Sadıkoğulları and Erdem v. Turkey (4220/02)

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Date 20081021
Article 5(3), 6(1)
Decision violation

Violation of Article 5 § 3

Violation of Article 6 § 1 (length)

Sadıkoğulları and Erdem v. Turkey (nos. 4220/02 and 8793/02)

The applicants, Ramadan Sadıkoğulları and Rauf Erdem, are Turkish nationals who were born in 1965 and 1968 respectively and live in Istanbul.

They were arrested and placed in pre-trial detention in May 1992 on suspicion of belonging to an illegal organisation, Direniş Hareketi (resistance movement) and taking part in a number of offences including an armed robbery. They were ultimately sentenced, in March 2002, to 29 years and two months’ imprisonment. An appeal by the applicants on points of law was dismissed in November 2002.

Relying on Articles 5 § 3 (right to liberty and security) and 6 § 1 (right to a fair trial within a reasonable time), they complained that the length of their pre-trial detention and the proceedings against them had been excessive.

The Court held unanimously that there had been a violation of Article 5 § 3 on account of the length of the applicants’ pre-trial detention – nearly five years and 11 months. It also held unanimously that there had been a violation of Article 6 § 1 on account of the excessive length of the proceedings, which had lasted nearly ten years and six months. It awarded the applicants EUR 6,000 each for non-pecuniary damage and EUR 2,000 jointly for costs and expenses. (The judgment is available only in French.)