Kolompar v Belgium (Series A, Volume 235-C; Application No 11613/85) EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS (1993) 16 EHRR 197, 24 SEPTEMBER 1992

Deprivation of liberty - lawfulness of detention

The applicant is a Yugoslav citizen who was convicted in absentia of committing various offences in both Italy and Belgium. Italy was the first to indict him on charges of rape. Italy then attempted to have the applicant extradited from Belgium were he was detained on charges of theft. Although the authorities were unable to detain with regards to the Belgium charges, he remained in custody awaiting extradition proceedings. After he was convicted by a Belgium court, the applicant was informed that he had served the bulk of his sentence while awaiting the extradition charges and that he would be released soon. Three months after the applicant's prison term ended, the extradition requirements were complete and he was extradited to Italy. The applicant filed this suit alleging violations of Articles 5(1) and 5(4) of the European Convention on Human Rights because of the length of time he remained in detention. The court found that no violations had occurred.

1. Deprivation of liberty.


- whether the applicant was deprived of his liberty; and
- whether the detention with a view to extradition had served, albeit unlawfully, to ensure sentence was executed; and
- whether extradition proceedings had not been conducted at a reasonable pace (Art 5(1)).

The detention in Belgium did not violate any of the requirements of Article 5(1)(a) and (c). Detention while awaiting the end of extradition proceedings was in justified under Article 5(1)(f) of the Convention.

The applicant's continued as a result of his attempts to stay the execution of his release to the Italian authorities. The extradition proceedings preceding the appeal ended a month after the applicant ended his sentence in Belgium. Delays attributed to a defendant's conduct do not violate Article 5(1) of Article 5(4) of the convention. The two articles should be considered separately and dispensing with one article does not render the other article moot.

The following cases were referred to in the judgment:

1. MOREIRA DE AZEVEDO v PORTUGAL (A/189): (1990) 13 EHRR 721.
2. TOMASI v FRANCE (A/241-A): (1993) 15 EHRR 1.
4. DE WILDE, OOMS AND VERSYP v BELGIUM (A/12): (1971) 1 EHRR 373.
5. SANCHEZ-REISSE v SWITZERLAND (A/107): (1986) 9 EHRR 71.

| Return to Topic Menu | Return to Main Menu |