THE FACTS

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

The applicant is a citizen of the United Kingdom, born in 1923 and at
present detained in Wormwood Scrubs prison, London.

1. In January 1967 the appointed liquidator of a company called Z Trust
brought a civil action against the applicant for payment of nearly
£420,000. The company was registered in Liechtenstein but had a place
of business in London.

By judgment of .. October, 1967, given by Master A at the High Court
of Justice, Queen's Bench Division the applicant was ordered to pay the
money claimed by the liquidator. It is stated in the judgment that the
order was made. The applicant appealed against the judgment to the
Judge in Chambers, but on .. April 1968, was refused leave to defend
the action pursuant to Order 14 of the Rules of the Supreme Court and
was again ordered to pay the plaintiffs the sum in question plus costs.

An appeal from this judgment was dismissed by the Court of Appeal on
.. May, 1968 and the judgment confirmed. The applicant was heard in
person by the Court of Appeal. In its decision the Court of Appeal
states that the applicant had several times changed the grounds of his
defence. At first he had put the plaintiffs to proof, later he sought
to say that by an agreement the money which he had obtained was to be
treated as a loan and he would have 20 years in which to pay, then he
challenged the competence of the liquidator to bring the action. In
support of the latter argument he had stated that the plaintiffs were
not a company at all, that it had not existed in England and was not
a legal entity. The Court rejected this argument by saying that no
matter what the position of this company was in Liechtenstein, insofar
as the English side of the business was concerned the British
legislation enabled a liquidator to be appointed in England. The Court
of Appeal also refused the applicant's request for leave to appeal to
the House of Lords.

Nevertheless the applicant petitioned the House of Lords which rejected
his petition for leave to appeal against the Court of Appeal's decision
on .. June, 1968.

The applicant states that solely upon the above mentioned judgment
against him he was adjudicated bankrupt. He alleges that the plaintiffs
obtained the judgment by deliberately deceiving the Master, by
misrepresentation and concealment of the facts, and by calculated
perversion of the course of justice. He complains that he was not given
permission to defend the action of call any evidence although he had
denied the debt.

He alleges violation of Article 6, paragraph (1) of the Convention and
requests the Commission to set aside the judgment against him and to
direct the British Government that the action against him be
adjudicated again in a fair and open hearing.

2. On .. March, 1968, the applicant was convicted after a trial lasting
42 days by the Central Criminal Court, inter alia,

(1)  of having conspired with his co-accused, B, to cheat and defraud
such persons as had taken out insurance policies with the W Insurance
Company Limited by fraudently applying for their own benefit the
proceeds of premiums paid upon such policies;

(2)  of uttering certain forged valuable security with intent to
defraud knowing the same to be forged;

(3)  of, being Director, making a false entry in the balance sheet of
W.

The applicant was sentenced to a total of 8 years imprisonment. In
addition two considerable fines were imposed and a sentence of 12
months imprisonment in default of the payment of any fine.

The facts as they appear from the judgment of the Court of Appeal and
which are related to those of the above mentioned civil proceedings may
be summarised as follows:  The applicant had founded W in 1963. He
enlisted the co-accused, B, to help him run the company. Up to 1966 the
company had developed considerably and its premium income was running
at a rate of about £4,000,000 a year. Nevertheless in the same year it
was unable to pay claims made under the policies it had issued. It was
accordingly wound up on .. July, 1966.

The applicant and B had, in 1964, opened a bank account in the name of
the above mentioned Z Trust Company with a London bank. Into this
account W had paid over £400,000 out of the money received as premiums.
These sums were paid out to the applicant and B who used them for their
own purposes. According to the court the evidence showed clearly that
Z was a mere shadow with an impressive name which the applicant had
acquired for a few hundred pounds. The sums withdrawn by the applicant
and B from Z's account were loaned to them by Z, unsecured,
unreceipted, bearing interest at the rate of 3 per cent and not
repayable for 20 years. These business transactions led to the
financial disaster of W.

The applicant appealed against conviction and sentence, but his appeal
was rejected by the full Court of Appeal on .. July, 1968. In its
judgment the Court of Appeal, which, it appears, carefully examined the
affair, states that the trial judge "reviewed the evidence fully and
accurately and directed the jury upon the law correctly and lucidly".

The Court of Appeal held that the applicant's complaint that the jury
had been biased against him by a virulent press campaign, and by a
television interview which was conducted as a trial against him before
the criminal proceedings had commenced, did not justify quashing his
conviction. With regard to the press campaign, which was mounted in
July, 1966, the Court stated that the failure of W was a matter of
public concern and the free press had the right and the duty to comment
on such topics. The private individual is, according to the Court's
findings, adequately protected by the law of libel.

With regard to a television programme in which the applicant has been
interviewed in February, 1967, and questioned about his responsibility
for the failure of W although it was already obvious that he was about
to be arrested and tried on charges of gross fraud, the Court expressed
serious concern and stated that "trial by television" is not to be
tolerated in a civil society. It held, however, that the interview,
thought regrettable, also afforded no grounds for quashing the
applicant's conviction because he voluntarily went to the television
interview although he knew what he would be questioned about and
because the trial did not take place until eleven months after the
interview. The Court found that in the circumstances there was no real
risk that the jury was influenced by the pre-trial publicity.

The applicant's petition for leave to appeal to the House of Lords was
rejected on .. December, 1968. The applicant was represented by
counsel.

The applicant has submitted various copies of newspaper clippings, and
excerpts from books called "... " and "..." in which he is
characterised as a dubious or fraudulent businessman. All these
publications had appeared before his trial. He has also submitted a
recording of his television interview of .. February, 1967 in which he
was severely attacked by the interviewer. The applicant has further
submitted copies of letters which were published in The Times on ..
July, 1968 and in which the writers condemned the "trial by
television". A New York University professor expressed his opinion in
one of these letters that the United States Supreme Court would have
reversed the applicant's conviction on the ground of the public
campaign before the trial.

The applicant states that he had asked the Lord Chancellor and the
Attorney-General to be tried by a court of judges but this request was
rejected.

He further states that he did not voluntarily give the television
interview as was assumed by the Court of Appeal but was blackmailed
into giving it. He alleges that he was given the alternative to appear
and to answer question or to be attacked in his absence in which case
the viewers would be informed that he had been given the opportunity
of answering questions but was not prepared to do so.

The applicant complains that he did not have a fair trial and that the
Court of Appeal wrongly upheld his conviction. He points out that most
of the evidence used against him consisted of company accounts, balance
sheets, etc., which the lay-jury could not understand. He concludes
that consequently the jury accepted the allegations of the prosecution
only because they were brainwashed by what they had read about him in
the newspapers and seen on television.

He alleges violation of Article 6, paragraphs (1) and (2), of the
Convention and requests the Commission to intervene and establish his
rights.

THE LAW

Whereas, in regard to civil proceedings instituted against the
applicant by the appointed liquidator of the Z Trust Company, 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
in particular Article 6, paragraph (1) (Art. 6-1); 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 of the fact that the press had
given extensive coverage to his case and that he was publicly accused
in a television interview before his trial and whereas he alleges that
this publicity had a prejudicial effect in that it influenced the jury
against him; whereas in this regard he invokes Article 6, paragraphs
(1) and (2) (Art. 6-1, 6-2), of the Convention;

Whereas the Commission notes that the full Court of Appeal extensively
examined the merits of the applicant's case and found that his
conviction was well founded;

Whereas the Court of Appeal sits and determines appeals without a jury;
whereas consequently any errors which were committed by the jury as a
result of bias caused by such previous publicity and which allegedly
affected the judgment of the trial court, would have been rectified by
the decision of the full Court of Appeal, dated .. July, 1968; whereas
in this respect the Court of Appeal had, in fact, special regard to the
applicant's complaint that there had been prejudicial publicity
concerning his case and found that there was no real risk that the jury
was influenced by the publicity"; whereas the Court of Appeal further
found that "the case for the Crown was so overwhelming that no jury
could conceivably have returned any different verdicts" against the
applicant;

Whereas the Commission, having examined the case as it was submitted
by the applicant, finds no reason itself to adopt an opinion other than
the expressed by the Court of Appeal; whereas accordingly the
Commission does not find any appearance of a violation of the rights
and freedoms set forth in the Convention and especially in the Article
invoked by the applicant; 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, insofar as the applicant complains generally of his conviction
and sentence, as pronounced by the Central Criminal Court on .. July,
1968 an examination of the case as it has been submitted does not
disclose any appearance of a violation of the rights and freedoms set
forth in the provisions of the Convention other than Article 6,
paragraph (1) and (2) (Art. 6-1, 6-2); whereas in respect of the
decisions complained of, it has to be recalled that in accordance with
Article 19 (Art. 19) of the Convention, the Commission's 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 a violation in the proceedings complained of; whereas it
follows that this part of the application is also manifestly
ill-founded within the meaning of Article 27, paragraph (2)
(Art. 27-2), of the Convention;

Now therefore the Commission DECLARES THIS APPLICATION INADMISSIBLE