Abdullah Yılmaz v. Turkey (10512/02)

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Date 20080722
Article 5(3), 6(1)
Decision violation

Violation of Article 5 § 3

Violation of Article 6 § 1 (length)

Abdullah Yılmaz v. Turkey (no. 10512/02)

The applicant, Abdullah Yılmaz, is a Turkish national who was born in 1963 and lives in Batman (Turkey).

After being wounded in a firefight with the security forces in June 1995 the applicant was taken into police custody. He was then remanded in custody on suspicion of belonging to an illegal organisation, the PKK (Workers’ Party of Kurdistan), and charged with separatism. Mr Yılmaz was ultimately found guilty of the charges against him and given a death sentence which was commuted to life imprisonment in April 2002. He complained in particular of the excessive length of his pre-trial detention and of the criminal proceedings against him. He relied on Article 5 § 3 (right to liberty and security) and Article 6 § 1 (right to a fair trial within a reasonable time).

The Court held unanimously that there had been a violation of Article 5 § 3 on account of the length of time – nearly five years and ten months – the applicant had spent in pre-trial detention. It further held unanimously that there had been a violation of Article 6 § 1 on account of the length of the proceedings, which had lasted nearly six years and ten months. The Court awarded Mr Yılmaz EUR 5,500 for non-pecuniary damage. (The judgment is available only in French.)