THE FACTS

The facts of the case as submitted by the applicant may be summarised
as follows:

The applicant is an Austrian citizen, born in 1924 and is at present
detained in prison at G.
From his letters and documents submitted by him, it appears that he was
arrested on 31 January 1966, on the authority of a warrant of arrest
(Haftbefehl) issued by the I. Regional Court (Landesgericht). He states
that the police took him to the court on 2 February 1966 but the order
remanding him in custody was not given before 8 February 1966 after his
lawyer had lodged an appeal (Haftbeschwerde) against his arrest. He
claims that he was heard only weeks later with regard to the charges
laid against him. On .. February 1967 he was convicted by the I.
Regional Court of several counts of fraud (Betrug) and sentenced to
five years' penal servitude (schwerer Kerker). In view of the
applicant's five prior convictions the court stated that the applicant
is a habitual imposter.
The time which the applicant spent in prison pending his trial was
credited towards his sentence.

On .. March 1968 the Supreme Court (Oberster Gerichtshof) rejected the
plea of nullity (Nichtigkeitsbeschwerde) which the applicant had lodged
against his conviction. The applicant also lodged an appeal (Berufung)
against his sentence but has not given any information as to the result
of this appeal.
While in prison pending his trial and appeal the applicant made several
requests for his release which were all rejected by the Regional Court
and, on appeal by the Court of Appeal (Oberlandesgericht) at L.
(decisions of .. February, .. March, .. May, .. September 1966 and ..
February and April 1968) on the ground that there was reason to believe
that the applicant would abscond if released, since he had not family
ties and no permanent employment in Austria and had to expect a severe
prison sentence.
The applicant's request for a retrial was rejected by the Regional
Court at I. on .. July 1969. The Court heard a witness, who had not
been heard at the applicant's trial, but it found that the statements
of this witness did not justify a re-opening of the applicant's case.
An appeal against this decision was rejected by the Court of Appeal at
I. on .. September 1969.

Complaints

The applicant complains that he was wrongly convicted and sentenced.
He alleges that he was not given enough time to prepare his defence,
and that he could not, therefore, present all witnesses who could
provide his innocence. He also complains of the length of his detention
pending trial and the length of the proceedings.

Alleging a violation of Articles 5 (1) and (3), 6 (3) (b) and (d) and
7 of the Convention, he requests the Commission to declare his case
admissible.

THE LAW

1. The applicant has complained that he was wrongly convicted and
sentenced. However, in regard to the judicial decisions of which the
applicant complains, the Commission has frequently stated that, in
accordance with Article 19 (Art. 19) of the Convention, its only task
is to ensure the observance of the obligations undertaken by the
Parties in the Convention. In particular, the Commission is not
competent to deal with an application alleging that errors of law or
fact have been committed by domestic courts, except where it considers
that such errors might have involved a possible violation of any of the
rights and freedoms set forth in the Convention. In this respect, the
Commission refers to its constant jurisprudence (see e.g. decisions on
the admissibility of applications No. 458/59, Yearbook, Vol. 3, pp.
222, 232 and No. 1140/61, Collection of Decisions, Vol. 8, pp. 57, 62).
In the present case, the Commission finds that there is no appearance
of any such violation in connection with the decision complained of.

An examination by the Commission of this complaint as it has been
submitted, including an examination made ex officio, does not therefore
disclose any appearance of a violation of the rights and freedoms set
forth in the Convention and especially in the Articles invoked by the
applicant.

2. The applicant further complained that he was detained on remand from
31 January 1966 until .. February 1967, and that the length of this
period of detention pending his trial violated Article 5, paragraph (3)
(Art. 5-3) of the Convention. When deciding upon the admissibility of
this part of the application, the Commission had regard in particular
to the judgments of 27 June 1967 of the European Court of Human Rights
in the "Neumeister" and "Wemhoff" cases, in which the Court pointed out
with respect to the allegations under Article 5, paragraph (3)
(Art. 5-3) of the Convention that it was essentially on the basis of
the reasons given by the national authorities in the decisions on the
application for release pending trial and of the true facts mentioned
by the applicant in his appeal, that the question should be decided
whether or not there had been a violation of the provisions concerned.

It follows from the decisions of the Regional Court and the Court of
Appeal at I., and in particular the decision of the Regional Court
given on .. September 1966 that the Austrian Courts were of the opinion
that reasonable grounds existed to assume that the applicant had
committed the crimes of which he was accused, and that the danger of
his absconding was clear. The Regional Court further pointed out that
the applicant who was accused of nineteen acts of fraud, had to face
a severe punishment, especially in view of his prior convictions. The
Commission is of the opinion that the grounds given by the Austrian
Courts are relevant and sufficient as justifying the applicant's
continued detention and that otherwise there are no elements to show
that the authorities were responsible for any delay in bringing him to
trial.

3. The applicant furthermore complained of the length of the
proceedings instituted against him which were terminated by the final
decision of the Supreme Court given on .. March 1969. This complaint
has been considered by the Commission in relation to the requirement
that a person is entitled, in the determination of a criminal charge
raised against him, to a hearing "within a reasonable time" under
Article 6 (1) (Art. 6-1) of the Convention. However, in view of the
complexity of the applicant's case and indeed the trial court's
judgment comprises 67 pages and the decision of the Supreme Court 46
pages, the Commission does not find that the proceedings lasted for an
unreasonably long period.

4. In regard to the applicant's last complaint that he was not given
enough time to prepare his defence and therefore was unable to call all
the necessary witnesses, the Commission notes that the applicant was
represented by a lawyer from the time of his arrest and that in
particular, one of the witnesses who could, according to the applicant,
have proved the applicant's innocence, was heard at the retrial
proceedings but his deposition was not considered to be relevant.

Under these circumstances there is no appearance of a violation of the
rights set out in Article 6 (3) (b) and (d) (Art. 6-3-b, 6-3-d) of the
Convention.

It follows that all complaints raised in the application are manifestly
ill-founded within the meaning of Article 27, paragraph (2)
(Art. 27-2), of the Convention.

For these reasons, the Commission DECLARES THIS APPLICATION
INADMISSIBLE