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Application no. 67370/01
by Dancho Donkov YORDANOV
against Bulgaria

The European Court of Human Rights (Fifth Section), sitting on 11 December 2006 as a Chamber composed of:

Mr P. Lorenzen, President,
Mrs S. Botoucharova,
Mr K. Jungwiert,
Mr R. Maruste,
Mr J. Borrego Borrego,
Mrs R. Jaeger,
Mr M. Villiger, judges,
and Mrs C. Westerdiek, Section Registrar,

Having regard to the above application lodged on 15 August 2000,

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

Having deliberated, decides as follows:


The applicant, Mr Dancho Donkov Yordanov, is a Bulgarian national who was born in 1968 and lives in Dobrolevo.

The respondent Government were represented by their Agent, Ms M. Kotzeva, of the Ministry of Justice.

The circumstances of the case

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

1. The criminal proceedings against the applicant

Two robberies were committed on the nights of 24 July and 18 August 1996 whereby three sheep and five hogs were stolen.

The applicant was arrested and held in detention on unspecified grounds between 17 January and 18 February 1997. He maintained that he had requested, but was refused to be provided with a lawyer.

On 27 June 1997 an indictment for the two robberies was filed against the applicant and another three individuals with the Beloslatinski District Court.

On an unspecified date the applicant petitioned the court to provide him free-of-charge with a court appointed lawyer because he lacked the means to pay for one. The court apparently refused.

In a judgment of 22 April 1999 the Beloslatinski District Court convicted the defendants and sentenced the applicant to two years’ imprisonment. The applicant appealed against the judgment on an unspecified date.

In a judgment of 17 June 1999 the Vratsa Regional Court upheld the lower court’s judgment. The court re-examined the evidence in the case and considered unsubstantiated the applicant’s assertions that he was unaware that an offence was being perpetrated and that he was simply assisting, against payment, with the transportation of the stolen animals. The applicant filed a cassation appeal on an unspecified date.

In a final judgment of 7 April 2000 the Supreme Court of Cassation upheld the lower court’s judgment.

2. Alleged ill-treatment of the applicant while in detention

The applicant alleged that while in police detention from 17 January to 18 February 1997 he had been beaten several times by police officers who sought to obtain a confession from him and who forced him to sign blank statement sheets. He also claimed that his injuries had healed by the time he was released and that he had been unable therefore to obtain a medical certificate evidencing the alleged ill-treatment.


1. The applicant complained under Article 3 of the Convention that he was subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment while in police detention from 17 January to 18 February 1997.

2. The applicant complained, relying on Article 6 of the Convention, that (a) he was denied a fair trial, because the courts wrongly assessed the evidence before them, disregarded certain testimony and primarily relied on statements given before the investigation; (b) the presumption of innocence was not adhered to; and, (c) he had not been provided with free legal assistance even though he lacked sufficient means to pay for such.


On 9 September 2005 notice of the application was given to the respondent Government under Rule 54 § 2 (b) of the Rules of Court and they were invited to submit written observations on the admissibility and merits of the case.

On 15 December 2005 the respondent Government submitted their observations.

The Government’s observations were forwarded to the applicant with a letter of 17 January 2006 and he was invited to submit by 14 March 2006 any written observations which he may wish to make in reply, together with any claims for just satisfaction.

The applicant did not submit any observations in reply or claims for just satisfaction within the prescribed deadline nor did he ask the Court for any extension of time.

In a letter of 30 August 2006, sent by registered mail with acknowledgement of receipt, the applicant was informed of the terms of Article 37 § 1 (a) of the Convention and that the Court may interpret his failure to reply and submit observations as an indication that he no longer intends to pursue his application. The letter was sent both to the applicant and his mother, which had previously received correspondence on his behalf. Both of them received the letters on 7 September 2006.

No reply or further correspondence has since been received from the applicant.

Having regard to the foregoing, the Court finds that the applicant does not intend to pursue his application within the meaning of Article 37 of the Convention, which, so far as material, provides as follows:

“1. 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.”

Furthermore, the Court considers that respect for human rights as defined in the Convention and the protocols thereto does not require the continued examination of the application (Article 37 § 1 in fine).

Accordingly, Article 29 § 3 of the Convention should no longer apply to the case and it should be struck out of the list.

For these reasons, the Court unanimously

Decides to strike the application out of its list of cases.

Claudia Westerdiek Peer Lorenzen
Registrar President