Application no. 54276/00
by Angel Mitkov YORDANOV
The European Court of Human Rights (Fifth Section), sitting on 9 May 2006 as a Chamber composed of:
Mr P. Lorenzen, President,
Mrs S. Botoucharova,
Mr V. Butkevych,
Mrs M. Tsatsa-Nikolovska,
Mr R. Maruste,
Mr J. Borrego Borrego,
Mrs R. Jaeger, judges,
and Mrs C. Westerdiek, Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 9 October 1999,
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 applicant, Mr Angel Mitkov Yordanov, is a Bulgarian national who was born in 1971 and lives in Pazardzhik. He was represented before the Court by Mr E. Ganchev, a lawyer practising in Pazardzhik.
The respondent Government were represented by their Agent, Ms M. Kotzeva, of the Ministry of Justice.
A. The circumstances of the case
The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.
1. The applicant’s pre-trial detention
On 4 August 1999 an individual was attacked and an attempt was made to rob him of his possessions. He sustained intermediate bodily injury from the attack.
On the next day, 5 August 1999 a preliminary investigation was opened against the applicant for attempted robbery perpetrated through use of force. On the same day, the applicant was charged with the offence and remanded in custody on the basis of a decision of an investigator which was confirmed by the Prosecutor’s Office on 6 August 1999. In ordering that the applicant be remanded in custody the investigator cited, inter alia, the gravity of the offence and the numerous criminal investigations against him.
On 12 October 1999 the investigator in charge of the preliminary investigation forwarded the applicant’s case file to the Prosecutor’s Office with the opinion that an indictment should be entered against the applicant.
On the same day, 12 October 1999, the applicant appealed against his detention. He argued, inter alia, that there was no danger that he would abscond, re-offend or obstruct the investigation as the latter had already been completed. In addition, he noted that he had a permanent address, had no prior criminal record and had made a full confession.
The applicant’s appeal was dismissed by the Pazardzhik Regional Court on 25 October 1999. The court found that the applicant had been charged with a serious offence and that there were no exceptional circumstances justifying his release. Furthermore, it considered that there was a danger that he might re-offend.
On 24 November 1999 an indictment for attempted robbery perpetrated through use of force and resulting in intermediate bodily injury was entered against the applicant with the Pazardzhik Regional Court.
In a judgment of 9 December 1999 the Pazardzhik Regional Court found the applicant guilty as charged and sentenced him to two years’ imprisonment. The period spent on remand was deducted from the sentence to be served. No appeal was lodged and the judgment entered into force.
The applicant was released on an unspecified date after serving out his sentence.
2. The conditions of detention
Between 5 August 1999 and 1 November 1999 the applicant was detained at the Pazardzhik Regional Investigation Service. From 1 November 1999 onwards he was detained at the Pazardzhik Prison where he remained until he served out the sentence imposed by the Pazardzhik Regional Court on 9 December 1999.
According to the applicant, at the above-mentioned detention facilities there was (1) insufficient oxygen in the cells; (2) inadequate hygiene and the presence of parasites (fleas and wood worms), skin infections (scabies) and rodents (mice and rats); (3) insufficient natural light; (4) no recreational area; (5) unhealthy food; (6) no access to literature, newspapers, magazines, radio or television; (7) no possibility for the applicant to meet with his attorney in private; and (8) no possibility to maintain an active correspondence.
1. The applicant complained under Article 5 § 3 of the Convention that after he was arrested on 5 August 1999 he was not brought promptly before a judge or other officer authorised by law to exercise judicial power.
2. The applicant complained under Article 5 § 1 (c) of the Convention that he was detained unlawfully on 5 August 1999.
3. The applicant complained under Article 5 § 3 of the Convention that his detention was unjustified and excessively lengthy.
4. The applicant complained under Article 5 § 4 of the Convention that the Pazardzhik Regional Court did not examine all factors relevant to the lawfulness of his detention and that his appeal was decided in violation of the requirement for a speedy decision.
5. The applicant complained under Article 5 § 5 of the Convention that he did not have an enforceable right to seek compensation for being a victim of arrest or detention in breach of the provisions of Article 5.
6. The applicant complained under Article 13 that he had no effective remedy for the alleged violations under Article 5 of the Convention.
7. The applicant complained under Article 3 of the Convention that he was subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment while being detained at the Pazardzhik Regional Investigation Service and the Pazardzhik Prison.
On 12 July 2004 notice of the application was given to the respondent Government under Rule 54 § 2 (b) of the Rules of Court and they were invited to submit written observations on the admissibility and merits of the case.
The respondent Government submitted their observations on 12 November 2004.
The applicant’s observations in reply were submitted on 2 February 2005.
Taking into account that the applicant’s representative was also the lawyer in two other applications which were struck out of the list of cases due to the applicants’ failure to pursue their applications (Pakov v. Bulgaria (dec.), no. 56348/00, 8 December 2005 and Endarov v. Bulgaria (dec.), no. 56261/00, 13 December 2005), the Court considered it advisable to ascertain whether the applicant in the present case intended to pursue his application further. Accordingly, in a letter of 6 February 2006, sent by registered mail with acknowledgement of receipt, the applicant’s representative was informed of the Court’s intention to imminently examine the present application. He was also requested to inform the Court, before 6 March 2006, whether the applicant maintained his complaints. The applicant’s representative was warned that failure to reply might lead the Court to conclude that the applicant no longer intended to pursue his application. The letter was received on 10 February 2006.
No reply has been received by the Court from the applicant’s representative.
Having regard to the foregoing, the Court finds that the applicant does not intend to pursue his application within the meaning of Article 37 of the Convention, which, so far as material, provides as follows:
“1. The Court may at any stage of the proceedings decide to strike an application out of its list of cases where the circumstances lead to the conclusion that
(a) the applicant does not intend to pursue his application; ...
However, the Court shall continue the examination of the application if respect for human rights as defined in the Convention and the Protocols thereto so requires.”
Furthermore, the Court considers that respect for human rights as defined in the Convention and the protocols thereto does not require the continued examination of the application (Article 37 § 1 in fine).
In these circumstances, the Court concludes that the application should be struck out of its list of cases in accordance with Article 37 of the Convention.
For these reasons, the Court unanimously
Decides to strike the application out of its list of cases.
Claudia Westerdiek Peer Lorenzen
YORDANOV v. BULGARIA DECISION
YORDANOV v. BULGARIA DECISION