THE FACTS

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

The applicant is a German citizen, born in 1923 and at present detained
in prison at S..

From his statements and from documents submitted by him it appears
that, on .. March 1969 he was convicted by the Regional Court
(Landgericht) of M. for having committed fraud and sentenced to five
years' imprisonment. It appears that the applicant wished to lodge with
the Federal Court (Bundesgerichtshof) an appeal (Revision) against this
decision, but that his lawyer who had been appointed by the Court under
a grant of legal aid refused to submit the grounds of appeal
(Revisionsbegru╠łndung) as he considered the appeal as having no
prospects of success. Apparently, the applicant subsequently himself
submitted the grounds of appeal, but his appeal was declared
inadmissible by the Regional Court as not having been lodged by a
lawyer. No further particulars have been given in this respect.

It appears that, in the meanwhile, the applicant had made an
application to the Regional Court of M. for the appointment of another
lawyer. This was refused on .. June 1969. The Court explained that,
under the applicable provisions of the law, a lawyer is justified in
refusing to submit the grounds of appeal where, after having given the
case careful consideration, he is convinced that an appeal would not
have any prospects of success. The Court found that, in the present
case, there was no indication that the lawyer concerned had failed
carefully to evaluate the prospects of success offered by the appeal.

The applicant considered that he was wrongly convicted and sentenced,
in particular owing to the fact that the Regional Court had failed to
summon or hear the evidence of witnesses on his behalf who had been
nominated by him. No further explanations have been given by the
applicant in this respect. He alleged that the presiding judge and
certain members of the M.. prison staff had unlawfully intercepted
letters which he had written and laid with the prosecuting authorities
criminal charges against the judge and the prison authorities
concerned. It appears, however, that the prosecuting authorities
refused to prosecute on these charges.

It further appears that the applicant had also made an application for
retrial (Wiederaufnahme des Verfahrens) which was rejected by final
decision of the Court of Appeal dated .. March 1970. Further
submissions concerning the application for retrial and also an
application to prosecute the Regional Judge for perversion of justice
(Rechtsbeugung), which was addressed to the Public Prosecutor's office
at M. was returned by that office on .. March 1970, with the
observation that it was not possible in the future to deal with
applications that do not satisfy the formal requirements imposed by the
law and thus do not offer the slightest prospects of success.
Concerning the charges against the Regional Judge the Public
Prosecutor's office (Staatsanwaltschaft) at M. apparently discontinued
proceedings on .. May 1970 and this decision was confirmed by the
Attorney General (Generalstaatsanwalt) in K. on .. November 1970.

Furthermore, it appears that on .. November, and .. December 1969 and
.. January 1970, the applicant made various complaints to the judicial
authorities in B. concerning his correspondence and criminal offenses
which were allegedly committed or their committal concealed by the
authorities. In its decision (Bescheid) of.. February 1970, the
Ministry of Justice of B.. dealt with these allegations and found that
they were without any foundation.

Complaints

The applicant now complains that he was wrongly convicted and sentenced
and that the Convention has been violated by reason of the court
proceedings concerned. He explains that the Regional Court deliberately
failed to hear certain witnesses on his behalf whom he had nominated.
He does not indicate, however, the names of these witnesses and what
evidence they were expected to give.

The applicant  also seems to complain:

- that his right to respect for his correspondence has been violated
  in that the prison authorities refused him a sufficient quantity of
  stamps enabling him to keep up his necessary voluminous business
  correspondence;
- that he is a worshipper of light (Lichtanbeter) and that the prison
  authorities refused him the right to practice his religious belief;
- that the prison authorities refused him spectacles which the doctor
  had prescribed him with the consequence that he suffers pain and is
  unable to work and acquire any earnings.

The applicant alleges in these respects violations of Articles 6 (3)
(d), 8 (1) and 9 (1) of the Convention.

Finally, the applicant alleges a violation of Article 1 of Protocol No.
4. In this respect he explains that, on .. October 1968 he was arrested
at 2.30 a.m. for driving without permit. He was allegedly detained
until the afternoon of the same day awaiting the result of an alcohol
test which turned out to be negative. He alleges that, as a result of
his detention he was unable to perform various short-term contracts
which he had made in connection with the purchase and construction of
a house. This apparently led to his conviction and sentence for fraud,
but no further explanations have been given by the applicant in this
respect.

THE LAW

1. The applicant has complained that he was wrongly convicted and
sentenced by the Regional Court of M.. 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 out 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 decisions 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. It follows that, even assuming that the applicant has
exhausted the remedies available to him under German law, this part of
the application is manifestly ill-founded within the meaning of Article
27, paragraph (2) (Art. 27-2), of the Convention.

2. The applicant has further complained that his lawyer failed to act
in accordance with his instructions in that he refused to submit to the
Federal Court the grounds of appeal. However, under Article 25 (1)
(Art. 25-1) of the Convention, the Commission may only admit an
application from a person, non-governmental organisation or group of
individuals, where the applicant alleges a violation by one of the
Contracting Parties of the rights and freedoms set forth in the
Convention and where that Party has recognised this competence of the
Commission. The Commission may not, therefore, admit applications
directed against private individuals. In this respect the Commission
refers to its constant jurisprudence (see e.g. the decisions on
admissibility of applications No. 172/56, Yearbook, Vol. I, pp. 211,
215 and No. 1599/62, Yearbook, Vol. 6, pp. 348 356.)

It follows that this part of the application incompatible ratione
personae with the Convention within the meaning of Article 27 (2)
(Art. 27-2).

3. The Commission has also considered whether the alleged conduct of
the lawyer concerned could have involved the responsibility of the
Federal Republic of Germany under the Convention. In this connection,
the Commission considered whether the courts failed, by reason of the
alleged refusal on the part of the applicant's lawyer to submit the
grounds of appeal, to ensure that the applicant had a fair hearing of
his case within the meaning of Article 6, paragraph (1) (Art. 6-1), of
the Convention.

Article 6 (1) (Art. 6-1) provides that "in the determination of any
criminal charge against him ... everyone is entitled to a fair ...
hearing ...".

However, under Article 26 (Art. 26) of the Convention, the Commission
may only deal with a matter after all domestic remedies have been
exhausted according to the generally recognised rules of international
law.

In the present case the applicant failed to submit this point to the
Federal Constitutional Court by means of a constitutional appeal
invoking Article 103 (1) of the German Basic Law, and has, therefore,
not exhausted the remedies available to him under German law. Moreover,
an examination of the case as it has been submitted, including an
examination made ex officio, does not disclose the existence of any
special circumstances which might have absolved the applicant,
according to the generally recognised rules of international law, from
exhausting the domestic remedies at his disposal.

It follows that the applicant has not complied with the condition as
to the exhaustion of domestic remedies and his application must in this
respect be rejected under Article 27 (3) (Art. 27-3), of the
Convention.

4. The applicant has also complained that the M. Regional Court failed
to hear certain witnesses on his behalf, contrary to the provisions of
Article 6 (3) (d) (Art. 6-3-d) of the Convention. That Article provides
that everyone charged with a criminal offence shall have the right "to
examine or have examined witnesses against him and to obtain the
attendance and examination of witnesses on his behalf under the same
condition as witnesses against him".

However, the Commission has consistently held that this provision does
not give an accused person a general right to call witnesses on his
behalf and, in particular, does not allow an accused to call persons
who are not in a position to assist by their statements in elucidating
the truth (see, for example, Decisions of the Commission on the
admissibility of application No. 617/59, Hopfinger v. Austria,
Yearbook, Vol. 3, p. 370).

The applicant in the present case has failed to give any particulars
as to which witnesses he wished to call and what evidence they were
expected to give.

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 in particular in Article 6 (Art. 6).

It follows that, even assuming that the applicant had exhausted the
domestic remedies available to him, this part of the application is
manifestly ill-founded within the meaning of Article 27, paragraph (2)
(Art. 27-2), of the Convention.

5. The applicant has furthermore complained that the prison authorities
and the presiding judge at the Regional Court at M. interfered with his
correspondence in that letters which he had written were intercepted
and he was refused a sufficient quantity of stamps in prison enabling
him to keep up his necessary and voluminous business correspondence.

However, in accordance with the Commission's constant jurisprudence,
it is an inherent feature of lawful imprisonment that a prisoner should
be restricted in his right of correspondence and a normal control of
a prisoner's correspondence including, in certain circumstances, the
stopping of letters sent by him has not been held to constitute a
violation of the Convention and, in particular of Article 8 (Art. 8).

In the present case no facts have been adduced to show that the
authorities concerned have in any way exceeded the discretion which
they have in controlling a prisoner's correspondence and an examination
by the Commission of the applicant's complaint in this regard as it has
been submitted does not therefore disclose any appearance of a
violation of the rights and freedoms set forth in the Convention.

Again even assuming that the applicant has exhausted the domestic
remedies available to him, it follows that this part of the application
is manifestly ill-founded and must be rejected in accordance with
Article 27, paragraph (2) (Art. 27-2), of the Convention.

6. The applicant has then also complained that, contrary to the
provisions of Article 9 (1) (Art. 9-1) of the Convention, the prison
authorities have refused him the right to practice his religious belief
as a light worshipper.

However, the applicant again failed to give any details regarding this
complaint. In particular, he did not explain in what manner he wished
to practice his religious belief and in what way the prison authorities
refused him the right to do so.

Again, therefore, an examination by the Commission of the applicant's
complaint in this respect, as it has been submitted, does not disclose
any appearance of a violation of the rights and freedoms set forth in
the Convention and, in particular, in Article 9 (Art. 9).

It follows that this part of the application is equally manifestly
ill-founded within the meaning of Article 27, paragraph (2)
(Art. 27-2), of the Convention.

7. Finally, the Commission has examined the applicant's remaining
complaints as they have been submitted by him. However, after
considering these complaints as a whole, the Commission finds that they
do not generally disclose any appearance of a violation of the rights
and freedoms set forth in the Convention.

It follows that these remaining parts of the application are as a whole
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