SECOND SECTION

PARTIAL DECISION

AS TO THE ADMISSIBILITY OF

Application no. 39260/04 Application no. 39263/04 
 by Hasan KAPLAN and Others by Ahmet ÖZCAN 
 against Turkey against Turkey

Application no. 32265/04 
by Haydar KÖSEİBİŞ 
against Turkey

The European Court of Human Rights (Third Section), sitting on 20 June 2006 as a Chamber composed of:

Mr J.-P. Costa, President
 Mr A.B. Baka
 Mr R. Türmen
 Mr M. Ugrekhelidze
 Mrs E. Fura-Sandström
 Ms D. Jočienė, 
 Mr D. Popović, judges
and Mr S. Naismith, Deputy Section Registrar,

Having regard to the above applications lodged on 15 September (no. 39260/04) and 14 September 2004 (nos. 39263/04 and 32265/04),

Having deliberated, decides as follows:

THE FACTS

The applicants, MM. Hasan Kaplan, Uğur Kalayci and Bayram Yalçın Şentürk (no. 39260/04), and MM. Ahmet Özcan and Haydar Köseibiş, are Turkish nationals, who were born in 1958, 1965, 1956, 1961 and 1955 respectively. They live in Ankara, Samsun, Istanbul and Amasya respectively. They are represented before the Court by Mr M.N. Özmen, a lawyer practising in Ankara.

The applicants were arrested and taken into police custody on suspicion of their membership of an illegal organisation, the Dev-Yol (Revolutionary Way) on 26 November 1980, 26 May 1981, 4 October 1980, 23 September 1980 and 4 August 1980 respectively.

By an indictment filed on 17 August 1981, the Chief Public Prosecutor at the Ankara Martial Court instituted criminal proceedings against the first three applicants and one hundred twenty one other people, charging them with membership of the above-mentioned organisation. On an unspecified date in 1981 the public prosecutor filed an indictment charging the remaining two applicants with membership of the same organisation.

The applicants were detained on remand on 3 November 1981, 24 July 1981, 24 February 1981, 24 July 1981 and 1 March 1984 respectively.

In 1982 the applicant, Uğur Kalaycı was released pending trial.

On an unspecified date in 1985 the Ankara Martial Court convicted the first three applicants of premeditated murder, pursuant to Article 450 § 4 of the Criminal Code, and sentenced them to life imprisonment. On 15 May 1985 the remaining two applicants were convicted of the same crime and were sentenced to life imprisonment as well.

On an unspecified date in 1991 in respect of the first three applicants and on 4 June 1991 in respect of the remaining two applicants, the Military Court of Cassation quashed the judgment of the Ankara Martial Court on the ground that the latter had misinterpreted the domestic law in respect of the offence in question and remitted the case to the court of first instance.

Subsequent to the promulgation of Law no. 3953 on 27 December 1993, which abolished the jurisdiction of the Martial Law Courts, the Ankara Assize Court acquired jurisdiction in the applicants' case.

In 1994 the Ankara Assize Court commenced the applicants' trial.

On 8 April 1996, as a result of numerous sets of proceedings, the Ankara Assize Court, in the absence of the applicants, decided to discontinue the proceedings against the first three applicants, as the prosecution of the offences had become time-barred. On 6 October 1997 the court rendered the same judgment in respect of the remaining two applicants,

The judgment of the Ankara Assize Court was communicated to the applicants on 10 June 2004, 18 June 2004, 10 June 2004, 28 June 2004 and 10 June 2004 respectively. As they did not appeal against this judgment within the statutory time limit, the judgment became final on 18 June 2004, 28 June 2004, 18 June 2004, 6 July 2004 and 18 June 2004 respectively.

COMPLAINTS

1.  Invoking Article 6 § 1 of the Convention the applicants alleged that they were not tried within a reasonable time.

2.  Under the same heading, they complained that they were not tried by an independent and impartial court.

3.  Without specifying any reasons, they invoked Article 6 § 2 of the Convention.

4.  The applicants maintained that there exists no effective remedy under Turkish law whereby they could challenge the excessive length of the proceedings in dispute. In this context, they invoked Article 13 of the Convention in conjunction with Article 6 of the Convention.

THE LAW

1.  The applicants alleged that the length of the criminal proceedings exceeded the reasonable time requirement, in breach of Article 6 of the Convention.

The Court considers that it cannot, on the basis of the case file, determine the admissibility of this complaint and that it is therefore necessary, in accordance with Rule 54 § 2 (b) of the Rules of Court, to give notice of this part of the application to the respondent Government.

2.  The applicants complained under Article 6 § 1 of the Convention together with Article 13 of the Convention that there exists no effective remedy under Turkish law whereby they could challenge the excessive length of the proceedings in dispute.

The Court considers that it cannot, on the basis of the case file, determine the admissibility of this complaint and that it is therefore necessary, in accordance with Rule 54 § 2 (b) of the Rules of Court, to give notice of this part of the application to the respondent Government.

3.  Invoking Article 6 § 1 of the Convention, the applicants complained that they were not tried by an independent and impartial court. Without specifying any reasons, they invoked Article 6 § 2 of the Convention.

The Court observes that the criminal proceedings against the applicants were discontinued as the prosecution of the offences had become time-barred. Consequently, they were not convicted. Therefore, they can no longer claim to be victims of the alleged violations under Article 6 within the meaning of Article 34 of the Convention.

For these reasons, the Court unanimously

Decides to join the applications;

Decides to adjourn the examination of the applicants' complaints concerning the excessive length of the criminal proceedings and the lack of an effective remedy in this respect;

Declares the remainder of the applications inadmissible.

S. Naismith J.-P. Costa 
 Deputy Registrar President

KAPLAN AND OTHERS v. TURKEY DECISION


KAPLAN AND OTHERS v. TURKEY DECISION