FOURTH SECTION

DECISION

Application no. 67030/01 
by Ivan MELLO and Karol MELLO 
against Slovakia

The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section), sitting on 28 March 2005 as a Chamber composed of:

Sir Nicolas Bratza, President
 Mr J. Casadevall
 Mr M. Pellonpää
 Mr R. Maruste
 Mr S. Pavlovschi
 Mr J. Borrego Borrego, 
 Mr J. Šikuta, judges
and Mr M. O’Boyle, Section Registrar,

Having regard to the above application lodged on 13 November 2000,

Having regard to the partial decision of 17 February 2005

Having regard to the decision to apply Article 29 § 3 of the Convention and examine the admissibility and merits of the case together,

Having regard to the observations submitted by the respondent Government,

Having deliberated, decides as follows:

THE FACTS

The first applicant, Mr Ivan Mello, was a Slovakian national who was born in 1971 and lived in Prievidza. On 15 June 2002 he died in a traffic accident. In a letter of 28 June 2002 the late first applicant’s wife, Mrs Nataša Mellová, informed the Court that she wished to pursue the application in his stead. In the same letter the second applicant, Mr Karol Mello, who is the brother of the first applicant, expressed his wish to have the facts of the case reviewed in his own name. The second applicant who was born in 1969 and lives in Prievidza is a Slovakian national. The applicants are both represented before the Court by Mr P. Schmidl, a lawyer practising in Bratislava. The respondent Government are represented by Mrs A. Poláčková, their Agent.

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

On 7 April 1999 the applicants were charged with blackmail. Further charges of blackmail, obstruction of justice, conspiracy, robbery and illegal possession of firearms and explosives were levelled later. Following the first applicant’s death, the proceedings against him were discontinued. The proceedings against the second applicant appear to be still pending.

On 8 April 1999 the first applicants was arrested. On 9 April 1999 he was remanded in detention. The first applicant subsequently requested several times that he be released. The courts dismissed these requests and authorised on several occasions an extension of his detention. On 18 January 2002 the first applicant was released.

COMPLAINTS

1.  The first applicant complained under Article 5 of the Convention that his continued detention had been arbitrary, unlawful, unjustified, generally too lengthy and that, if counted together, the total duration of his detention in connection with the various criminal charges against him exceeded the maximum time permitted by law.

2.  The first applicant also complained that his requests for release subsequent to 13 May 2000 had not been determined speedily and that the decisions in their respect lacked sufficiently concrete and otherwise appropriate reasoning.

3.  Relying on Article 6 § 1 of the Convention both applicants further complained that the length of the criminal proceedings against them had been excessive.

THE LAW

The Court notes that by letter of 5 October 2005 the applicants’ lawyer was invited to present, by 18 November 2005, on the applicants’ behalf a reply to the observations of the Government on the present application and to submit any claims for just satisfaction.

By registered letter of 21 December 2005 the Registrar of the Fourth Section informed the applicants’ lawyer that the period allowed for submission of the observations in reply and the claims for just satisfaction had expired and that no extension of time had been requested. The 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 25 January 2006 a postal delivery report (avis de réception) was received at the Court indicating that the above registered letter had been received by the applicants’ lawyer on 9 January 2006.

The Court has received no reply to the above letters.

In the light of the above, the Court considers that the applicants do not intend to pursue their 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 discontinue the application of Article 29 § 3 of the Convention and to strike the remainder of the application out of its list of cases.

Michael O’Boyle Nicolas Bratza 
 Registrar President

MELLO v. SLOVAKIA DECISION


MELLO v. SLOVAKIA DECISION