a result of such breach. ..."

      Section 464 of the Code of Criminal Procedure provides:

      "1.  Parties to criminal proceedings shall be entitled to lodge
      a cassation appeal.

      2.   A cassation appeal which has been lodged by a party other
      than a prosecutor shall be filed and signed by a lawyer.

      3.   Notice of a cassation appeal must be lodged with the court
      which has given the [relevant] decision within seven days from
      the date on which such decision was pronounced.  The appeal
      itself must be lodged within thirty days from the date on which
      the decision, together with the reasons therefor, was served on
      the party concerned."

      Under Section 467 para. 2 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the
court which has given the decision in question is competent to decide
whether the formal requirements of a cassation appeal have been
complied with.  If an accused's appeal has not been filed and signed
by a lawyer, it must be rejected.  If an appeal complies with the
formal requirements, the case shall be transferred to the Supreme Court
(S*d Najwyzszy).  According to para. 4 of the above-mentioned
provision, the Supreme Court shall grant leave to appeal or declare the
cassation appeal inadmissible.


COMPLAINTS

1.    The applicant raises various complaints under Articles 3 and 6
paras. 1 and 3 (c) of the Convention.  In particular he submits that:

a)    his conviction was unjustified since the courts had incorrectly
assessed the evidence presented during his trial, made erroneous
findings of fact and wrongly applied Polish law;

b)    the proceedings before the Wroclaw Court of Appeal were conducted
unfairly as the court deprived him of defence rights by appointing a
new counsel for him and rejecting his request for it to read out
records of the evidence taken from him at first instance.

c)    the Wroclaw Court of Appeal refused to grant him legal assistance
in the cassation proceedings whereas, according to Polish law, a
cassation appeal must be filed by a lawyer;

2.    Under Articles 2, 3 and 5, Article 6 paras. 2 and 3, and Articles
8 and 13 of the Convention the applicant complains that the Polish
authorities arbitrarily rejected his requests that criminal proceedings
be instituted against the investigating prosecutors.

3.    He also complains under Article 10 para. 1 of the Convention that
the Polish authorities deprived him of his right to impart information
about his trial to the public.


THE LAW

1.    The Commission finds it necessary to join the applications under
Rule 35 of its Rules of Procedure.

2.    The applicant complains under Articles 3 and 6 paras. 1 and 3 (c)
(Art. 3, 6-1, 6-3-c) of the Convention that his conviction was
unjustified since the courts had incorrectly assessed the evidence
presented during his trial, made erroneous findings of facts and
wrongly applied Polish law.  He also submits that the proceedings
before the Wroclaw Court of Appeal were conducted unfairly as the court
deprived him of defence rights by appointing a new counsel for him and
rejecting his request to read out records of the evidence taken from
him at first instance.

      The Commission has examined the applicant's above complaints
under Article 6 paras. 1 and 3 (c) (Art. 3, 6-1, 6-3-c) of the
Convention.  These provisions, insofar as relevant, state:

      "1.  In the determination of ... any criminal charge against
      him, everyone is entitled to a fair ... hearing ... before ...
      [a] tribunal established by law. ...

      3.   Everyone charged with a criminal offence has the following
      minimum rights: ...

      c.   to defend himself in person or through legal assistance of
      his own choosing or, if he has not sufficient means to pay for
      legal assistance, to be given it free when the interests of
      justice so require;"

      The Commission notes that the applicant failed to file a
cassation appeal as he was refused legal assistance to do so.  An
issue, therefore, arises as to whether the applicant has complied with
the requirements under Article 26 (Art. 26) of the Convention as to the
exhaustion of domestic remedies.  However, the Commission need not
resolve this question since this part of the application is in any
event inadmissible for the following reasons:

      As regards the applicant's complaints about the judicial
decisions given in his case, the Commission recalls that, in accordance
with Article 19 (Art. 19) of the Convention, its only task is to ensure
the observance of the obligations undertaken by the Parties to the
Convention.  In particular, it is not competent to deal with an
application alleging that errors of law or fact have been committed by
domestic courts, except where it considers that such errors might have
involved a possible violation of any of the rights and freedoms set out
in the Convention.  The Commission refers, on this point, to its
established case-law (see e.g. No. 7987/77, Dec. 13.12.79, D.R. 18
pp. 31, 45; No. 25062/94, Dec. 18.10.95, D.R. 83, p. 77).

      The Commission also recalls that the admissibility and the
assessment of evidence are primarily a matter for regulation by
national law.  As a rule, it is for the national courts to assess the
evidence before them, whereas it is the Commission's task to ascertain
whether the proceedings considered as a whole, including the way in
which the evidence was taken, were fair (see Eur. Court HR, Asch v.
Austria judgment of 26 April 1991, Series A no. 203, p. 10, para. 26).

      In the present case the Commission finds no elements which would
indicate that the courts went beyond their discretion as to the
assessment of evidence presented in the course of the entire
proceedings complained of.  Nor does it consider that the Wroclaw Court
of Appeal, by its decision appointing a new counsel for the applicant
and the refusal to read all the records of the evidence taken from him
at first instance, failed to respect his defence rights.  Finally,
assessing the proceedings as a whole, the Commission finds no
indication that they were unfairly conducted in any other way.

      It follows that this part of the application is inadmissible as
being manifestly ill-founded within the meaning of Article 27 para. 2
(Art. 27-2) of the Convention.

3.    Under Articles 2, 3 and 5, Article 6 paras. 2 and 3, and Articles
8 and 13 (Art. 2, 3, 5, 6-2, 6-3, 8, 13) of the Convention the
applicant complains that the Polish authorities arbitrarily rejected
his requests that criminal proceedings be instituted against the
investigating prosecutors.

      However, the Commission recalls that neither Article 6 (Art. 6)
nor any other provision of the Convention invoked by the applicant
guarantees  a right to have criminal proceedings instituted against
third persons (No. 9777/82, Dec. 14.7.83, D.R. 34 p. 158).

      It follows that this part of the application is incompatible
ratione materiae with the provisions of the Convention within the
meaning of Article 27 para. 2 (Art. 27-2) of the Convention.

4.    The applicant also complains under Article 10 para. 1 (Art. 10-1)
of the Convention that the Polish authorities deprived him of his right
to impart information about his trial to the public.

      The Commission notes that the applicant, save for a copy of his
request of 17 March 1995, has failed to adduce any further
circumstances or documents relating to the substance of this complaint.
The Commission has, therefore, examined it as it has been submitted.
However, after considering the facts of the case as a whole, the
Commission finds that the complaint does not disclose any appearance
of a violation of the rights and freedoms set out in this provision of
the Convention.

      It follows that this part of the application in inadmissible as
being manifestly ill-founded within the meaning of Article 27 para. 2
(Art. 27-2) of the Convention.

5.    The applicant finally complains under Article 6 paras. 1 and 3
(c) (Art. 6-1, 6-3-c) that the Wroclaw Court of Appeal refused to grant
him legal assistance in the cassation proceedings, whereas under Polish
law a cassation appeal must be filed by a lawyer.

      The Commission considers that it cannot, on the basis of the
file, determine the admissibility of this complaint and that it is
therefore necessary, in accordance with Rule 48 para. 2 (b) of the
Commission's Rules of Procedure, to give notice of this complaint to
the respondent Government.


      For these reasons, the Commission,

      DECIDES TO JOIN APPLICATIONS Nos. 29692/96 and 34612/97;

      DECIDES TO ADJOURN the examination of the applicant's
      complaint under Article 6 paras. 1 and 3(c) of the
      Convention about the refusal to grant him legal assistance
      in the cassation proceedings;

      unanimously,
      DECLARES INADMISSIBLE the remainder of the applications.


   M.-T. SCHOEPFER                              G.H. THUNE
      Secretary                                  President
to the Second Chamber                      of the Second Chamber