SCOTT v. SPAIN (84/1995/590/676) 18 December 1996: lawfulness and length of pre-trial detention of person also sought for extradition; Rape investigation provided at all times justification for applicant's ongoing detention -
Spain - lawfulness and length of pre-trial detention of person also sought for extradition
I. Article 5 § 1 of the Convention
A. Preliminary observations
Rape investigation provided at all times justification for applicant's ongoing detention - extradition authorities ordered detention following request for extradition but prolonged it beyond date when provisional release was granted in rape case - Court will consider legal basis of detention "autonomously" and approach whole detention as falling within Article 5 § 1 (c).
B. The lawfulness of the applicant's continued detention
Detention between provisional release in rape case (6 March 1992) and new detention in rape case (25 August 1993) followed legal procedure - other issues of lawfulness to be treated under Article 5 § 3.
New detention order in rape case (25 August 1993) also followed legal procedure - in view of available evidence against applicant, order complied with substantive domestic legislation and was not arbitrary.
Conclusion: no violation (eight votes to one).
II. Article 5 § 3 of the Convention
A. Government's preliminary objection (non-exhaustion of domestic
Applicant filed requests for release only with extradition authorities - in circumstances, reasonable to consider that these authorities had last say in matters relating to detention, no purpose served by applying to criminal authorities.
Conclusion: dismissal (unanimously).
B. Merits of the complaint
1. Period to be taken into consideration
From arrest to acquittal (4 years and 16 days).
2. Grounds for continued detention
Evident and significant risk of applicant's absconding persisted throughout entire period of detention.
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3. Conduct of the proceedings
Case not particularly complex - length of proceedings not attributable to applicant - duty of "special diligence" not observed.
Conclusion: violation (unanimously).
III. Article 50 of the Convention
Damage: extradition granted on condition that time spent in prison pending extradition be deducted from final sentence - applicant sentenced to life imprisonment in United Kingdom - finding of violation constitutes sufficient just satisfaction.
Costs and expenses: excessive.
Conclusion: respondent State to pay a specified sum to applicant (unanimously).
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