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THE FACTS

The applicant, Mr Murat Arslan, is a Turkish national who was born in 1979 and is currently detained in Nazilli Prison (Turkey). He was represented before the Court by Mr E. Yildiz, a lawyer practising in Izmir.

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

On 9 October 2001 the applicant was arrested and taken into police custody at the headquarters of the anti-terrorism branch of the Izmir security police.

On 12 October 2001, after being interviewed by the public prosecutor at the Izmir National Security Court, he was taken before a judge of that court who on 13 October 2001 ordered his detention pending trial.

On 19 October 2001 the public prosecutor committed the applicant for trial in the National Security Court.

The criminal proceedings against the applicant are still pending.

The applicant’s lawyer dated his application 12 April 2002 and took it on 19 April to the post office in Konak (central Izmir), where post is collected regularly several times a day.

COMPLAINTS

Relying on Article 5, §§ 1, 2, 4 and 5, and Article 8 of the Convention, the applicant complained of the conditions in which he had been held while in police custody, particularly on account of the fact that he had been held totally incommunicado throughout, and of the lack of any effective remedy whereby he could have complained of a violation of Article 5 § 1.

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THE LAW

1.  Relying on Article 5 §§ 1, 2, 4 and 5 of the Convention, and Article 8 in substance, the applicant complained of the conditions in which he had been held while in police custody, particularly on account of the fact that he had been held totally incommunicado throughout, and of the lack of any effective remedy whereby he could have complained of a violation of Article 5 § 1.

In the present case the Court does not consider it necessary to examine whether the applicant was required to exhaust domestic remedies since even if it were to accept the applicant’s argument that he did not have any effective remedy under Turkish law to challenge his arrest, the application must be rejected for failure to comply with the six-month rule. It refers on that point to the close correlation between the two rules (see, for example, De Becker v. Belgium, Commission decision of 9 June 1958, Yearbook 2, p. 243).

The Court reiterates that if no remedies are available in domestic law the six months begin to run in principle from the date of the act complained of in the application, or on the date when the applicant first became aware of it.

The Court notes that the applicant’s detention in police custody ended on 13 October 2001, the date on which the judge of the National Security Court ordered his detention pending trial. The applicant, who sought to complain of the impossibility of applying to a national authority to challenge his arrest and the conditions under which he had been held while in police custody, should have lodged his application within six months from that date, and therefore on 13 April 2002 at the latest.

In that connection, the Court notes that the applicant’s lawyer dated the letter accompanying the application 12 April 2002, but posted it at the post office in Konak (central Izmir) on 19 April. Assuming that he wrote the letter on 12 April, he should have posted it at the latest on the day after the date which appeared on it, namely 13 April 2002.

The Court observes that the applicant has given no explanation of the six day interval between the date on which the letter was written and that on which it was posted.

Having regard to the above considerations, the Court considers that the application was lodged on the date it was posted, namely 19 April 2002. It accordingly concludes that the application is out of time for the purposes of Article 35 § 1 of the Convention and must be rejected pursuant to Article 35 § 4.

2.  ...

For these reasons, the Court unanimously

Declares the application inadmissible.

ARSLAN v. TURKEY DECISION


ARSLAN v. TURKEY DECISION