THE FACTS

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

The applicant is a British subject born in London in 1938. He normally
resides in S., Essex, but is presently held in the Prison St. G. in
Brussels.

According to the applicant's statements and the documents supporting
him, he is a greengrocer who, in April 1970 travelled to Belgium with
two friends, MM. R. and D. The tree men left England on .. April and
arrived in Belgium two days later, having passed through France. The
applicant at once returned to England for business reasons and flew
back to Belgium on .. April. On .. April, while in the company of Mr.
D., he was arrested by the police. He then discovered that Mr. R. had
already been arrested and that all three were suspected of being
involved in the distribution of forged dollar notes.

The applicant claims that he was interviewed by an examining magistrate
who was hostile and appeared to be biased against him. The magistrate
asked the applicant to sign a statement written in Flemish without the
presence of a lawyer or consul.

A formal warrant of arrest was issued on .. April and renewed and
confirmed on .. April and again on .. May 1970. On the latter two
occasions, the charge was formally translated for the applicant's
benefit in the presence of his lawyer. On .. June the applicant
received a formal indictment written in Flemish. He states that the
charges set out in the indictment were not fully explained to him and
that he was never certain of their exact nature. He has supplied a copy
of this document which bears no indication that it was translated for
him.

The trial was held at Bruges on .. June and the three men were, in
fact, charged with the possession of forged banknotes and with having
uttered a forged note on .. April. At the trial, the direct questions
to the defendants were translated but other parts of the proceedings
were not translated. The applicant thought that defamatory remarks were
being made about him but he has never been able to confirm this. The
applicant was acquitted on the charge of uttering but convicted on the
charge of possession. His friends were convicted on both charges. He
was sentenced to three years imprisonment.

He appealed to the Court of Appeal at Ghent on .. September 1970. The
appeal was dismissed. The applicant has not stated exact
grounds for the appeal, which was left in the hands of his Belgian
lawyer. He states that he has no documents relating to this appeal. It
does appear that he wrote to his lawyer on 20 July 1970 complaining
about the lack of translation.

He applied, by way of cassation proceedings, to the Supreme Court to
nullify his conviction but was informed on .. March 1971 that the
application had been refused on .. February.

The applicant also states that the conditions of his imprisonment are
unsatisfactory. He claims that because he is not a Belgian he is kept
in a remand prison where there are no proper facilities for work or
recreation. He states that he spends most of his time in solitary
confinement and that he has been given no translation of the Prison
Rules. The authorities were most un-co-operative when his mother
travelled from England to visit him and were reluctant to allow her to
see him. The applicant wished to be moved to another prison at Ostend
so that his wife can visit him.

Complaints

The applicant complains that he has been convicted, on circumstantial
evidence, of a crime of which he is innocent. He complains that the
indictment was not translated to him, that only direct questions were
translated during the trial and that during his subsequent imprisonment
he has been kept in solitary confinement and that contact with his
family has been difficult. He alleges violations of Article 5 and 6 of
the Convention.

THE LAW

1.   The applicant has complained of the conditions of his
imprisonment. The Commission has examined the applicant's complaints
as they have been submitted by him. However, after considering the
conditions 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 this part of the application is as a whole manifestly
ill-founded within the meaning of Article 27, paragraph (2)
(Art. 27-2), of the Convention.

2.   The applicant has complained that he has been convicted on
circumstantial evidence of a crime of which he is innocent. He
complains that the indictment was not translated for him, and that only
direct questions were translated during the trial. The Commission
considers that these complaints may give rise to a question under
Articles 5 and 6 (Art. 5, 6) of the Convention. The Commission finds
that an examination of the file at the present stage does not give the
information required for determining the question of admissibility. The
Commission notes that it is not clear whether the question of
translation facilities was raised during the applicant's appeals but
that he is no longer in contact with his lawyer and that he may be put
to expense if requested to submit court decisions. The Commission
therefore decides, in accordance with Rule 45, 3 (b) of its Rules of
Procedure, to give notice of these complaints to the Government of
Belgium and to invite the Government to submit its observations on the
question of admissibility. In the meanwhile, the Commission decides to
adjourn its examination of this part of the application.

For these reasons, the Commission

1.   Declares inadmissible the applicant's complaints set out in the
last paragraph of the statement of facts.

2.   Decides to adjourn its examination of the applicant's other
complaints.