FIRST SECTION

FINAL DECISION

Application no. 402/03 
by Georgios ANDREADIS and Others 
against Greece

The European Court of Human Rights, sitting on 10 November 2005 as a Chamber composed of

Mrs F. Tulkens, President
 Mr C.L. Rozakis
 Mr P. Lorenzen
 Mrs N. Vajić
 Mrs E. Steiner
 Mr D. Spielmann, 
 Mr S.E. Jebens, judges
and Mr S. Nielsen, Section Registrar,

Having regard to the above application lodged on 19 December 2002,

Having regard to the decision to apply Article 29 § 3 of the Convention and examine the admissibility and merits of the case together,

Having regard to the partial decision of 30 September 2004,

Having regard to the observations submitted by the respondent Government and the applicants’ wish to withdraw their application,

Having deliberated, decides as follows:

THE FACTS

The applicants, Mr Georgios Andreadis, Alexandros Andreadis and Petros Andreadis, are Greek nationals, born in 1941, 1944 and 1949 and living respectively in Athens. They were represented before the Court by Norton Rose, lawyers practising in London. The respondent Government were represented by the delegate of their Agent, Mrs G. Skiani, Senior Adviser at the State Legal Council.

The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.

In June 1997, the Greek State filed criminal charges against the applicants alleging fraud. The case was referred to an investigating judge.

On 23 November 2000 the Indictment Division of the Athens Court of Appeal ordered that a further investigation should be carried out by the investigating judge, and furthermore, that the applicants should be called upon to submit their defence.

In November 2002 all three applicants appeared before the investigating judge and were formally charged.

COMPLAINTS

1. The applicants complained under Article 6 § 1 of the Convention about the excessive length of the investigation proceedings brought against them.

2. They also complained under Article 6 §§ 1 and 2 of the Convention that their right to a fair hearing had been violated and, finally, that they had suffered discrimination in the enjoyment of their rights under Article 6 of the Convention contrary to Article 14 of the Convention.

THE LAW

On 27 April 2005, the Court received the following letter signed by the applicants’ representatives:

“We write further to our letter of 9 March 2005 in which we explained that our clients, the Andreadis brothers, were awaiting a further decision of the Supreme Court in Greece. As the Court is aware, criminal proceedings were commenced against our clients in June 1997, alleging fraud, and our clients faced a claim from the Greek State as partie civile for approximately $90 million and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

Since our letter of 9 March the Supreme Court has issued its judgment in favour of our clients, unanimously rejecting the Greek State’s last appeal. The effect of this judgment is finally to bring to an end the criminal proceedings to which our clients have been subject for almost 8 years, confirming our clients’ innocence of all charges.

Our clients are, of course, extremely aggrieved that since 1997 they have had to live constantly with the threat of the exceedingly heavy penalties referred to above. However, since the criminal proceedings in Greece have now finally been brought to an end they have decided that they do not wish to proceed with their application to the Court, since they would prefer not be involved in any further legal proceedings. In the circumstances we would ask you now to strike our clients’ application from the list of cases.”

On 31 May 2005, the Court received the following letter from the Government’s agent:

“I have the honour to inform the Court that, according to Article 37 of the Convention, the Greek Government relies on the Court’s decision upon the matter of the applicants’ wish to withdraw the above application from the list of cases pending before the Court.”

In the light of the above, the Court concludes that the applicants do not intend pursuing their application, within the meaning of Article 37 § 1 (a) of the Convention, and it finds no reasons of general interest concerning respect for human rights, within the meaning of the final sentence of Article 37 § 1, which would require the continued examination of the case.

For these reasons, the Court unanimously

Decides to discontinue the application of Article 29 § 3 of the Convention and to strike the remainder of the application out of its list of cases.

Søren Nielsen Françoise Tulkens 
 Registrar President

ANDREADIS v. GREECE DECISION


ANDREADIS v. GREECE DECISION