THE FACTS

Whereas the facts presented by the applicant may be summarised as
follows:

The applicant is a British citizen, born in 1913 and at present
detained in Wormwood Scrubs Prison, London.

He was convicted on .. March, 1964 at Buckinghamshire Assizes on two
counts of conspiracy to stop and rob a mail train, and of being one of
the robbers of the train, and was sentenced to concurrent terms of 21
and 24 years' imprisonment. The applicant appealed against the
judgment. The Court of Criminal Appeal, on .. July, 1964, dismissed the
appeal against his conviction on the first count, quashed the
conviction of the second count and substituted a verdict of guilty on
three counts of receiving, and passed concurrent sentences of 14 years
on the four counts. It appears that the court based their decisions on
the following facts.

The applicant and one Y. were arrested in B. six days after the great
train robbery. They had aroused the suspicions of a landlady and tried
to resist arrest. Keys found on the applicant opened suitcases in an
Austin van containing £56,000, much of which came from the train
robbery, which the applicant, according to police evidence, admitted.
At the flat which the two men had rented in B. the police found another
£6,000 mixed up with the applicant's personal property.

The applicant's defence was and still is that he had known Y. for some
time but had no knowledge of the train robbery until he read about it
in the newspapers. He claimed to have travelled to Oxford from his home
in London on the day after the robbery to collect some money that Y.
owed him and said that he did not know until later on that the cases
found in the Austin van contained money.

It appears that in his appeal the applicant sought to call Y. to give
further evidence that he had played a minor part in the affair. He also
sought to call his wife and son to testify that he had been at home
when the robbery took place. The Court of Criminal Appeal ruled that
the latter evidence had been available at the time of the trial and
that Y.'s evidence would now be very much in doubt in view of his
apparent change of heart since he had been unwilling to make a
statement at the trial. The Court, therefore, refused to allow the
witnesses named by the applicant.

In May, 1966, the applicant applied for a writ of Habeas Corpus and was
informed by letter of .. June, 1966 from the Head Clerk of the Crown
Office that such application must be made in court and in accordance
with Order 59 of the Rules of the Supreme Court and, further, that a
Divisional Court of the Queen's Bench Division, on .. June, 1966, had
considered the application and had refused to relax the said rules in
his favour or to grant him legal aid. The Court stated in its decision
that the applicant's complaints of misconduct on the part of his
counsel and of the police as well as his allegations that evidence was
suppressed were clearly an attempt only to use the process as a means
of re-opening an appeal.

The applicant then applied to the Law Society for legal aid but
received negative replies by letters of .. November and .. December,
1966. The solicitors, W. and Sons and the official solicitor, by
letters of .. October and November, 1966 November, 1966, also rejected
his requests for assistance. The applicant, therefore, again informally
petitioned in November, 1967 for a writ of Habeas Corpus, claiming that
he had new evidence to prove his innocence. He was informed by letter
of .. November, 1967 from an Assistant Master of the Crown Office that
prisoners were not permitted to make more than one informal approach
for assistance to move for a writ of Habeas Corpus in respect of the
same matter. The applicant was also informed by letter of .. January,
1968 from the Registrar of the Court of Criminal Appeals that he had
no right to bring a fresh appeal.

It appears that various representations were made by, or on behalf of,
the applicant with the Home Office. However, by letters of .. June and
.. November, 1966, the applicant was informed that no action could be
taken on his behalf.

The applicant complains that he was wrongly convicted and sentenced.
He claims to be innocent and repeats that he only met Y. to collect the
money which he owed him. He contends that he is a victim of a criminal
conspiracy to which the police and judiciary, including his legal
advisers were all parties; that his trial and also his appeal were
wilfully rigged and all evidence in his favour suppressed; he alleges
that three witnesses vital to prove his innocence were not allowed to
give any kind of evidence and that he was represented against his will
by Jewish counsel.

The applicant alleges violation of Articles 6, paragraph (3) (c) and
(d), and 11 of the Convention and requests the Commission to help him
establish his innocence.

THE LAW

Whereas, with regard to the applicant's complaints concerning his
conviction and sentence, Article 26 (Art. 26) of the Convention
provides that the Commission may only deal with a matter "within a
period of six months from the date on which the final decision was
taken"; and whereas the Commission has already held in a number of
previous cases that the "final decision" within the meaning of Article
26 (Art. 26) refers solely final decision involved in the exhaustion
of all domestic remedies according to the generally recognised rules
of international law (see Application No. 918/60 - X. v. Federal
Republic of Germany - Collection of Decisions, Vol. 7, p. 108);
whereas, in the present case, the applicant was serving a prison
sentence after conviction and after having unsuccessfully appealed to
the Court of Criminal Appeal;

Whereas no further right of appeal was available to the applicant,
there being no indication that there was in the present case any issue
of public interest, for the determination of which leave to appeal to
the House of Lords would have been given.

Whereas, furthermore, his subsequent application for an order of Habeas
Corpus cannot be considered as part of the normal appeal procedure in
the United Kingdom judicial system;

Whereas, indeed the object of an application for an order of Habeas
Corpus is to enable a detained person to have determined the legality
of his detention, such order would be inapplicable in the case of a
person in detention following conviction by a court of competent
jurisdiction;

Whereas it follows that, in the circumstances of the present case, an
application for an order of Habeas Corpus was not an effective and
sufficient remedy and does not, therefore, constitute a domestic remedy
under the generally recognised rules of international law;

Whereas it follows that the decisions regarding this application for
an order of Habeas Corpus cannot be taken into consideration in
determining the final decision for the purpose of applying the six
months' time-limit laid down in Article 26 (Art. 26); whereas,
therefore, the final decision regarding the applicant's conviction and
sentence is the decision of the Court of Criminal Appeal which was
given on .. July, 1964; whereas the present application was not
submitted to the Commission until .. December, 1967, that is more than
six months after the date of this decision; whereas, furthermore, an
examination of the case does not disclose the existence of any special
circumstances which might have interrupted or suspended the running of
that period;

Whereas it follows that this part of the application has been lodged
out of time (Articles 26 and 27, paragraph (3) (Art. 26, 27-3), of the
Convention);

Whereas, in regard to the applicant's complaints relating to the
refusal of his application for the issue of an order of Habeas Corpus
and the court proceedings concerned, it is to be observed that the
Convention, under the terms of Article 1 (Art. 1), guarantees only the
rights and freedoms set forth in Section I of the Convention; and
whereas, under Article 25, paragraph (1) (Art. 25-1), only the alleged
violation of one of those rights and freedoms by a Contracting Party
can be the subject of an application presented by a person,
non-governmental organisation or group of individuals; whereas
otherwise its examination is outside the competence of the Commission
ratione materiae; whereas the Commission has already noted that an
order of Habeas Corpus does not form part of the normal appeal
procedure in criminal cases; whereas therefore, as indicated by the
Criminal Court, the applicant was clearly attempting, by applying for
such writ, to obtain a re-opening of the criminal proceedings against
him; whereas the Commission has frequently stated that the right to
such retrial is not as such included among the rights and freedoms
guaranteed by the Convention; and

Whereas, further, insofar as he complains of the proceedings in
connection with his application for a Habeas Corpus order, the
Commission has consistently held in analogous proceedings relating to
an application for a retrial that such proceedings fall outside the
scope of Article 6 (Art. 6) of the Convention (see Applications Nos.
864/60, X. v. Austria - Collection of Decisions, Vol. 9, p. 17 and
1237/61, X. v. Austria - Yearbook, Vol. V, p. 96); whereas it follows
that this part of the application is incompatible with the provisions
of the Convention within the meaning of Article 27, paragraph (2)
(Art. 27-2), of the Convention;

Now therefore the Commission DECLARES THIS APPLICATION INADMISSIBLE