Application no. 66471/01
by Igor Ivanovich DUBALAR
The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section),
21 March 2006 as a Chamber composed of:
Sir Nicolas Bratza, President,
Mr J. Casadevall,
Mr G. Bonello,
Mr R. Maruste,
Mr A. Kovler,
Mr L. Garlicki,
Mr J. Borrego Borrego, judges,
and Mr M. O’Boyle, Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 4 January 2000,
Having regard to the observations submitted by the respondent Government,
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicant, Mr Igor Ivanovich Dubalar, is a Russian national, who was born in 1974 and lives in Magadan. The respondent Government are represented by Mr P. Laptev, Representative of the Russian Federation at the European Court of Human Rights.
The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.
1. Criminal proceedings
The applicant used to work as a policeman.
On 10 April 1997 he was arrested on suspicion of having tortured a suspect to death. The applicant was remanded in pre-trial custody in Remand Centre IZ-47/1 of Magadan.
On 7 May 1997 he was formally charged with the offence.
On 30 May 1997 the prosecuting authorities submitted the case to the Magadan Town Court for trial.
In June 1997–May 1999 the applicant lodged a number of complaints with the Presidents of the Magadan Town and Regional Courts. He requested them to release him pending trial and to speed up the proceedings. Since no reply was received, the applicant complained to the Judicial Qualifications Board. On 10 June 1999 the board reminded the Presidents of the need to ensure that criminal cases are dealt with promptly. The Board also indicated that they would take into account bureaucratic behaviour on the part of judges, when appraising them. The hearing of the case began in July 1999.
On 4 August 1999 the Magadan Town Court convicted the applicant and sentenced him to eleven and a half years’ imprisonment. The applicant appealed against the judgment.
On 6 December 1999 the Magadan Regional Court quashed the judgment and remitted the case for a new trial. The court ordered that the applicant should stay in detention pending trial.
On 4 April 2000 the Magadan Town Court convicted the applicant and sentenced him to nine and a half years’ imprisonment. The applicant appealed against the judgment.
On 10 July 2000 the Magadan Regional Court upheld the judgment.
The applicant served a part of his sentence and was released in August 2003.
2. Conditions in Remand Centre IZ-47/1
According to the applicant, on 10 April 1997 he was placed in a one-man cell measuring 0.90 m by 0.60 m. There was no bed in the cell. He spent there nine days. The following three years he spent in a cell which measured 6 m2 and contained six sleeping places. As the cell was occupied by twelve persons, the detainees had to take turns sleeping. One of the detainees suffered from tuberculosis. Daily walks lasted only one hour. No adequate food or medical service was provided.
According to the Government, during his pre-trial detention the applicant was held in different cells. The Government admitted that the cells had been overcrowded. Apart from that the sanitary conditions of the cells had been satisfactory and corresponded to the statutory standards.
1. The applicant complained under Article 5 § 3 of the Convention that the time spent in custody on remand had been unreasonable.
2. He also complained under Article 6 § 1 of the Convention that the criminal proceedings had been exceedingly long.
3. The applicant complained under Article 6 § 1 that the Magadan Town Court had not been impartial. He submitted that the court would have never acquitted him because it would have been equivalent to acknowledging that an innocent person had spent so much time in custody.
4. He complained next under Articles 13 and 17 of the Convention that Russian law provided no time-limit for detention pending trial.
5. The applicant complained in addition under Article 6 § 3 (d) of the Convention that in the course of the re-trial the Magadan Town Court had not summoned to the hearing forensic experts who had testified against him.
6. He further complained under Article 3 of the Convention about the conditions of his detention on remand.
7. Lastly, the applicant complained under Article 13 of the Convention that he had had no effective remedy against the unreasonably long examination of his case by the courts.
The Court, having regard to the events that occurred after the notice of the application had been given to the Russian Government and after they had submitted their observations on the admissibility and merits of the case, considers that it does not have to examine the present application and that Article 37 § 1 of the Convention should be applied. That provision, in its relevant part, reads:
“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.”
In this respect the Court notes that on 25 May 2004 the Registry informed the applicant in a letter that a notice of the application had been given to the respondent Government. On 2 September 2004 the Registry sent the applicant the Government’s observations on the admissibility and merits of the application and invited him to submit his observations in reply by 14 October 2004. The applicant did not reply. On 4 April 2005 the Court advised the applicant in a letter that he had not complied with the time-limits for submission of his observations, and that in the absence of an application for extension of the time-limits the Court might conclude that he was no longer interested in pursuing the application and decide to strike it out of its list of cases. The applicant did not reply. The Registry re-sent the letter on 5 December 2005. On 9 January 2006 the Court received a postal notice with the applicant’s signature acknowledging the receipt of the Court’s letter on 20 December 2005. The Court received no further correspondence from the applicant.
In these circumstances, having regard to Article 37 § 1 (a) of the Convention, the Court concludes that the applicant has lost interest in his application and no longer intends to pursue it before the Court. Furthermore, in accordance with Article 37 § 1 in fine, the Court finds no special circumstances regarding respect for human rights as defined in the Convention and its Protocols which require the examination of the application to be continued.
For these reasons, the Court unanimously
Decides to strike the application out of its list of cases.
Michael O’BOYLE Nicolas
DUBALAR v. RUSSIA DECISION
DUBALAR v. RUSSIA DECISION