FOURTH SECTION

PARTIAL DECISION

AS TO THE ADMISSIBILITY OF

Application no. 33198/04 
by Witold RUCIŃSKI 
against Poland

The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section), sitting on 11 October 2005 as a Chamber composed of:

Sir Nicolas Bratza, President
 Mr J. Casadevall
 Mr G. Bonello
 Mr R. Maruste
 Mr S. Pavlovschi
 Mr L. Garlicki, 
 Mr J. Borrego Borrego, judges
and Mr M. O’Boyle, Section Registrar,

Having regard to the above application lodged on 6 August 2004,

Having deliberated, decides as follows:

THE FACTS

The applicant, Mr Witold Ruciński, is a Polish national who was born in 1943 and lives in Kielce.

The circumstances of the case

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

On 28 May 2002 the applicant was detained on remand on suspicion of crimes against property and documents and acting in an organised group of a criminal character. On 29 May 2002 the Kielce District Court remanded the applicant in custody for 3 months.

Subsequently, the applicant’s pre-trial detention had been prolonged on several occasions (for the last time on 3 November 2004). The Kielce District Court and the Cracow Court of Appeal based their decisions on the fact that there was a reasonable suspicion that the applicant had committed the offence and, as it had been committed by acting in an organised group, on the need to secure a proper conduct of the investigation. The courts have also taken into account the severity of the anticipated penalty. On 23 December 2004 the Kielce District Court applied police supervision with respect to the applicant.

The proceedings in the applicant’s case are still pending before the Kielce District Court.

COMPLAINTS

The applicant complains under Article 5 § 3 of the Convention about the length of his pre-trial detention. He also alleges that there is no reasonable suspicion that he committed the crimes with which he was charged.

The applicant also complains under Article 6 § 1 of the Convention that the length of the proceedings in his case has exceeded a “reasonable time” within the meaning of this provision.

THE LAW

1. The applicant complains under Article 5 § 3 of the Convention about the length of his pre-trial detention.

The Court considers that it cannot, on the basis of the case file, determine the admissibility of this complaint and that it is therefore necessary, in accordance with Rule 54 § 2 (b) of the Rules of Court, to give notice of this part of the application to the respondent Government.

2. The applicant complained that the length of the proceedings in his case had been unreasonable. He relied on Article 6 § 1 of the Convention, which provides, in so far as relevant:

“In the determination of ... any criminal charge against him, everyone is entitled to a ... hearing within a reasonable time by [a] ... tribunal...”

On 1 March 2005 the Court gave decisions in two leading cases: Charzynski v. Poland no. 15212/03 (criminal proceedings) and Michalak v. Poland no. 24549/03 (civil proceedings), holding that persons complaining about the length of proceedings before the Polish courts were required by Article 35 § 1 of the Convention to lodge a complaint about the breach of the right to a trial within a reasonable time under the 2004 Act. Pursuant to section 2 of this Act, a party to the judicial proceedings is entitled to lodge a complaint about a breach of the right to a trial within a reasonable time. Under Article 5 of the 2004 Act, such a complaint must be lodged while the proceedings are still pending before the domestic courts. A party may seek, under Section 12, a finding that there was an unreasonable delay and ask for just satisfaction and acceleration of the impugned proceedings.

In this connection, the Court observes that the criminal proceedings against the applicant are pending before the domestic courts.

In the light of the foregoing, the Court considers that the applicant was required by Article 35 § 1 of the Convention to lodge a complaint about a breach of the right to a trial within a reasonable time with the domestic court, under the 2004 Act, and to ask for expedition of the proceedings and just-satisfaction.

It follows that this complaint must be rejected under Article 35 §§ 1 and 4 of the Convention for non-exhaustion of domestic remedies.

For these reasons, the Court unanimously

Decides to adjourn the examination of the applicant’s complaint concerning the length of the applicant’s pre-trial detention;

Declares the remainder of the application inadmissible.

Michael O’Boyle Nicolas Bratza 
 Registrar President

RUCIŃSKI v. POLAND DECISION


RUCIŃSKI v. POLAND DECISION