THE FACTS

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

The applicant is a citizen of the United Kingdom, born in 1940, and
resident at Dagenham, Essex. When he submitted his application he was
detained in prison at 's-Gravenhage in The Netherlands.

From his statements and from documents submitted by the applicant it
appears that on .. June, 1967, he was arrested on the suspicion of
having attempted to change counterfeit money, knowing it to be false,
and remanded in custody. A provisional order for the applicant's
detention pending trial (Bevel tot Bewaring) was made on .. June 1967,
by the competent judge of the Rotterdam Regional Court
(Arrondissementsrechtbank) and on .. June 1967, the Third Chamber of
the said Regional Court issued an order for the applicant's continued
detention on remand (Bevel tot Gevangenhouding) during a period of
thirty days which, on .. August 1967, was extended for a further period
of thirty days.

The applicant was tried on .. September 1967, by the Rotterdam Regional
Court. On that day he was convicted for having passed off several false
100 Dollar bills knowing them to be false and sentenced to three years'
imprisonment.

On appeal (Hoger Beroep) by the applicant to the Court of Appeal
(Gerechtshof) at 's-Gravenhage this decision was set aside on ..
January 1968 on the grounds that it did not emerge from the minutes of
the proceedings before the District Court that the applicant, who was
unable to speak or understand the Court of Appeal itself passed
judgment on the applicant, finding him guilty of having passed off
counterfeit bills knowing them to be false and sentenced him to two
years' imprisonment.

The applicant now intended to lodge with the Supreme Court (Hoge Raad)
a plea of nullity (Beroep in Cassatie) against the Court of Appeal's
above decision. For that purpose he made an application to the Bar
Association for assistance in Criminal Matters at the Dutch Supreme
Court (Raad van Rechstbijstand in Strafzaken bij de Hoge Raad der
Nederlanden) requesting the assistance of a lawyer. As a result of this
application, Mr. M, a lawyer practising at 's-Gravenhage, was appointed
to represent the applicant during the appeal proceedings. On .. March
1968, Mr. M filed with the Supreme Court the grounds of appeal
challenging the Court of Appeal's decision of .. January 1968 in
principal, on the grounds that it had not been established that the
applicant had known the bills to be false.

The Supreme Court heard the applicant's plea on .. March 1968, in the
presence of the Attorney General (Advocaat-Generaal) acting on behalf
of the Procureur-General at the Supreme Court, but in the absence of
the applicant and his lawyer, who submitted written pleadings only. On
.. May, 1968, the Supreme Court rejected the plea as being ill-founded.
Subsequently, the applicant allegedly addressed himself to the Minister
of Justice, H.M. the Queen and other authorities, but without success.

The applicant now complains that he was wrongly convicted and sentenced
and that the Convention was violated by reason of the court proceedings
concerned.

He explains that he did not know the Dollar bills which he had tried
to change, to have been false and that certain statements to the
contrary made by witnesses in England were untrue and misleading. He
had asked for witnesses to be produced who would have given evidence
in his favour but not all of these witnesses had been called by the
Court.

He further complains that upon arrest he was taken to a police station
where, on three occasions, he was asked to strip naked in order to be
searched on and even inside his body. He immediately requested to see
a lawyer and the British Consul in Rotterdam but his request was
granted only seven days after he had been arrested. Subsequently he had
not been allowed to see his lawyer regularly.


Finally, he complains that the decisions in his case had not been taken
until two weeks after the trial and that the Supreme Court had dealt
with his plea of nullity in his absence.

He alleges violations of Article 6, paragraphs (2) and (3) (c) and (d),
and Article 8, paragraph (1) of the Convention. He also invokes
Articles 25, 26 and 27. He requests the Commission to clear him of his
conviction, to establish the true facts of his arrest and trials, and
to show that it was impossible to prove him guilty.

The Commission examined the application on 1 December 1969 and
considered that the practice in criminal proceedings before the Dutch
Supreme Court in most cases not to deliver oral pleadings but to refer
to the applicant's written pleadings and to hear the conclusions of the
Attorney General might raise questions similar to those raised by the
"Delcourt" Case against Belgium, which was pending before the European
Court of Human Rights. It therefore decided to adjourn the examination
of the application until the European Court of Human Rights had
pronounced judgment in the "Delcourt" Case. This took place on 17
January, 1970.

THE LAW

Whereas, in regard to the applicant's complaints concerning his
conviction and sentence, 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 or 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, the applicant further complains that the Supreme Court dealt
with his plea of nullity in his absence but in the presence of the
Attorney General acting on behalf of the Procureur-General attached to
the Supreme Court; whereas the Commission considered this complaint
under Article 6, paragraph (1) (Art. 6-1), of the Convention which
provides that in the determination of any criminal charge everyone is
entitled to a fair hearing;

Whereas, the Commission first had regard to the judgment of the
European Court of Human Rights of 17 June, 1970 in the "Delcourt" Case;

Whereas, in that case, the applicant had made certain so-called "new
complaints" to the effect that, during the proceedings before the
Belgian Court of Cassation, he had not been able to reply to the
submissions of the Procureur General's department at the Court of
Cassation as he had not been informed of this submission before the
hearing and also did not have the right to the "last word" at this
respect that the fact that the Procureur General's department at the
Court of Cassation in Belgium expresses its opinion at the end of the
hearing, without having communicated it in advance to the parties, was
not inconsistent with Article 6, paragraph (1) (Art. 6-1), of the
Convention, since that provision did not require, even by implication,
that an accused person should have an independent official attached to
the highest court in Belgium as its assistant and advisor;

Whereas, the Commission next examined the situation in The Netherlands,
with regard to the role of the Procureur-Generaal attached to the
Supreme Court (Hoge Raad) and the procedure before that Court;

Whereas, with regard to the Procureur-Generaal at the Supreme Court,
the Commission observes that he is a member of the Public Prosecutor's
Department (Openbaar Ministerie) in accordance with Article 3 of the
Judicature Act (Wet ot de Rechterlijke Organisatie), 1827;

Whereas, under that provision, the Public Prosecutor's Department
consists of the Procureur-Generaal attached to the Supreme Court, the
Procureurs Generals attached to the Courts of Appeal and the Public
Prosecutors attached to the Courts of first instance;

Whereas, the Public Prosecutor's Department is not an independent body
since its members are bound by the orders given by the King through the
Minister of Justice (see Article 5 of the Judicature Act) and it
represents the executive in judicial proceedings;

Whereas, however, a special status is accorded to the Procureur-General
attached to the Supreme Court; whereas, his functions are described
generally in Article 52 of Ordinance No. I, Chapter I, 1838, which
states that the Procureur-Generaal at the Supreme Court ensures the
maintenance and execution of the laws and ordinances by the courts;

Whereas, in this respect alone can he give instructions to the
Procureur-General at the Courts of Appeal and the public prosecutors
attached to the other courts (see Article 53 of Ordinance No. I) whose
main task it is to prosecute criminal offenses and to supervise the
execution of criminal judgment; whereas the Procureur-Generaal at the
Supreme Court is charged with the prosecution of only such criminal
offenses which fall within the original jurisdiction of the Supreme
Court (Article 7 of the Code of Criminal Procedure)  eg offenses
committed by ministers, secretaries of State, high State officials and
members of Parliament in the exercise of their functions (see Article
92 of the Judicature Act);

Whereas otherwise his only function is to ensure the maintenance and
execution of the laws and ordinances of the courts;

Whereas, he exercises his functions independently without any
interference by members of the Government;

Whereas, his personal task is to assist the Supreme Court in reaching
its decisions on pleas of nullity in cassation proceedings before that
Court; whereas he accomplishes that task by submitting to the Court,
as an impartial adviser, such conclusions on the case as he may
consider necessary in the interest of maintaining and executing the
laws and ordinances; whereas, in these conclusions the
Procureur-Generaal will also draw the Court's attention to such grounds
of cassation which have not otherwise been put before it; whereas it
is also Procureur-General himself nor the Attorney General acting on
his behalf is present during the Supreme Court's deliberations in
Chambers;

Whereas, with regard to the procedure before the Supreme Court, the
Commission notes that, apart from the limited cases in which the Court
has original jurisdiction, its main task is to decide on pleas of
nullity in cassation proceedings; whereas the procedure concerning such
proceedings is set out in Articles 432 et seq. of the Code of Criminal
Procedure as follows:

1. If a convicted person wishes to lodge a plea of nullity he must
deposit, within eight days after the challenged decision has been
pronounced, a declaration with the clerk of the court that has taken
that decision, to the effect that he wishes to make such plea to the
Supreme Court (Article 432);

2. The papers are sent to the Clerk of the Supreme Court, and the
applicant may submit, through his lawyer, written pleadings containing
his grounds of nullity (Article 433);

3. Eight days after receipt of the written pleadings the Clerk of the
Supreme Court hands them to the Procureur-Generaal who transmits them
to the Court and proposes at the same time, a date for the hearing; the
hearing is then fixed by the presiding judge who also appoints a
rapporteur (Article 436);

4. The Procureur-Generaal informs the appellant at least eight days in
advance of the date of the hearing (Article 437, para (1));

5. The hearing starts with a statement by the judge rapporteur
concerning the facts of the case and the grounds of nullity as
submitted by the appellant (Article 438);

6. Thereafter the appellant's counsel is given an opportunity orally
to plead the case and may at that stage submit further grounds of
nullity (Article 439);

7. Subsequently, the Procureur-Generaal submits his conclusions to the
Supreme Court either at once or at a later session; when no lawyer
appears on behalf of the appellant, the Procureur-Generaal submits his
conclusions immediately after the judge rapporteur has reported the
case; thereafter the presiding judge orally fixes the date on which the
Supreme Court will pronounce its decision (Article 440);

8. The judgment is read by the presiding judge or one of the associate
judges at a public session of the Supreme Court (Article 443);

9. The Procureur-Generaal gives notice to the appellant of the Supreme
Court's decision (Article 444, para. (2)).

Whereas, in the present case, the applicant was informed, in accordance
with the provisions of Article 437 of the Code of Criminal Procedure,
of the date of the hearing before the Supreme Court; whereas he was
further informed that, although he himself would not be allowed to
address the Court, he could instruct counsel to plead his case and
that, if necessary, he could apply for legal aid and the appointment
of counsel; whereas, in fact, counsel was appointed in the applicant's
case and, on .. March 1968, submitted to the Supreme Court on the
grounds of nullity in writing; whereas, according to the practice
normally observed by lawyers acting on behalf of appellants to the
Supreme Court, counsel did not personally appear at the hearing of ..
March 1968 when the Attorney General, acting on behalf of the
Procureur-General, submitted, after the report of the judge rapporteur,
his conclusions the effect that the plea of nullity should be
dismissed; whereas, on .. May, 1968, the Supreme Court dismissed the
plea of nullity and the applicant was so informed in accordance with
Article 444 of the Code of Criminal Procedure;

Whereas, in these circumstances and having regard to the principles
developed by the European Court of Human Rights in its judgment on the
"Delcourt" Case, the Commission finds that there is not, in the
proceedings concerned, any appearance of a violation of the applicant's
right to a fair hearing within the meaning of Article 6, paragraph (1)
(Art. 6-1), of the Convention; whereas it follows that this part of the
application is also manifestly ill-founded and must be rejected in
accordance with Article 27, paragraph (2) (Art. 27-2), of the
Convention;

Whereas, the applicant further complains that the Court of Appeal at
The Hague failed to hear all the witnesses who would have given
evidence in his favour; whereas the Commission has consistently held
that the provisions of Article 6, paragraph 3 (d) (Art. 6-3-d), of the
Convention does not give an accused person a general right to call
witnesses on his behalf; whereas, in particular, a court is justified
in refusing to summon witnesses whose statements could not be of any
relevance to the case (see, for instance, Applications Nos. 617/50,
Yearbook, Vol. III, pages 390-392, and 2383/64, Collection of
Decisions, Vol. 23, pages 26, 30);

Whereas, in the present case, the applicant failed to submit any
indication as to the names of witnesses he intended to call or as to
the nature of the evidence which these witnesses were expected to give;
whereas, in these circumstances, the Commission finds that, even
assuming the applicant has exhausted the domestic remedies in this
respect, there has been no appearance of a violation of the right "to
obtain the attendance and examination of witnesses on his behalf under
the same conditions as witnesses against him", as guaranteed by Article
6, paragraph (3) (d) (Art. 6-3-d), of the Convention;

Whereas, it follows that this part of the application is equally
manifestly ill-founded within the meaning of Article 27, paragraph (2)
(Art. 27-2), of the Convention;

Whereas, finally, in regard to the applicant's complaints that at the
police station he was required to strip naked and be searched, 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 any Dutch court or authority; whereas,
therefore, he has not exhausted the remedies available to him under
Dutch 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 conditions 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;

Now therefore the Commission DECLARES THIS APPLICATION INADMISSIBLE