SECOND  SECTION

FINAL DECISION

AS TO THE ADMISSIBILITY OF

Application no. 39339/98 
by M.M. 
against the Netherlands

The European Court of Human Rights (Second Section), sitting on 21 May 2002 as a Chamber composed of

Mr J.-P. Costa, President
 Mr A.B. Baka
 Mr Gaukur Jörundsson
 Mrs  E. Palm

Mr K. Jungwiert
 Mr V. Butkevych
 Mr M. Ugrekhelidze, judges
 and Mrs S. Dollé, Section Registrar,

Having regard to the above application introduced with the European Commission of Human Rights on 14 August 1997 and registered on 14 January 1998,

Having regard to Article 5 § 2 of Protocol No. 11 to the Convention, by which the competence to examine the application was transferred to the Court,

Having regard to the First Section’s partial decision of 30 January 2001,

Having regard to the observations submitted by the respondent Government and the observations in reply submitted by the applicant,

Having deliberated, decides as follows:

THE FACTS

The applicant is a Netherlands national, born in 1953 and living in The Hague. He has been a practising lawyer (advocaat) since 1979. He is represented before the Court by Ms T. Prakken, a lawyer practising in Amsterdam. The respondent Government are represented by Ms J. Schukking of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

A. The circumstances of the case

The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties and as they appear from the Court’s case- file, may be summarised as follows.

At the beginning of November 1993, the applicant agreed to act as defence counsel for Mr K. in criminal proceedings brought against the latter. At that time, Mr K. was in pre-trial detention. In connection with this case, the applicant met several times with Mrs S., who at that time was Mr K.’s wife.

At some point Mrs S. told Mr K. that on 9 November 1993 the applicant had made sexual advances towards her. Mr K. informed the police officer investigating his case, Officer N., of this, who in turn informed the public prosecutor in charge of the investigation against Mr K., Public Prosecutor T. The latter gave instructions that a criminal complaint against the applicant should be filed with the vice squad. On this basis, Officer N. contacted both Mrs S. and Officer R. of the vice squad. Mrs S., however, was reluctant to lodge a criminal complaint against the applicant as she feared that her word – the only evidence available – would be insufficient against that of the applicant.

Following discussions between Officers R. and R.K. of the vice squad and Public Prosecutor T., it was suggested to Mrs S. to connect a tape recorder to her telephone in order to allow her to tape incoming conversations with the applicant. Police officers subsequently connected a tape recorder to Mrs S.’s telephone in her home and suggested that she steer her conversations with the applicant towards the latter’s advances. Mrs S. was shown how to operate the tape recorder. The police came to her house twice in order to collect the recordings and place new cassette tapes in the tape recorder.

Mrs S. recorded three conversations with the applicant, which were transcribed by the police. These transcriptions were added to the case-file on the investigation against the applicant.

On the basis of Mrs S.’ subsequent criminal complaint against the applicant for sexual assault, the applicant was arrested. After the case had been reported in the press, two other women came forward and lodged criminal complaints against the applicant: one Mrs V., who claimed to have been raped and sexually assaulted by the applicant, and one Mrs C., who also complained that she had been sexually assaulted by the applicant.

The applicant was subsequently summoned to appear on 14 April 1994 before the Regional Court (Arrondissementsrechtbank) of The Hague on charges of sexual assault and rape.

In its judgment of 28 April 1994, following adversarial proceedings in the course of which a hearing was held on 14 April 1994, the Regional Court convicted the applicant of having sexually assaulted Mrs S. and Mrs C., and acquitted him of the charges brought in respect of Mrs V. The Regional Court sentenced the applicant to eight months’ imprisonment, four months of which were suspended for a probationary period of two years.

Both the applicant and the public prosecutor filed an appeal with the Court of Appeal (gerechtshof) of The Hague.

At the beginning of its hearing held on 17 February 1995, the Court of Appeal informed the parties that a missing page of the judgment of 28 April 1994 had now been added to its case-file and that documents submitted by the defence at the time of its final pleadings before the Regional Court, which for a certain period had not been included in the Court of Appeal’s case-file, had now also been located and added to the case-file. On this point, the applicant stated that he had filed a criminal complaint for theft/embezzlement in respect of these documents which, in his opinion, had been “stolen” from the case-file on the day after the hearing at first instance. The Court of Appeal further heard the applicant, Mrs S., Officer R. and Mrs C. It decided to instruct the investigating judge (rechter-commissaris) to take evidence from nine witnesses, among them Public Prosecutor T. The Court of Appeal added to its case-file a copy of the pleading notes of the defence – which contained inter alia the observations of the defence in respect of documents submitted to the Regional Court and which had not been included in the case-file of the Court of Appeal – as well as documents attached to these pleading notes.

On 29 March 1995, the Procurator General to the Hague Court of Appeal addressed a letter to the applicant. Insofar as is relevant to the case before the Court, this letter reads:

“As to your criminal complaint of inter alia theft, I refer to what the president of ... this Court of Appeal has found in the course of the hearing of 17 February 1995, which findings are recorded in the hearing record.

Your final written pleadings (12 pages with annexes) were in a duplicate file of the Regional Court and – after you had noted that they were not included in the case-file of the Court of Appeal – were immediately added to the present case-file. The Court of Appeal, the advocate General involved and the defence have therefore been able to acquaint themselves with the complete case-file in due time.

Your observation during the trial proceedings “that documents have been nicked from the file” lacks a factual basis and is blatantly incorrect. The institution of an investigation has been superseded by the facts so that it has become devoid of interest.

By repeating your allegation in public – against your better judgment – during the hearing of 17 February 1995 and in so doing naming Chief Public Prosecutor B. and Public Prosecutor T. as perpetrators, you have discredited the prosecution department of the Hague Regional Court in general and that of the named public prosecutors in particular.

Your behaviour borders on transgression of the norm whose interests Book II, Title XVI of the Criminal Code <which deals with defamation and insult> seeks to protect. This has occasioned me to notify the head of the Bar Association (deken), Mr W., of the matter.”

In the course of the subsequent hearing held on 2 June 1995, the Court of Appeal considered a request by the defence to conduct the further proceedings in camera. The applicant’s lawyer explained that the applicant, in public proceedings, did not feel at liberty to speak freely, and that this had been caused by the letter sent on 29 March 1995 by the Procurator General to the head of the Bar Association of The Hague. If the Court were to reject this request, the defence requested that the witnesses be heard in camera.

After having deliberated, the Court of Appeal rejected the request of the defence to proceed with the trial in camera or to hear the witnesses in camera. It held that the request was based on the tense relationship between the applicant and the public prosecution department, which would not be altered by conducting the further proceedings in camera, that neither Article 273 § 1 of the Code of Criminal Procedure nor Article 6 of the Convention offered a legal basis for granting such a request, and that it could not be said that a public hearing would seriously damage the interests of the good administration of justice. The Court of Appeal subsequently heard Mr R. and another witness in open court.

The Court of Appeal also rejected a request of the defence to take further evidence from Public Prosecutor T. before the Court of Appeal, holding that this was not necessary as Public Prosecutor T., upon instructions of the Court of Appeal, had already been heard before the investigating judge on 1 May 1995. On that occasion the applicant’s lawyer had been given the opportunity to put questions to this witness, and as the court, in the light of the evidence given by Public Prosecutor T. and by Officer R., considered itself sufficiently informed of the facts under examination.

After having heard the parties’ final pleadings, the Court of Appeal added to the case-file a copy of the pleading notes of the defence – including proposed additions to the court record (proces-verbaal) of the hearing held on 17 February 1995 – as well as a number of other documents submitted by the defence. It then closed the trial proceedings.

In its judgment of 16 June 1995, the Court of Appeal quashed the judgment of 28 April 1994, convicted the applicant of having sexually assaulted Mrs S. and Mrs C. and acquitted him of the charges in respect of Mrs V. It sentenced the applicant to eight months’ imprisonment, four months of which were suspended for a probationary period of two years, and a fine of 10,000 Netherlands guilders [€ 4,573.80]. It based the applicant’s conviction on statements taken from the applicant, Mrs S., Mrs C. and three other persons. The recorded telephone conversations were not relied on as evidence.

The applicant’s subsequent appeal on points of law, in which he raised a total of 51 complaints in cassation, was rejected by the Supreme Court (Hoge Raad) on 18 February 1997.

Insofar as the applicant, relying inter alia on Article 8 of the Convention,  complained that the Court of Appeal had unjustly rejected his argument that the prosecution should be declared inadmissible or that evidence had been unlawfully obtained in respect of the recordings made of his telephone conversations with Mrs S., the Supreme Court held:

“6.2.2. It is ... correctly assumed in the grounds of appeal on points of law that no interference by any public authority is permitted in the exercise of the right to “respect for his private life and his correspondence” guaranteed by Article 8 § 1 of the Convention unless, and to the extent, provided for by law.

6.3.1. What is therefore decisive in the instant case is therefore the answer to the question whether, noting the part played by the police in the recording of the telephone conversations that S. has had with the suspect, there has been an interference by the police in the exercise of the right of the accused to “respect for his private life and his correspondence”.

6.3.2. Against the background of the facts and circumstances ... the finding of the Court of Appeal that the police has not acted in such a directive manner – in which finding the Court of Appeal apparently had in mind the entire part played by the police in the recording of the telephone conversations by S. – that there has been an interference by any public authority within the meaning of Article 8 § 2 of the Convention is not incomprehensible, and furthermore it does not reflect an incorrect understanding of the law, in particular, not as regards the contents of that provision of the Convention ...

After all, [the case] concerns in essence a (female) victim of a sexual offence, this woman not having any other prima facie evidence than her own account and to whom the police has given information about a possibility for her to obtain additional proof and to whom and to this end the police has subsequently provided practical (technical) aid for performing certain acts – the recording, in her own home and in the absence of the police and with the aid of a device connected by the police to her own telephone line, of an incoming telephone conversation which the perpetrator conducts with her –, which act does not, for that woman, she being a party to the telephone conversation recorded, constitute an act prohibited by law.

Nor does the finding that the circumstance that the suspect in his capacity of practising lawyer has a ‘privileged status’ is not relevant in this matter reflect an incorrect understanding of the law. On the above grounds, the Court of Appeal could conclude that this was not a situation referred to in Article 125g of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The findings of the Court of Appeal are sufficiently reasoned.”

As to the applicant’s complaint that the Court of Appeal had unjustly failed to determine the request made by the defence during the hearing of 2 June 1995 to make additions to the record of the hearing held on 17 February 1995, the Supreme Court held that this complaint disregarded the fact that the law does not provide for a possibility to alter a court record that has been finalised in accordance with Article 327 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

The Supreme Court also rejected a large number of the applicant’s grounds of appeal on points of law as not requiring a determination of legal issues in the interests of unifying or developing the law.

B. Relevant domestic law and practice

1.  Interception of telephone conversations

Articles 125f-h of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Wetboek van Strafvordering) provide as follows:

Article 125f

“1.  In case of discovery in flagrante delicto of a criminal offence in respect of which detention on remand is permitted, or of the criminal offence referred to in Article 138a of the Criminal Code (Wetboek van Strafrecht) <i.e. bugging and the unlawful interception of communications by computer>, any person employed by the holder of the concession referred to in Article 3, first paragraph, of the Telecommunication Services Act (Wet op de telecommucatievoorzieningen) (...) shall, when so required, provide to the Public Prosecutor, or during the preliminary judicial investigation (gerechtelijk vooronderzoek), to the investigating judge, all desired information concerning all traffic not intended for the public that has taken place through the telecommunication infrastructure and in respect of which there is a presumption that the person suspected of the offence has taken part in it.

2.  Articles 217 – 219 shall apply by analogy.”

Article 125g

“During the preliminary judicial investigation the investigating judge is empowered, if the investigation urgently so requires and if it concerns a criminal offence in respect of which detention on remand is permitted, to determine that data traffic through the telecommunications infrastructure that is not intended for the public, and in respect of which there is a presumption that the person suspected of the offence is taking part in it, shall be tapped or recorded by an officer with powers of investigation (opsporingsambtenaar). An official record of the tapping or the recording shall be made within forty-eight hours.”

Article 125h

“1.  The investigating judge shall order the destruction in his presence, as soon as possible, of the official records and other objects from which information can be derived that he has obtained as a result of the information referred to in Article 125f, or that has been obtained by tapping as referred to in the preceding Article, and which is of no importance to the investigation. An official record of the tapping or the recording shall be made without delay.

2.  The investigating judge shall, in the same way, order the destruction without delay of official records and other objects as referred to in the previous paragraph in so far as they relate to statements made by or to a person who, pursuant to Article 218, would be able to decline to give evidence if he were questioned as a witness as to the content of those statements.

3.  The investigating judge shall add the other official records and other objects as referred to in the first paragraph to the case-file no later than the moment at which the decision to close the preliminary judicial investigation becomes final.

4.  The public prosecutor shall order the destruction in his presence of the official records or other objects from which information can be derived that he has obtained as a result of the information referred to in Article 125f, if he does not seek the opening of a preliminary judicial investigation within one month after obtaining that information. He shall make an official record of the destruction.”

Article 218 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which is referred to in the provisions quoted above, provides as follows:

“Persons who, by virtue of their position, their profession or their office, are bound to secrecy may ... decline to give evidence or to answer particular questions, but only in relation to matters the knowledge of which is entrusted to them in that capacity.”

Guidelines for the Interception of Telephone Conversations (Richtlijnen Onderzoek van Telefoongesprekken) of 2 July 1984, a copy of which can be obtained by any interested person, state how the power to intercept telephone conversations is to be used in practice. These Guidelines, which are in the nature of published policy and official instructions rather than “law”, were issued in the form of a circular letter from the senior public prosecutors to the police. The model of this circular letter was published in, inter alia, the Netherlands Journal for Human Rights (Nederlands Tijdschrift voor de Mensenrechten) of July/August 1989, pages 545 and following. According to these Guidelines, the procedure to be followed is this:

The interception and recording of telephone conversations should be considered only if it can lead to the detection of crimes which, in view of their nature or frequency or the organised context in which they are committed, constitute a serious interference with the legal order. It should be limited to those cases in which the aim pursued could not reasonably be achieved otherwise.

A police officer in charge of an investigation who considers such a measure indicated shall, after consulting his commanding officer, discuss the matter with the public prosecutor. The latter, if he agrees with the police officer, shall discuss it with the investigating judge. If the public prosecutor decides that the measure is necessary, the police officer in charge of the investigation shall provide certain necessary factual information in the form of a written report. The public prosecutor shall then submit this report to the investigating judge and ask for permission in writing to proceed with the measure.

An official record shall be made of all interceptions, even if they yield nothing useful, within forty-eight hours. Any recordings, transcripts or documents shall be kept in such a way that they are not accessible to persons not involved in the case. The tapes, with a final report, shall be submitted to the investigating judge, with an indication of the number of copies still in the hands of the police. If the investigating judge decides that any part of the recordings or transcripts is to be destroyed, the copies too shall be handed to him for that purpose.

2.  Official records of hearings

In its relevant part, Article 327 of the Code of Criminal Procedure reads:

“The official record <of a court hearing> shall be finalised by the president or by one of the judges having examined the case and the registrar and shall be signed as soon as possible after the closure of the trial proceedings and in any event within the time-limit set by Article 365 <i.e. within forty-eight hours after the pronouncement of the judgment>.”

COMPLAINTS

1.  The applicant complains under Article 8 of the Convention that, with the knowledge of the public prosecutor, the police placed a tape recorder on the telephone line of Mrs S. and that conversations thus recorded were used in evidence. The applicant submits that, under Netherlands law, the tapping of telephone conversations is regulated in Article 125 f-h of the Code of Criminal Procedure, according to which provision the tapping of telephone communications can only be ordered by an investigating judge in the context of a preliminary judicial investigation.

2.  The applicant also complains that the criminal proceedings against him were taken on the basis of evidence obtained in violation of Article 8 of the Convention and therefore contrary to his rights under Article 6 §§ 1 and 2 of the Convention.

3.  The applicant next complains under Article 6 § 1 of the Convention that he was deprived of a fair hearing in that:

- the public prosecutor failed to add to the case-file a fax from one of the alleged victims, Mrs V., in which she stated that she had filed a criminal complaint against the applicant under pressure from the police;

- the Court of Appeal failed to rectify the hearing record of 17 February 1995, and to take a decision on that point as requested by the defence on 2 June 1995; the defence wanted it recorded that they had submitted copies of documents forming a part of the case-file of the first instance court and which had gone missing since they were not included in the case-file of the Court of Appeal, as well the fact they had made comments on that;

- the Court of Appeal failed to rectify the hearing record of 17 February 1995, and to take a decision on that point as requested by the defence on 2 June 1995, as regards a number of specific questions put by the defence to the witness Mrs S. during the hearing on 17 February 1995 and her answers thereto, as well as the comments made in this respect by the defence, so that no successful complaint in cassation could be raised on this point; and that

- he was put under pressure by the Procurator General by the prospect of a possible further set of criminal proceedings against him for slander and by the Procurator General’s influencing of pending disciplinary proceedings against him by writing a letter to the Dean of the Bar Association, which resulted in the situation that he did not dare to attend the hearing on 2 June 1995, and that in this manner his right to attend his trial in person was violated.

4.  The applicant complains under Article 6 §§ 1 and 3 (d) of the Convention that he was not provided with the possibility to question Public Prosecutor T. during the trial proceedings before the Court of Appeal on the manner in which Mr T. had handled the criminal complaint filed by Mrs V.

THE LAW

The applicant has invoked Articles 6 §§ 1 and 3d) and 8 of the Convention, which provide insofar as relevant as follows:

Article 6 - “1.  In the determination of ... any criminal charge against him, everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing ... by a ...  tribunal ...

3.  Everyone charged with a criminal offence has the following minimum rights: ...

(d)  to examine or have examined witnesses against him and to obtain the attendance and examination of witnesses on his behalf under the same conditions as witnesses against him.  ...”

Article 8 - 1.  Everyone has the right to respect for his private ... life ... and his correspondence.

2.  There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.”

1.  The applicant complains in the first place that the recording of his telephone conversations with Mrs S. constituted a violation of his rights under Article 8 of the Convention.

The Government considered that there had been no “interference by a public authority”. The case concerned a woman who claimed to be a victim of sexual aggression committed by the applicant, but feared that she would not be believed. The police had advised her on how to obtain evidence against the applicant and had assisted her by placing a tape recorder at her disposal. The decisions to allow the tape recorder to be installed in her home, to record conversations with the applicant, not to delete the  tape recordings and to place them at the disposal of the police, had been hers alone. In addition, it had been the applicant who had taken the initiative to telephone Mrs S. It could not be said that the police had “led” Mrs S. to the extent of this constituting an “interference by a public authority” with the applicant’s rights. In any event, as a matter of Netherlands law, it was not illegal for a person making or receiving a telephone call to record the conversation on tape, even without the permission of the other person.

The applicant considered it irrelevant whether the recording of a telephone conversation by an individual participant was illegal or not. He was of the opinion that there had in fact been an “interference by a public authority”. The idea to record the applicant’s telephone conversations with Mrs S. had been that of a police officer, Officer R., who had also suggested to Mrs S. that she steer any telephone conversation with the applicant towards the events she complained of. Officer R. had had to consult the public prosecutor before he could proceed. The tape recorder, which was police property, had been installed by another police officer acting under orders. The tapes had also been changed and collected in Mrs S.’s home by police officers. As stated by Mrs S., the installing of the tape recorder had strengthened Mrs S.’s resolve to report the assault.

This “interference” had not been authorised by an investigating judge, and in fact the circumstances in which it could have been ordered had not been present: there had been no preliminary judicial investigation, nor indeed a criminal complaint against the applicant at the time. It followed that the “interference” had not been “in accordance with the law”.

Finally, it was open to serious doubt whether the “interference” in question could be said to be proportionate to any legitimate aim pursued, given the applicant’s privileged status as a practising lawyer and the consequent likelihood of any telephone conversation with his client’s wife containing privileged information. In fact, in the applicant’s submission, an investigating judge would not have ordered the interception in question in circumstances such as these.

Having regard to the parties’ submissions and to its case-law, the Court considers that the applicant’s first complaint raises complex questions of fact and law which require an examination on the merits.  It cannot, therefore, be declared inadmissible as manifestly ill-founded within the meaning of Article 35 § 1 of the Convention.

2.  The applicant complains, secondly, that the criminal proceedings against him were taken on the basis of evidence obtained in violation of Article 8 of the Convention and therefore contrary to his rights under Article 6 §§ 1 and 2 of the Convention.

The Government considered primarily that the telephone interceptions in question were lawful and that, consequently, the Netherlands courts were fully entitled to base a conviction on them, as in fact the Regional Court had done. The Court of Appeal, however, had not relied on the telephone interceptions at all, even though it considered them lawful in principle.

In any event, even assuming that the evidence in question had been unlawfully obtained, that did not preclude its use as evidence to ground a conviction. The Government relied on the Court’s Schenk v. Switzerland judgment of 12 July 1988 (Series A no. 140).

For the applicant, the importance of the telephone interceptions under Article 6 was not so much their use as evidence on which to base his conviction but their use to induce, or even manipulate, Mrs S. to report the alleged sexual assault to the police. Seen in the context of the criminal proceedings against Mrs S.’s then husband, who was also being prosecuted by Public Prosecutor T. and whose counsel the applicant was, this set of facts suggested that Public Prosecutor T. would stop at nothing to eliminate the applicant as an opponent. In these circumstances, it could not be said that the proceedings against the applicant had been “fair” for the purposes of Article 6 § 1 of the Convention.

The Court notes that following an appeal which was by way of a complete rehearing, the applicant was convicted on evidence which did not include any of the recordings of his telephone conversations with Mrs S. It follows that he cannot claim to be a “victim” of any violation of the Convention as regards the use made of the recordings in court.

As regards the involvement of Public Prosecutor T., the Court would observe that States are free to designate as a criminal offence an act or omission not constituting the normal exercise of a right protected by the Convention (see the Engel and Others v. the Netherlands judgment of 8 June 1976, Series A no. 22, § 81). From this it must follow that where an individual is reasonably suspected of having committed a criminal offence, the decision to prosecute is not within the Court’s remit (see also Artner v. Austria, judgment of 28 August 1992, Series A no. 242, § 21).

It follows that this part of the application is manifestly ill-founded within the meaning of Article 35 § 3 of the Convention and must be rejected pursuant to Article 35 § 4.

3. The applicant complains, thirdly, under Article 6 § 1 of the Convention, that he was deprived of a fair hearing in that the public prosecutor failed to add to the case-file a fax from Mrs V. He also complains under Article 6 §§ 1 and 3 (d) of the Convention that he was not provided with the possibility to question Public Prosecutor T. before the Court of Appeal on the manner in which the latter had handled the complaint filed by Mrs V.

The Court will confine itself to noting that the applicant was acquitted of all charges relating to Mrs V., so that he cannot claim to be a “victim” of a violation of the Convention in this respect either. Consequently, this complaint must be rejected as being manifestly ill-founded, pursuant to Article 35 §§ 3 and 4 of the Convention.

4. The applicant complains, fourthly, that the Court of Appeal failed to rectify the record of the hearing of 17 February 1995 and to decide on the applicant’s request to that effect.

The Court reiterates that the absence of a literal transcript of a hearing does not, in itself, suffice to render the proceedings unfair (cf. European Commission of Human Rights, Janssen v. the Netherlands [dec.], no. 30067/96, 3 December 1997). Moreover, the applicant had the opportunity to comment on the record in question, of which he availed himself; his comments were in fact admitted to the case-file.

This complaint does not, therefore, disclose any appearance of a violation of Article 6 of the Convention. It follows that it is manifestly ill-founded within the meaning of Article 35 § 3 and must be rejected pursuant to Article 35 § 4.

5. Finally, the applicant complains that his right to attend his trial in person was violated in that he did not dare to attend the second hearing held before the Court of Appeal due to actions undertaken by the Procurator General which had intimidated him.

The Court would observe, firstly, that the Procurator General’s action consisted of informing the applicant that he had lodged a complaint with the head of the local Bar Association on account of the applicant publicly accusing the public prosecution service of having misappropriated documents contained in the case-file and, secondly, that the applicant was himself an experienced advocate. Given these circumstances, the Court is not persuaded that the applicant would allow himself to be intimidated to the point of not daring to exercise his rights. In any event, he was assisted by counsel throughout the appeal proceedings. Consequently, no appearance of a violation of Article 6 is disclosed by this complaint, which is therefore to be rejected as being manifestly ill-founded, pursuant to Article 35 §§ 3 and 4 of the Convention.

For these reasons, the Court unanimously

Declares admissible the applicant’s complaint that the recording of his telephone conversations with Mrs S. violated his rights under Article 8 of the Convention;

Declares inadmissible the remainder of the application.

S. Dollé J.-P. Costa 
 Registrar President

M.M. v. THE NETHERLANDS DECISION


M.M. v. THE NETHERLANDS DECISION