THE FACTS

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

The applicant is an Austria citizen, born in 1930 and at present
detained in the Vienna Prison Hospital. In the proceedings before the
Commission he is represented by Mr. B., a lawyer practising in Vienna.

The application concerns three separate complaints:  (a) the refusal
of the Austrian authorities to grant compensation for the applicant's
detention on remand in Austria from .. November 1965 to .. December
1969; (b) his conviction by the Vienna Regional Court of .. April 1972;
and (c) his detention on remand in Austria from .. April 1972 until ..
December 1972.

(a)  The applicant's request for compensation for unjustified
detention on remand

It appears that the applicant was arrested on .. November 1965 on the
suspicion of having committed fraud on several accounts. He was
released on .. December 1965, but was rearrested on .. February 1966,
and it appears that he was then held in detention on remand until ..
January 1968. On .. December 1969 the Vienna Regional Court
(Landesgericht für Strafsachen) acquitted the applicant of the charges
laid against him after the Public Prosecutor had already withdrawn
parts of them. As to the remaining points the applicant was acquitted
under Section 259 sub-Section 3 of the Austrian Code of Criminal
Procedure (Strafprozessordning), which provides for an acquittal if the
charges against the accused cannot be proven beyond doubt.

The applicant subsequently requested compensation for unjustified
detention on remand under the terms of the respective Act of 1918.

On .. December 1969 the above Regional Court refused this request. The
Court held that at the time of the applicant's arrest sufficient
suspicion existed that he had committed the frauds of which he was
later acquitted, and that by his own behaviour the applicant had not
assisted the Investigating Judge and the Court in finding out the
truth. In this respect reference was made to the applicant's refusal
to reveal his personal assets to the Investigating Judge and the Trial
Court during his trial in August 1967 (it appears that the applicant
was tried twice for these charges, no details are, however, submitted
in this respect) and he also refused to produce his several savings
deposit books because he feared their seizure. His final acquittal was,
in fact, based on the applicant's rather important property in Italy
and Switzerland. The Court also held that the applicant had, in
proceedings opened against him in 1963 by the Wiener Neustadt Regional
Court, broken his obligations to report regularly to the Court, when
he had been released on this condition. Consequently, the danger of
absconding was imminent also in the later proceedings. The Court also
pointed to the applicant's statement during the trial that he preferred
to stay in detention on remand than to ask for his release on bail,
although he had sufficient means to offer such bail.

On the applicant's appeal, the Vienna Court of Appeal
(Oberlandesgericht) on .. July 1970 confirmed the lower court's
decision. The Appeals Court made it clear that the 1918 Act had to be
applied to the applicant, since the new Compensations' Act had only
entered into force on 1 October 1969, which was after the end of the
applicant's detention on remand.

(b)  The applicant's conviction and sentence on .. April 1972

On .. May 1971 the applicant was again arrested under the suspicion of
having committed fraud on two accounts and he was put in ordinary
detention on remand (for more details see below, item (c)). On ..
October 1971 the indictment was filed with the Vienna Regional Court
and he was charged with having obtained surreptitiously possession of
two electric machines from their producer, by pretending that all the
previously agreed conditions as to the payment of these machines had
been fulfilled by him, and by submitting forged documents to this end.
The applicant's appeal against the indictment was rejected, and the
trial was held before the Vienna Regional Court. On .. April 1972 he
was convicted of fraud, and was given a four years' sentence. The Court
held that the applicant's victim suffered a financial loss of 550,000
Austrian schillings (approximately 125,000 French francs), but the
Court also found that the applicant had restituted one of these
machines to the producer so that the damage done was in fact much
lower. The Court found preponderant mitigating circumstances in favour
of the applicant but mentioned that the applicant was a type of
"criminal salesman" who kept Austrian and foreign courts busy by his
partly criminal activities.

The applicant lodged an appeal against conviction and sentence with the
Supreme Court (Berufung und Nichtigkeitsbeschwerde zum Obersten
Gerichtshof). He alleged that the Trial Court had incorrectly applied
the law, that the evidence had been wrongly evaluated, that he had been
convicted although the facts showed that he did not commit a punishable
crime, and that the Trial Court failed to hear several witnesses for
him. In this respect he mentioned that one witness had been summoned
only to appear on the fourth day of his trial and that this witness was
consequently intimidated. A graphological expert had not been heard as
to the question when the applicant put his signature on a forged
document. The Court had also refused to hear witnesses who could have
confirmed that the applicant had suffered a financial loss of one
million Austrian schillings as a consequence of a breach of contract
of the producer of the above electric machines, and that he had,
consequently, a valid claim against him. The Court had moreover refused
to hear witnesses who could have given evidence that the above producer
intended to discontinue the commercial relationship which he had with
the applicant, and to bring to an end the applicant's employment as
being his general sales agent for Austria.

The Supreme Court gave judgment on .. December 1972 and reduced the
applicant's penalty to 3 years' imprisonment, but dismissed his plea
of nullity.

The Court analyzed in detail the applicant's complaints in regard to
his trial, but decided that they were unfounded. As regards the several
witnesses requested by the applicant, the Supreme Court held that this
did not constitute a nullity of the trial for the following reasons:
as regards the summoning of a witness for the fourth day of the trial,
and not, as requested by the applicant, for the first day, the Court
found that this in no way interfered with the applicant's rights, since
it made no difference on which day this witness was heard, as long as
he was heard at all. With respect to the other witnesses the Court
stated that the applicant could not complain about the Lower Court's
refusal to hear them since either the subject on which they could give
evidence was totally irrelevant to the issue of the trial, or they
could not give evidence on the subject mentioned by the applicant.

(c)  The applicant's detention on remand from .. April 1972 to ..
December 1972

As indicated above, the applicant had been arrested on .. May 1971
under the suspicion of having committed fraud. On .. August 1971 he was
released on bail of 200,000 Austria shillings (approximately 45,000
French francs). On .. April 1972, after his conviction by the Trial
Court, the same Court decided that the applicant should be detained on
remand pending his appeal to the Supreme Court. The Trial Court gave
the following reasons for this decision. At first, it stated that the
danger of the applicant's absconding existed, and reference was made
to the 1963 proceedings in Wiener Neustadt (see item (a) above) in the
course of which the applicant had been released on the condition that
he reported regularly to the police and the Trial Court. It is said
that the applicant did not fulfil this condition and disappeared under
a false name in order to escape being arrested. The Court went on to
say that the applicant had no real fixed abode in Austria, since he
changed his domiciles continuously and did not observe the general
legal obligation to report any change of domicile to the administration
(Meldepflicht) and that he had indicated that his permanent residence
was Zurich, where his wife and his three children lived. It was also
said that the overall part of the applicant's property was situated in
Switzerland and in Italy and that his assets in Austria were
insignificant. The Court also stated that the applicant, after his
release on bail in August 1971, made, with the consent of the court,
several journeys abroad and was once arrested in Italy under the
suspicion of fraud. The Court also mentioned that the danger of flight
had increased as a consequence of the applicant's conviction and the
four years' sentence, and that bail of 200,000 Austrian schillings was
no longer sufficient to prevent the applicant from absconding.

On .. May 1972 the Vienna Court of Appeal (Oberlandesgericht)
confirmed, on the applicant's appeal, the Lower Court's decision for
the same reasons as set out in the trial court's decision.

On .. May 1972 the applicant requested his release from the Vienna
Regional Court. He stated that the danger of his flight did not exist,
and that the 1963 incident was the consequence of a mistake of the
Wiener Neustadt Court which had served the summons of the applicant to
the wrong lawyer, so that the former did not know that he was summoned
to appear in court. The applicant further indicated that he had always
in the past observed the conditions of his being released, and that he
had regularly reported to the police. He then stressed his very bad
state of health and mentioned an expert opinion made by the Vienna
Institute for Forensic Medicine during his 1969 trial. He also stated
that he had been, for almost three years, in detention on remand, and
that, consequently, he could expect that this would be considered when
he asked for a pardon. The applicant offered an increased bail of
250,000 Austrian schillings, and to deposit his passport with the
police. He finally stated that his relations with foreign countries
were limited to Switzerland and Italy and that an escape to either of
these two countries would be senseless, since well applied extradition
agreements existed between these countries and Austria.

On .. June 1972 the Regional Court's Judges' Chamber (Ratskammer)
rejected the applicant's request. The Court held that the Appeals Court
had previously confirmed that the danger of the applicant's absconding
existed, and that the situation meanwhile had not changed.

On .. June 1972 the applicant appealed to the Court of Appeal. He
repeated the reasons of his request of .. May 1972. No details are,
however, submitted as to the decision of this court.

On .. July 1972 the applicant again requested his release on bail, but
on .. October 1972 the above Judges' Chamber again refused to grant
this request. The Court referred to the danger of flight and then dealt
with the applicant's allegation that the continuing detention on remand
would cause serious and lasting injuries to his health. The Court said
that this allegation was unfounded in view of an opinion of the
above-mentioned Institute of Forensic Medicine, according to which the
applicant was fit for detention provided that his state of health was
supervised in the Vienna Prison Hospital (it appears that the applicant
was detained in this prison hospital). The Court then mentioned that
the applicant could not invoke Section 5 of the new Execution of
Sentences Act (Strafvollzugsgesetz), since this was only to be applied
mutatis mutandis on prisoners on remand. For the decision whether a
person should be remanded in custody, and whether this detention should
continue Section 180 of the Code of Criminal Procedure had to be
applied exclusively.

On .. November 1972 the applicant appealed against this decision to the
Court of Appeal an attacked the finding of the Judges' Chamber that
Section 5 of the above Execution of Sentences Act was not applicable
to him and insisted that this Section should be applied. According to
this a prisoner has to be released if his detention was impossible
because of his physical state, or because of illness. He mentioned that
he had been examined by an expert on .. October 1972, who confirmed
that he suffered from a disease of his heart, and that his general
condition was reduced. The applicant then indicated that he had
suffered from three cardiac infarctus in the past and that the last of
these infarctus was the reason for his release from detention on remand
in 1968. The applicant stressed that all this was part of his medical
file and confirmed by several experts. As regards the medical
examination of .. October 1972 he observed that the examining doctor
did not even make an electrocardiograph and that, consequently, he
could not really give a diagnosis on the applicant's condition. He
concluded that it was beyond doubt that his health was in a very bad
condition, that there was an imminent danger of his suffering a fourth
infarctus and that he could not get adequate treatment in the prison
hospital.

On .. November 1972 the applicant suffered from a stroke (cerebral
apoplexy).

On .. November 1972 the Court of Appeal dismissed the applicant's
appeal. It referred to the unchanged situation as to the applicant's
danger of absconding. It also dealt with the applicant's fitness for
detention and stated that it had before it a report from the prison
hospital that the applicant on .. November suffered from a cerebral
apoplexy as a consequence of which he was partly paralysed, and was
transferred to a neurological department of the university hospital.
The Court then telephoned the head of this department, Professor R.,
who said that the stroke was slight and that the paralyses was
simulated by the applicant. The same doctor also alleged that the
applicant had certainly not suffered from any of the alleged three
heart infarctus, although it could not be excluded that he had been
near to them. The Court of Appeal, on the basis of this information,
concluded that the applicant's attitude was an attempted disguise of
a slight stroke (Tarnungsversuch eines leichten Schlaganfalles) and
that, consequently, it was superfluous to order an electrocardiograph
of his heart. The Court found that the applicant was fit for detention;
it did, however, not deal with the question whether Section 5 of the
above Execution of Sentences Act was applicable to a person remanded
in custody.

On .. December 1972 the applicant again requested his release, but on
.. December 1972 the Judges' Chamber of the Regional Court dismissed
this request. The Court mentioned the Court of Appeal's decision of ..
November 1972 in respect of the danger of flight, and to the
applicant's allegations that he was paralysed and could not move his
right arm and leg, so that he had to remain seated in an invalid chair,
and that he had suffered from three heart infarctus were altogether
incredible.

It appears that the applicant is now serving his sentence following his
final conviction by the Supreme Court on .. December 1972.

Complaints

The applicant now complains that he was refused compensation for his
unjustified detention on remand from .. November 1965 until .. December
1965, and from .. February 1966 until .. January 1968.

He also complains about his conviction and sentence of .. April 1972
and states that the above criminal proceedings, although they ended
with his acquittal, were taken into account in the second proceedings,
and that several of his witnesses were not heard by the Trial Court.

Finally, the applicant complains about his detention on remand after
his conviction which was, in his submission, unjustified as no danger
of flight existed and as he was unfit for detention.

He alleges violations of Articles 5 and 6 of the Convention.

THE LAW

1. The applicant has complained that the Austrian courts refused to pay
him compensation for his detention on remand from .. November 1965
until .. December 1965, and from .. February 1966 until .. January 1968
although he had later been acquitted of the charges concerned. He
alleges a violation of Article 5 (Art. 5) in this respect.

It is true that Article 5 (5) (Art. 5-5) of the Convention provides
that "Everyone who has been the victim of arrest or detention in
contravention of the provisions of this Article shall have an
enforceable right to compensation". The Commission, however, in this
respect refers to its established case-law (see paragraph 76 of the
Report of the Commission with regard to application No. 2122/64,
Wemhoff v. the Federal Republic of Germany, and the decision on the
admissibility of application No. 4149/69, Collection of Decisions, Vol.
36, p. 66) according to which it "cannot consider the applicant's claim
under Article 5, paragraph (5) (Art. 5-5), before:

1.   the competent organ, namely the Court or the Committee of
Ministers, has given a decision on the question whether Article 5,
paragraph (3) (Art. 5-3), has been violated in the present case; and

2. The applicant has had the opportunity, with respect to his claim for
compensation to exhaust, in accordance with Article 26 (Art. 26) of the
Convention, the domestic remedies available to him ...".

In the circumstances of the present case, however, neither of the above
two organs has given a decision on the question whether the periods of
the applicant's detention on remand violated the provisions of Article
5 (Art. 5) of the Convention. The Commission itself is prevented in the
present proceedings from examining this question by virtue of Article
26 (Art. 26) of the Convention which provides that it may "only deal
with the matter ... within a period of six months from the date on
which the final decision was taken". The applicant has not indicated
the date of the final decision of the Austrian courts in regard to the
lawfulness of his detention on remand. He has, however, submitted that,
on .. December 1969, he had been finally acquitted by the Vienna
Regional Court of the charges which caused his detention, and it also
appears that no decision with regard to the lawfulness of his detention
on remand was given thereafter. The application to the Commission was,
however, submitted on 4 May 1972, which must have been more than six
months after the date of the final decision on his detention. For this
reason the Commission is barred from examining the question whether the
applicant's above detention on remand violated any of the provisions
of the Convention.

For these reasons and, having regard to the terms of Article 5 (5) of
the Convention the applicant's complaint under this Article cannot be
examined by the Commissions as it is incompatible ratione materiae with
the provisions of the Convention and must be rejected in accordance
with Article 27 (2) (Art. 27-2), of the Convention.

2. The Commission has subsequently examined under Article 6 (1) (Art.
6-1) of the Convention the applicant's complaint that the trial court
in the 1972 criminal proceedings against him took into account, and
relied upon, criminal proceedings which had ended with his acquittal
in 1969.

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. This rule requires the applicant to raise, in the appeals'
proceedings before the national court, the substance of any complaint
subsequently made before the Commission. In this respect the Commission
refers to its constant jurisprudence (see e.g. decisions on the
admissibility of applications No. 263/57, Yearbook, Vol.1, pp. 146, 147
and No. 1103/61, Yearbook, Vol. 5, pp. 168, 186).

In the present case the applicant has not shown that he raised, either
in form or in substance, in the proceedings before the Supreme Court
the complaint which he now makes before the Commission.

It follows that the applicant has not complied with the condition as
to the exhaustion of domestic remedies as regards his above complaint
which must be rejected under Article 27 (3) (Art. 27-3), of the
Convention.

3. The applicant has further complained about his conviction and
sentence on .. April 1972. He pointed out, in particular, that several
of his witnesses were not heard by the Trial Court. he alleged that one
witness had been summoned only to appear on the fourth day of his trial
and that this witness was consequently intimidated. He also submitted
that a graphological expert had not been heard as to the question
whether the applicant had put his signature to a forged document;
further that the court had refused to hear witnesses who could have
confirmed that the applicant had suffered a financial loss of one
million Austrian schillings as a consequence of a breach of contract
terminated by the producer of the above electric machines against whom
he had, consequently, a valid claim. He complained finally that the
court had refused to hear witnesses who could have given evidence that
his commercial partner intended to discontinue his relationship with
the applicant and thus to end the applicant's employment as his general
sales agent for Austria. The applicant alleged that Article 6 (Art. 6)
of the Convention was thereby violated.

The Commission has first examined this complaint under Article 6 (1)
(Art. 6-1) of the Convention which entitles everyone charged with a
criminal offence to a fair trial. An examination of the facts, as
submitted by the applicant, does not, however, disclose any appearance
of a violation of this right, and the applicant's complaint, if
regarded under Article 6 (1) (Art. 6-1), is therefore manifestly
ill-founded within the meaning of Article 27 (2) (Art. 27-2), of the
Convention. The Commission next examined whether Article 6 (3) (d)
(Art. 6-3-d) of the Convention was violated in these proceedings. This
provision reads as follows:

"(3)  Everyone charged with a criminal offence has the following
minimum rights: (d) to examine or have examined witnesses against him
and to obtain the attendance and examination of witnesses on his behalf
under the same conditions as witnesses against him."

According to the Commission's constant case-law, however, this
provision does not give the accused person a right to call witnesses
without any restriction. In particular, the Commission has repeatedly
held that the competent courts of the Contracting Parties are free,
subject to respect for the terms of the Convention, to decide whether
the hearing of a witness for the defence is likely to be of assistance
in discovering the truth and, if not, to decide against calling that
witness. In this respect the Commission refers to its Report in the
Austria v Italy Case (application No. 788/60, Yearbook, Vol. 6, pp.
740, 772 and to its decision on the admissibility of application No.
1134/61, X v. Belgium, Yearbook, Vol. 4, pp. 378, 382).

In the present case, the Commission noted that the Supreme Court in its
judgment of .. December 1972 analyzed in detail the applicant's
complaints in regard to his trial and decided that they were unfounded.
As regards the several witnesses whom the applicant wished to be
called, the Supreme Court held that the summoning of a particular
witness for the fourth day of the trial and not, as requested by the
applicant, for the first day was no reason to nullify the trial.
According to the Court this had in no way interfered with the
applicant's rights since it made no difference on which day this
witness was heard as long as he was heard. With respect to the other
witnesses the Court stated that the applicant could not validly
complain about the lower court's refusal to hear them since either the
subject on which they could give evidence was totally irrelevant to the
issue of the trial, or they could not give evidence on the subject
mentioned by the applicant.

The Commission considers that the Supreme Court's decision to uphold
the Trial Court's refusal for the evidence concerned to be heard was,
in view of the reasons given by the Supreme Court and having regard to
the Commission's jurisprudence in this respect, not inconsistent with
the provisions of Article 6 (3) (d) (Art. 6-3-d) of the Convention. It
follows that this complaint of the applicant is, therefore, manifestly
ill-founded within the meaning of Article 27, paragraph (2)
(Art. 27-2), of the Convention.

4. The applicant has also complained generally about his conviction and
sentence by the above Trial Court. Insofar as this does not relate to
the complaints dealt with above under paragraphs 2 and 3, the
Commission refers to its constant case-law 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 to 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. The Commission fins that there is no
appearance of any such violation in connection with the applicant's
general complaints about his conviction and sentence. 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.

5. The applicant has lastly complained about his detention on remand
after his conviction and pending his appeal to the Supreme Court. He
submitted that this detention was unjustified as no danger of flight
existed and as he was medically unfit for detention. The Commission
considers that this last complaint may give rise to a question under
Article 5 (3) (Art. 5-3) of the Convention, and examination of the file
at the present stage does not give such information regarding the
applicant's physical state at the time of his detention, as is required
for determining the question of admissibility. The Commission,
therefore, decides, in accordance with Rule 45, 3 b) of the
Commission's Rules of Procedure, to give notice of this complaint to
the Austria Government and to invite them to submit their written
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. Decides to adjourn its examination of the admissibility of the
applicant's complaint about his detention on remand from .. April 1972
to .. December 1972;

2. Declares inadmissible the other complaints made by the applicant.