FOURTH SECTION

DECISION

Application no. 65562/01 
by Milan TVRDÝ 
against Slovakia

The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section), sitting on 16 May 2006 as a Chamber composed of:

Sir Nicolas Bratza, President
 Mr G. Bonello
 Mr M. Pellonpää
 Mr K. Traja
 Mr L. Garlicki
 Ms L. Mijović, 
 Mr J. Šikuta, judges
and Mr M. O’Boyle, Section Registrar,

Having regard to the above application lodged on 30 January 2001,

Having regard to the observations submitted by the respondent Government,

Having deliberated, decides as follows:

THE FACTS

The applicant, Mr Milan Tvrdý, is a Czech national who was born in 1962 and lives in Hodonín (Czech Republic). He was represented before the Court by Mr D. Krivský, a lawyer practising in Skalica. The Government of the Slovak Republic (“the Government”) were represented by their Agent, Mrs A. Poláčková.

The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.

On 8 January 2001 the police department in Skalica accused the applicant, together with four other persons, of an unauthorised crossing of the State border. The accused persons were suspected of being involved in the illegal transporting of persons of Asian origin from Slovakia to the Czech Republic. The accused persons were apprehended by the police.

On 9 January 2001 a Skalica District Court judge heard the applicant and ordered that he should be released. The court noted that the applicant was employed and staying at his permanent address in the Czech Republic, and that his criminal record was clear. It accepted the applicant’s pledge that he would commit no offence and would comply with any orders which might be issued in the context of the proceedings. The public prosecutor challenged this decision.

On 12 January 2001 the Regional Court in Trnava quashed the District Court decision and remanded the applicant in custody. The decision stated that he was a foreign national and that he could return to the Czech Republic and jeopardise the criminal proceedings.

On 19 January 2001 the applicant filed an application for release. He submitted that no relevant reason for detaining him on remand existed. The applicant submitted an offer to put up bail signed by his wife.

On 31 January 2001 the Skalica District Court determined the bail to be deposited in the context of the applicant’s release. In a decision of 8 February 2001 the District Court formally accepted the bail and ordered the applicant’s release. The public prosecutor challenged this decision whereby its effect was suspended.

On 8 March 2001 the Trnava Regional Court quashed the District Court’s decision and dismissed the applicant’s request for release. The decision stated that the District Court had disregarded the fact that the applicant was a foreign national, that he would not be obliged to respect Slovakian laws after his return to the place of his residence, and that there was a risk that he would not return to Slovakia after his release with a view to avoiding the criminal proceedings against him. The decision was taken in camera.

On 14 March 2001 the Skalica District Public Prosecutor’s Office indicted the applicant and four other persons for the above offence before the Skalica District Court.

On 26 March 2001 the applicant requested that he should be released. He argued that no relevant reason existed for detaining him in custody.

The District Court held hearings in the criminal case against the applicant and his co-accused on 2 and 23 April 2001. In a judgment delivered on the latter date the District Court acquitted the applicant. In a separate decision given on 23 April 2001 it released the applicant on the ground that he had been acquitted. The public prosecutor challenged both the judgment and the decisions concerning the applicant’s release. His complaint having suspensive effect, the applicant remained remanded in custody.

The judgment of 23 April 2001 was quashed on 26 July 2001.

On 22 October 2001 the District Court delivered a new judgment in which it again acquitted the applicant. By a separate decision the District Court ordered the applicant’s release on this ground. The applicant was released on 23 October 2001.

The District Court’s judgment concerning the applicant and delivered on 22 October 2001 was quashed by the court of appeal on 16 April 2002.

On 8 April 2003 the Skalica District Court delivered its third judgment in the case convicting the applicant of unauthorised crossing of the State border. It sentenced the applicant to one year’s imprisonment the service of which was conditionally suspended for one year. That judgment became final on 8 April 2003.

COMPLAINTS 

1.  The applicant complained under Article 5 of the Convention (i) that the Trnava Regional Court’s decisions of 12 January 2001 and of 8 March 2001 were arbitrary, (ii) that his detention following his acquittal by the Skalica District Court on 23 April 2001 had been unjustified, and (iii) that his lawyer had not been allowed to intervene in the proceedings before the Trnava Regional Court on 8 March 2001 relating to his application for release.

2.  The applicant alleged a violation of Article 14 of the Convention in that the sole reason for detaining him on remand had been his Czech nationality.

3.  Under Article 13 of the Convention the applicant complained that he had no remedy at his disposal permitting him to challenge the Trnava Regional Court’s decision on his detention on remand given on 12 January 2001.

THE LAW

The Court observes that by a letter of 11 January 2006 the applicant was invited to reply, by 23 February 2006, to the observations of the Government on the above application.

By a registered letter of 3 April 2006 the Registrar of the Fourth Section informed the applicant that the period allowed for submission of his observations in reply had expired and that no extension of time had been requested. The applicant’s attention was drawn to Article 37 § 1 (a) of the Convention which provides that:

“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.”

On 19 April 2006 a postal delivery report (avis de réception) was received at the Court indicating that the registered letter of 3 April 2006 had been received by the applicant’s representative on 10 April 2006.

The Court has received no reply to the above letters.

In the light of the above, the Court considers that the applicant does not intend to pursue his application. The Court also considers that respect for human rights as defined in the Convention does not require it to continue the examination of the case. The application should therefore be struck out of the list of cases in accordance with Article 37 § 1 (a) of the Convention.

For these reasons, the Court unanimously

Decides to strike the application out of its list of cases.

Michael O’Boyle Nicolas Bratza 
 Registrar President

TVRDÝ v. SLOVAKIA DECISION


TVRDÝ v. SLOVAKIA DECISION