THE FACTS

Whereas the facts of the case may be summarised as follows:

The applicant is a German citizen, born in 1911, and at present
resident in U. He is represented by Dr. L. H. Farnborough, a lawyer
practising in Düsseldorf and acting under a power-of-attorney dated 30
April 1970.

On 2 December 1968 he lodged with the European Commission of Human
Rights an application under Article 25 of the Convention relating to
his conviction and sentence by the Regional Court (Landgericht) of A.
for fraud and the court proceedings concerned. Under the same
application, Mr. Z., the applicant's son-in-law, made certain separate
complaints alleging that he was himself the victim of violations of the
Convention as a result of the violations relating to the applicant.

From the statements and documents submitted it appeared that on ..
November 1967 the applicant was convicted by the Regional Court of A.
on seven counts of fraud and sentenced to 27 months' imprisonment. His
appeal (Revision) against this judgment to the Federal Court
(Bundesgerichtshof) was rejected on .. August 1968 as being clearly
ill-founded. On .. November 1968 he also made a constitutional appeal
(Verfassungsbeschwerde) to the Federal Constitutional Court
(Bundesverfassungsgericht) which, however, he did not pursue after he
had been advised by letter of 15 November 1968 from a judge of the
Constitutional Court that his appeal appeared to be inadmissible.

In his application to the Commission the applicant alleges violations
of Article 6, paragraphs (1), (2) and (3) (b), (c) and (d), of the
Convention. He maintained, in particular, that he was wrongly convicted
and sentenced, that he did not have a fair hearing before the A.
Regional Court, that the Court denied him adequate time and facilities
for the preparation of his defence, and that he was denied the right
to defend himself in person or through adequate legal assistance.

The applicant further maintained that he did not have a hearing of his
case within a reasonable time in that it had taken the A. Regional
Court more than six years to bring him to trial. He explained that the
police started to investigate the charges against him in July 1961 and
that in 1963 a preliminary judicial investigation was held before the
investigating judge. The trial opened on .. October 1967, and ended on
.. November 1967, with his conviction and sentence. The applicant
alleged that this delay of more than six years had not been necessary
since the investigations by the police had not taken more than one
year, at the most, and the preliminary judicial investigation had
lasted eight weeks only. Moreover, having been obliged to wait for his
trial during that period had been detrimental to his health and
financial position, and also to his chances of acquittal as the
witness' memory had become more and more unreliable.

Whereas the proceedings before the Commission may be summarised as
follows:

The Commission considered the applicant's and Mr. Z.'s complaints on
5 February 1970. On that day it declared inadmissible by partial
decision certain parts of the application. It found that the
applicant's complaints concerning his conviction and sentence were
manifestly ill-founded (Article 27, paragraph (2), of the Convention)
and that with regard to the alleged refusal by the courts of adequate
time and facilities for the preparation of his defence and the alleged
denial of a fair hearing the applicant had failed to exhaust domestic
remedies (Articles 26 and 27 paragraph (3) of the Convention). The
Commission further rejected the applicant's complaints concerning his
lawyer as being incompatible with the provisions of the Convention
(Article 27 paragraph (2) of the Convention) insofar as these
complaints were directed against the lawyer as such, and as being
manifestly ill-founded (Article 27 (2)) insofar as they could be
examined in relation to Article 6, paragraph (1), of the Convention.
The Commission also found that all the complaints made by Mr Z. were
manifestly ill-founded (Article 27, paragraph (2), of the Convention).

However, insofar as the applicant's complaints under Article 6,
paragraph (1), of the Convention related to the length of the criminal
proceedings against him the Commission decided, in accordance with Rule
45 (3) (b) of the Rules of Procedure, to give notice thereof to the
Government of the Federal Republic of Germany and to invite the Parties
to submit observations in writing on the admissibility of that part of
the application. The Commission further decided to grant the applicant
legal aid under the Addendum to its Rules of Procedure.

Whereas in his application form, in his written submissions and at the
oral hearing on 17 July 1970, the applicant alleged a violation of
Article 6, paragraph (1), of the Convention in that he was not brought
to trial within a reasonable time.

Whereas the respondent Government has replied to this allegation in its
written observations of 9 April 1970 and at the oral hearing on 17 July
1970:

Whereas the submissions of the Parties may be summarised as follows:

1. The respondent Government first explained the factual background of
the criminal proceedings against the applicant. According to the
Government's submissions the applicant together with two others (MM.
K. and H.) founded in 1958 the Saxony G.m.b.H. Co. KG, a company whose
object was the sale of music boxes to private persons. The boxes were
acquired from a Mr. M. a manufacturer at D., and sold at prices varying
from 4.500 to 4.700 DM mainly to persons in low income groups. They
were financed by banks which advanced the purchase price in return for
bills of exchange drawn by the Saxony and accepted by the purchasers
concerned. The titles to the music boxes were assigned to the banks as
a security. The company made certain service contracts
(Betreuungsverträge) with the buyers by which it undertook to install
the boxes in restaurants, collect the money inserted therein and
service the boxes. It was originally intended that the bills of
exchange should be paid from the money inserted in the music boxes.
This, however, proved impossible as the proceeds were insufficient to
meet the amounts which were currently due for payment on the bills of
exchange. As furthermore the company had started its business with
hardly any capital of its own and had no further financial resources
from which it could draw in order to pay the bills of exchange, the
applicant decided to raise the necessary funds by increasing the sale
of music boxes.

Together with Mr. M. and two others (MM. K. and R.)  the applicant
developed a new system under which letters describing the music boxes
("Automatenbriefe") were handed over to the banks as security for the
loans received. In 236 cases the boxes described in these letters had
not yet been constructed.

In April 1961 the company's insolvency became apparent on account of
the increasing number of bills of exchange which were left unpaid. By
that time the company had received over four million Marks from the
fourteen banks involved as a result of the system of "advance
financing" described above. On .. April 1961 the company broke down
completely. Applications for the opening of bankruptcy proceedings
were dismissed by decisions of the District Court (Amtsgericht) of G.,
dated .. June and .. August 1962, on the ground that owing to a lack
of assets not even the costs of the bankruptcy proceedings would be
covered.

The respondent Government next set out the procedural steps with regard
to the criminal proceedings against the applicant. The Government also
submitted a schedule showing the course of the investigations and
criminal proceedings against the applicant and four others (MM. H., K.,
M. and R.).

From these submissions it appears that, immediately after the collapse
of the firm certain buyers laid information against the company to the
effect that they had been defrauded. On 5 July 1961 one of the banks
involved brought charges with the Public Prosecutor's Office
(Distriktstaatsanwaltschaft) at G..

On 17 July 1961 the Regional Office of the Criminal Police
(Landeskriminalpolizeiamt) in O. started its investigations by
questioning the manager of the above bank. It returned the files to the
G. Public Prosecutor's Office on 24 July 1961 which on the same day
made applications to the District Court at G. to issue warrants for the
applicant's arrest and for a search of the company's premises. The
Court, on 25 July 1961, made orders for a search of the premises but
refused to issue any warrants of arrest. The Public Prosecutor's Office
appealed against this refusal on 29 July 1961 but, on 23 August 1961
withdrew its appeal.

On 25 and 27 July 1961 the police searched the company's premises and
seized numerous documents and files.

The applicant was first examined as a suspect on 1 and 2 August 1961.
Subsequently, during the period from 3 August 1961 to 13 June 1962 the
police continued its investigations of the case by examining witnesses
or the applicant's co-accused on the following dates:

3/8/61 - 2 witnesses
4/8/61 - 1 witness
7/8/61 - Mr. K.
9/8/61 - Mr. H.
11/8/61 - 1 witness
14/8/61 - 1 witness
15/8/61 - 1 witness
25/8/61 - Mr. H.
6/9/61 - 3 witnesses
7/9/61 - 1 witness
8/9/61 - 1 witness
9/9/61 - 1 witness
17/10/61 - 13/6/62 - various unspecified witnesses

On 28 August 1962 the office of the criminal Police at Hanover
submitted to the Public Prosecutor's Office attached to the Regional
Court (Landgericht) in Braunschweig a report on the result of its
investigations and, on 6 September 1962 put the entire case-file before
the said Public Prosecutor's Office. On 10 September 1962, the Public
Prosecutor requested the criminal police to examine MM. K., H. and R.
by putting to them the evidence established so far. This was carried
out during the period from 14 September to 29 November 1962 and on 4
December 1962 the record of these examinations was transmitted to the
Public Prosecutor who himself examined Mr. K. once more on 11 December
1962.

On 11 January 1963 the Public Prosecutor submitted to the Regional
Court of A. the indictment against the applicant and four other
persons, namely MM. K., R. and M.. The indictment was communicated to
the applicant and his co-accused on 23 January 1963 and on 3 February
1963 the applicant lodged with the Regional Court an application for
a preliminary judicial investigation (gerichtliche Voruntersuchung).
This was refused by the Court on .. March 1963.

On 6 April 1963, the applicant lodged an appeal (sofortige Beschwerde)
with the Court of Appeal (Oberlandesgericht) in A. against this
decision and, on 24 April and 7 May 1963 submitted further grounds of
appeal. In the meanwhile, on 22 April 1963 the case-files had been sent
to H. defence counsel who returned them on 18 June 1963. On 21 June
1963, the Public Prosecutor's Office submitted its observations on the
further grounds of appeal submitted by the applicant and on 24 July and
28 August 1963, counsel action for Mr. R. submitted further grounds of
appeal. Finally, on 5 September 1963, the Court of Appeal in A. allowed
the appeal and ordered the opening of the preliminary judicial
investigations. These were closed on 31 December 1963 and on 24
February 1964 the Public Prosecutor filed with the A. Regional Court
a supplementary indictment. This was communicated to the applicant and
his co-accused on 3 March 1964.

On 9 March and 15 April 1964, respectively, Mr. K. and the applicant
made further applications for a preliminary judicial investigation on
the charges contained in the supplementary indictment. This was refused
by the Regional Court on 14 May 1964 and their appeals to the Court of
Appeal rejected on 14 July 1964.

During this period and subsequently, until 30 January 1965, the files
were with the lawyers of the accused persons or with the Attorney
General (Generalstaatsanwalt) in Düsseldorf in connection with a
decision prohibiting the applicant to exercise his profession as a
certified public accountant (Wirtschaftsprüfer).

On 17 March 1965, the Regional Court decided that proceedings should
be opened against all five accused persons and on 3 May 1965 the
presiding judge of the Court's First Criminal Chamber decided that the
trial should be held from 22 June to 9 July 1965.

However, on 28 May 1965 the Judge, acting upon an application by Mr.
M. to adjourn the hearing, set aside this decision. M. submitted that
he was physically incapable of standing trial and produced medical
certificates to that effect. A similar application was made on 1 June
1965 by Mr. K. On 5 and 10 November 1965 both M. and K.submitted
further medical certificates showing that their state of health had not
improved. It appears that this was confirmed by the Public Health
Office (Gesundsheitsamt) in A.. In any event, on 20 January 1966, the
Public Prosecutor's Office at A. informed the Regional Court that it
was still not possible to begin with the trial owing to M.'s and K.'s
physical condition.

On 31 May 1966 and again on 28 October 1966, the presiding judge of the
Regional Court's First Criminal Chamber requested K. and M. to submit
further medical certificates. They complied on 9 June, 25 June, 22
November and 23 November 1966 and, on 5 December 1966 and 17 January
1967, they also submitted certificates from the Public Health Office
at G. to the effect that they were not capable of standing trial.

On 23 January 1967, the Public Prosecutor's Office at the A. Regional
Court proposed that the proceedings against K. should be detached and
that a new date for the trial should be fixed as regards the others.
The Office further proposed that the trial should not be held before
October/November 1967 in view of the continuing incapacity to stand
trial of M.. In accordance with these proposals the presiding judge
decided on 23 June 1967 that the trial should be held from 16 October
to 14 November 1967. The Regional Court then decided on 19 September
1967, that the proceedings against K. should be detached and
provisionally discontinued in accordance with Article 205 of the Code
of Criminal Procedure (1). Similar decisions were taken on 4 and 5
October 1967 with regard to M. and R..
-------------------------
(1) Article 205 of the Code of Criminal Procedure provides: "Where for
a long time it is not possible to conduct the trial owing to the
absence of the accused or to any other impediment relating to him, the
Court may provisionally discontinue the proceedings against him. If
necessary, the presiding judge secures the evidence." ("Steht der
Hauptverhandlung für längere Zeit die Abwesenheit des Angeklagten oder
ein anderes in seiner Person liegendes Hindernis entgegen, so kann das
Gericht das Verfahren durch Beschluss einstellen. Der Vorsitzende
sichert, soweit nötig, die Beweise.")
---------------------------

On 16 October 1967 the trial against the applicant and H. started. It
lasted until 23 November 1967. On that day the applicant was convicted
and sentenced; H. was acquitted. A draft of the decision was prepared
by 15 December 1967 and it was signed on 20 February 1968. Copies of
the decision were available by 5 April 1968 and on 24 April 1968 the
decision was communicated to the applicant.
In the meanwhile, on 29 and 20 November 1967 the applicant had lodged
with the Federal Court (Bundesgerichtshof) an appeal (Revision) against
his conviction and sentence, and on 27 May 1968 he submitted the
grounds of his appeal (Revisionsbegründung). The appeal was rejected
by the Federal Court on 23 August 1968 as being clearly ill-founded
(Article 349, paragraph (2), of the Code of Criminal Procedure).

The respondent Government submitted that, on the basis of these facts,
the applicant's complaint regarding the length of the criminal
proceedings against him is manifestly ill-founded.

The Government first submitted that, in accordance with the judgment
of the European Court of Human Rights in the "Wemhoff" and "Neumeister"
cases, and the Commission's Report on the Soltikow case, the period
which should be taken into consideration when assessing the
reasonableness of the length of the criminal proceedings within the
meaning of Article 6 (1) of the Convention, started to run on 11
January 1963, being the date on which the first indictment was served
on the applicant. According to the Government, this was the date on
which charges were first levelled against him and this was also the
correct starting point with regard to German law as, up to the service
of the indictment on the accused person, the Public Prosecutor's Office
has the possibility of discontinuing the criminal proceedings without
obtaining the decision of a court in this respect.

The Government further submitted that the period concerned ended on 23
November 1967, being the date on which the charges against he applicant
were determined by the Regional Court of A. It was true that the
applicant made an appeal to the Federal Court which was rejected on 23
August 1968. However, the Federal Court did not rule on the question
whether or not the charge was well-founded, but only decided certain
questions of law. Consequently, the date of that decision could not be
taken into account when considering the question of "reasonable time"
within the meaning of Article 6, paragraph (1), of the Convention.
However, even assuming that the period during which the appeal was
pending should also be considered in this connection, it should be
pointed out that the judgement comprised 185 pages and that,
consequently, a period of ten months was not excessive, considering
that it had been necessary to prepare for appeal proceedings on a
subject matter so voluminous and complex.

The Government then made submissions relating to the extent and the
complexity of the proceedings concerned and finally dealt with the
question of separating from the proceedings against the applicant the
charges against three of his co-accused.

As regards the extent of the proceedings the Government submitted that
the applicant was charged with having committed frauds against thirteen
banks causing losses of over 4.1 million marks; also with having
committed various forgeries and, in thirty cases, breach of trust and
falsifying documents by changing the serial numbers on several music
boxes in order to obtain a second credit on boxes on which credit had
already been given. It was true that, in the end, the applicant was
only convicted of seven counts of fraud, but this did not mean that the
extend of the proceedings was any less.

Furthermore, the papers and files which had to be sifted and evaluated
by the prosecuting authorities and courts consisted altogether of eight
volumes of records containing over 2,000 pages, 104 files, four
business books, one ledger as well as various boxes of index and other
cards. In spite of this, it had been possible to file the indictment
only about 11/2 years after the investigations had started, and it was
owing to the fact that the applicant and his co-accused had twice
requested a preliminary judicial investigation or that the files had
been transmitted to defence counsel for examination, that the decision
to open the trial was not taken before 17 March 1965, i.e. about two
years and two months after the first indictment had been filed and
about one year and one month after the filing of the supplementary
charges.

As regards the complexity of the case, the Government pointed out that
the prosecuting authorities and courts were required to examine a large
number of financial transactions which was difficult to evaluate both
in respect of the facts and of the legal implications. In fact, the
company had sold about 1,500 music boxes for each of which existed an
application for credit to the bank or banks concerned, several bills
of exchange signed by the buyers, a complicated contract concerning the
servicing of the boxes by the company, and finally the records of the
receipts from money inserted in the music boxes. It was necessary to
examine in detail all these transactions in order to prove the
applicant's criminal intent and both the courts and the applicant's
lawyer himself had repeatedly confirmed the complex nature of the
proceedings concerned.

Finally, as regards the question of the separation of the proceedings,
the Government pointed out that in the beginning it had not been clear
how long the co-accused persons K. and M. would be ill and thus not fit
to stand trial, since this did not already emerge from the medical
certificate submitted. Moreover, it did not appear suitable in the
beginning to conduct the trial without them as all five accused persons
incriminated each other and it would have been considerably more
difficult if not impossible, to establish the truth if even one had
been missing.

Only in December 1966 and January 1967 had it become clear that both
K. and M. would not be fit to stand trial for some time, and the
question of R.'s fitness to stand trial had not come up until September
1967 after he had suffered a heart attack.

However, all three co-accused persons agreed to appear before the Court
and give evidence as witnesses and it was only then possible
provisionally to discontinue and proceedings against them and fix a new
date for the trial of the applicant and H..

The Government therefore submitted that, in the circumstances, it was
not possible to hold the authorities and courts responsible for the
delays that did, in fact, occur and it submitted that the remainder
of the application should also be declared inadmissible.

The Government also intimated that, if the Commission were to consider
the applicant's allegations concerning the length of the proceedings
in relation to an alleged denial of a "fair" hearing within the meaning
of Article 6 (1) of the Convention, the question arose whether or not
the applicant had exhausted the domestic remedies in accordance with
Article 26 of the Convention as he had failed to make, in proper form,
a constitutional appeal to the Federal Constitutional Court.

2. The applicant first submitted that the period to be considered under
Article 6, paragraph (1), of the Convention in determining the actual
length of the proceedings against the applicant began to run on 5 July
1961, being the date on which these proceedings were actually started.
He also compared generally the German system of criminal procedure with
that in England and submitted that a delay of altogether 61/2 years in
bringing an accused to trial would not have been possible under the
English system.

The applicant then dealt with the procedural steps taken with regard
to the criminal proceedings against him and referred, in particular,
to the chronological survey submitted by the respondent Government. In
this connection he pointed to specific periods during which, in his
opinion, the authorities handled the case in such a manner as to cause
a delay of the proceedings.

The applicant first considered the period between 5 July 1961 and 11
January 1963, being the date on which the indictment was served on him,
i.e. a period of altogether eighteen months.

He noted that between 17 October 1961 and 13 June 1962, i.e. during a
period of about eight months, various unspecified witnesses had been
heard and regretted that the exact number had not been communicated.
Assuming that about 100 witnesses were heard in view of the fact that
the record comprises some 300 pages it should have been possible to
examine these witnesses within two or three months. Consequently there
was an unnecessary delay of about five to six months. The applicant
also referred to the fact that the police only submitted its report on
28 August 1962, i.e. two and a half months after their investigations
had been closed. He considered this period as being excessive for the
preparation of a report comprising 46 pages.

The applicant himself then observed that four of the accused persons,
namely K., H. and R. as well as the as the applicant himself, were
re-examined by the police during the period from 14 September to 29
November 1962 pursuant to the Public Prosecutor's request of 10
September 1962. He submitted that two days per person would have been
sufficient and that, consequently, two months were wasted.

Furthermore, after the investigations by the criminal police had been
terminated on 4 December 1962, i.e. one year and five months after they
had begun, the prosecution authority needed less than a month, taking
into account the Christmas recess, to check the relevant material and
come to a decision, submitting the indictment on 11 January 1963.

The applicant next considered the period between 11 January 1963 and
22 June 1965, being the date for which the trial had originally been
fixed, and submitted that there had been considerable delays during
this period of altogether two and a half years.

He pointed out that it had taken the courts seven months, namely from
3 February 1963 to 5 September 1963, to arrive at a decision to open
a preliminary judicial investigation which itself lasted only two and
a half months, namely from 11 October to 30 December 1963. He
considered again that about five to six months were wasted here.

Subsequently, after the application for a second preliminary judicial
investigation had been finally refused on 17 July 1964, the decision
to open the proceedings had only been taken on 17 March 1965, i.e.
eight months later. The applicant considered that this period was
completely wasted since no action was taken during that time. In
particular, the sending of the files to the Attorney General in X. for
a decision prohibiting the applicant to exercise his profession as
certified public accountant, was a complete waste of time as the
authorities and courts should have known that, in view of the fact that
the criminal charges against the applicant had not yet been determined,
such a decision was not only premature but also inadmissible.

The applicant finally referred to the period between 24 May 1965 and
4 October 1967 during which it was, according to the Government, not
possible to start the proceedings against him owing to the illness of
his co-accused. The applicant submitted that the authorities and courts
should have realised, at least by 1 June 1965, when further medical
certificates were submitted by the persons concerned, that it would not
be possible to proceed against MM. M. and K.. They should thus have
taken steps to separate these proceedings from the remainder. Even when
in January 1967 it became obvious that it was not possible to proceed
against Mr. M., the proceedings against this accused were not detached,
but, instead, it was proposed to have the trial as late as
October/November 1967. Only in October 1967 did the authorities decide
to proceed against the applicant and H. without the others and the
applicant submits that this decision could have been taken much sooner.

The prosecution authorities and the Court should have taken cognisance
of the right to trial within a reasonable time as guaranteed by Article
6, paragraph (1), of the Convention. They should have decided, at an
early stage of the proceedings, to arrange a separate trial for the
applicant, such separation being possible, under Article 4, paragraph
(1), of the Code of Criminal Procedure, at any stage of the
proceedings. In particular, it should have been clear that such a
decision was required in view of the fact that, as from the beginning,
the medical certificates submitted to the Court indicated that it was
not possible to say when the patients' health would be restored. On the
other hand, it was not for him to make an application for the
separation of the proceedings against him from those against the other
accused persons, as it was not in his interest to face the charges
alone concerning acts for which they were, if at all, together
responsible.

Moreover, the fatal consequence of the delay in bringing the applicant
to trial was to be seen, in particular, at the trial itself. For the
accused persons who were incapable of standing trial did, in fact,
appear as witnesses at the applicant's trial when it finally took place
in October/November 1967.

However, it was only possible to examine Mr. M. for 20 minutes, Mr. K.
for 25 minutes, and Mr. R. for 30 minutes. They were physically unable
to give any further evidence and, in particular, were not available for
cross-examination. Another important witness, the applicant's
secretary, in the meanwhile had been committed to a mental institution
and her evidence was worthless. Furthermore, two important witnesses
had died and a considerable number of witnesses states at the trial
that they were unable to remember details of the case seven years after
the events had occurred.

In the applicant's submission these considerations are important for
an examination of the case under Article 6, paragraph (1), of the
Convention.

The applicant finally submitted arguments distinguishing his case from
the "Neumeister" case where the European Court of Human Rights, in its
judgment of 27 June 1968, had decided that a period of more than seven
years was, in the circumstances of that case, not excessive. The
applicant referred to the European Court's statement to the effect that
seven years "indicates an exceptionally long period which in most cases
should be considered as exceeding the reasonable time laid down in
Article 6 (1)". (Eur. Court H.R., "Neumeister" Case, judgment of 27
June 1968, para. 20 of THE LAW). Nevertheless, the Court found no
violation of that provision by reason of the fact that the "Neumeister"
Case was of extraordinary complexity, that delays were to a large
extent caused by the need of defence counsel and the judges concerned
with the case record which comprised 21 volumes of about 500 pages each
as well as a large number of other documents, and that there was no
suggestion that a severance of Neumeister's case from those of his
co-accused would have been compatible with the good administration of
justice. The applicant submitted that these considerations were not
applicable in the present case.

In the first place, the case was not as complicated as the "Neumeister"
case. This was clear from the fact that the Regional Court in A. found
the applicant guilty on only six counts of fraud having induced six
banks to finance 47 (not 236) non-existent music boxes thereby
inflicting a loss of altogether 140,000 DM, and one count of fraud
vis-à-vis a third person, having induced that person to invest in the
company at a time when it was already insolvent. The applicant
submitted that what is important when examining the complexity of a
case is not what the prosecution tries to prove but what the accused
person has, in fact, done as established by the Court.

Furthermore, with regard to the charges relating to the sale of
non-existent music boxes, there was evidence given by the liquidator
of the company to the effect that the books and documents were in
perfect order at the time when bankruptcy proceedings were opened. The
police could have terminated their investigations within a few months
as it had only been necessary to examine the purchase contracts between
the company and Mr. M., the manufacturer, in order to find out, on
which contracts music boxes had been delivered and on which delivery
was still outstanding.

In the second place, the case was not as voluminous as the "Neumeister"
case. In this connection the applicant submitted that reference to the
amount of the material sifted and evaluated by the prosecuting
authorities was not relevant unless it was shown, in the light of the
Court's judgment concerning conviction and sentence, that it had been
necessary to do all this work.

The applicant finally submitted that, contrary to the "Neumeister"
case, it would have been compatible with the good administration of
justice to separate at an early date the proceedings against the
applicant from those against MM. K. and M., who - as the prosecution
and the trial court knew - were so seriously ill that they would not
be able to stand trial for a considerable time.

The applicant also referred to the judgment of the European Court of
Human Rights in the "Wemhoff" case and to the dissenting opinion of
Judge Zekia in the "Neumeister" case.

He submitted that the Commission should declare admissible the
remainder of his application.

THE LAW

Whereas Article 6, paragraph (1) (Art. 6-1), of the Convention provides
as follows:

"In the determination of any ... criminal charges against him, everyone
is entitled to a .... hearing within a reasonable time by (a) ..
tribunal ..";

Whereas the applicant alleged that the length of the proceedings
against him deprived him of a hearing within a reasonable time in
accordance with that provision; whereas the respondent Government
submitted that, in view of the extent of the complexity of the case
concerned and of the fact that the applicant's case was carried out
with the greatest possible expedition, the period concerned was not
excessive and unreasonable and that this part of the application was
therefore manifestly ill-founded within the meaning of Article 27,
paragraph (2) (Art. 27-2), of the Convention.

Whereas Article 27, paragraph (2) (Art. 27-2), of the Convention in
requiring the Commission to declare inadmissible any application from
an individual, which it considers to be "manifestly ill-founded" does
not permit the Commission to reject a complaint whose lack of
foundation cannot be so described (see the Commission's constant
jurisprudence, e.g. Application No. 2294/64, Yearbook, Vol. VII, pages
348, 354);

Whereas, in the present case, the Commission has carried out a
preliminary examination of the information and arguments submitted to
it by the Parties with regard to the applicant's above complaint;

Whereas the Commission finds that this complaint is of such complexity
that its determination should depend upon an examination of its merits;
whereas, therefore, it cannot be regarded as manifestly ill-founded
within the meaning of Article 27, paragraph (2) (Art. 27-2), of the
Convention;

Whereas if follows that the applicant's complaint under Article 6,
paragraph (1) (Art. 6-1), of the Convention relating to the length of
the criminal proceedings against him cannot be declared inadmissible
on that ground; and whereas no other ground for declaring this part of
the application inadmissible has become apparent;

Now therefore the Commission

Declares admissible and retains, without in any way prejudging the
merits of the case, the applicant's complaint relating to the length
of the proceedings against him (Article 6, paragraph (1) (Art. 6-1),
of the Convention).