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Home arrow newsitems arrow ECHR: Time Deadlines may Violate Human Rights by not examining particular circumstances

ECHR: Time Deadlines may Violate Human Rights by not examining particular circumstances

Written by ACM
Tuesday, 30 October 2018
echr__horizon_sunset_eurofora_400_01

*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- Forcing strict and absolute Time Deadlines may Violate Human Rights, if it doesn't take into account the Particular Circumstances of each affair, where the cause of a Delay could be a very Serious Issue, judged, in substance, ECHR in a Ruling published Today, on a case which might be linked even with possible, Long-Time Attempts to Steal Oil from NATO's installations in Turkey, (See Facts Infra : "Kursun").


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The Applicant was an Owner of a Property used as Industrial Park, located near to a Private Oil Refinery ("Tupras"), as well as to some Oil Storage and Supply facilities, run by the Ministry of Defence, for the Turkish NATO Pipeline system ("ANT").


A Big Explosion (equivalent to an Earthquake with Magnitude of 9 on Richter scale !) at those Neighbouring Areas, and ensuing Fire, Killed 2 Persons and Injured Many others, while also Damaging nearby Properties.


Several Commissions were established in order to determine the Cause of that Explosion, and the Damage caused by it.


Contrary to Initial estimations pointing at the Private Refinery, subsequent analysis found that the Cause was related to the NATO Pipeline system in Turkey, because of a large and long Leakage, mainly of Oil, (given the Fact that Both the precise Product leaked ["Gasoline"], and its Location in the UnderGround, etc., concerned the "ANT" system of Turkish NATO Pipelines, under which, a very Old Leak appeared Continuing during Decades, in a Network established since 1960/1970+)...


Curiously, such a "Ping-Pong" on the Question : -"Who was Responsible ?", persisted also longer in Turkey, and, moreover, a Decision to "Clean" up that Dangerous Leak, wasN't implemented, not even 12 Years After that Deadly Explosion (2005-2017) !


>>> Later-on, a Team of Experts reportedly Found that Leaks might result from "Breaches" of Pipelines or other equipments "by Malicious individuals, for the purpose of Theft" (sic). Indeed, that Leak "involved a Highly Valuable Economic Commodity"...


=> Therefore, Turkish "Institutions" could "Not be expected to UnCover such Incidents, by their own efforts alone", and it's "highly ImProbable that Institutions would Not take Any Action to Stop such a Leak", ECHR noted.


* In other words, to put it in a nutshell, Thieves may have been Stealing NATO's Oil, under its installations in Turkey, during Decades, with Complicities from Turkish Authorities !


Perhaps that's a reason for which, Turkey's Cour de Cassation, curiously Claimed, afterwads, in this affair, that "it was Not Necessary to have the TortFeasor established with Certainty", but, on the Contrary, "a Guess" on his "Identity", within the bounds of a "Possibility", was "Sufficient to Bring an Action" via the Prosecutor, (etc), so that a Proprietor's  Application, which aWaited for such matters to be Clarified, should be Rejected as Out of Time, ECHR's Judgement points out.


Indeed, that private Owner prefered to Wait until such thorny Matters (as Cause and Damages : Comp. Supra) are further Clarified, with the Result, for his Application, to Delay More than a Year of "Time Limit" in such  cases. Thereby, it gave a Legal Pretext, for Turkish Courts, to Reject it...


>>> But, on the Contrary, ECHR's Judgement, published Today, points at the Need of an "Exact and Certain Information" about the "Identity of the TortFeasor", and Not "mere Suspicions and Guesses", in order to "Trigger" the Time-Limit for an Application to the Courts.


- In this regard, "the Applicant Complained that he had been Denied a Fair Trial, on account of the Dismissal of his Compensation Claim, as being Out of Time", ECHR observed. Indeed, "although Time-Limits are in principle legitimate procedural limitations on access to a court, their interpretation in Disregard of relevant Practical Circumstances, may result in Violations" of Human Rights, ECHR confirmed.

F.ex., in this case, "having regard to the nature of the Explosion, the Uncertainty of the Cause of the damage, the Complexity of the matter, as well as the Various Reports on the issue, the Court finds it Difficult to follow" the Turkish Courts, which "required" from the Applicant "to Institute Proceedings at a Moment when he could Not, realistically, have Sufficient Knowledge of the Cause of the Damage, or the Identity of those Responsible" ; I.e. something "very Formalistic", bearing in mind "particularly the possible Practical and Financial Implications, of such a Requirement, for the applicant".


>>> "Furthermore, the Court notes that the Appliqant Raised pertinent Questions, that Called for a Response", the Judgement stresses. (F.ex. about the still Remaining Risk for even More Explosions, since that Leakage had Not yet been Cleaned up : Comp. Supra ; and on the Identity of those Responsible for that Deadly Explosion, etc). Indeed, "his Attempts to Clarify those Important Matters, ...went to the very Core of his Right of Access to Court", and, in Consequence, "canNot be used Against him, in assessing ... the Time-LImit", ECHR found.


=> Thus, EuroJudges concluded that "there has been a Violation of the Applicant's Right of Access to a Court, under article 6§1 of the (PanEuropean) Convention (on Human Rights)", and awarded to the Victim 2.500 € for Non-Pecunuary Damage, as well as 3.000 € for the Costs, wityOut "Speculating" about "the Outcome of Proceedings", at the National Courts, "as regards Pecuniary Damage", in addition.  


In this regard, ECHR noted, indeed, the "Deprivation of Rental Income", the "Reduced Value of Property", and the "Risk of Further Explosions", since "necessary steps had Not yet been taken to clean the Oil Leak", as the applicant had Denounced, (Comp. Supra).

 

(../..)


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 politkovskaya_gongadze_adali_400

Hu Jia's prize brings SAKHAROV's wife to "EuroFora" on murders of Journalists Politkofskaya, Gongadze and Adali :

- Elena Bonner : "All Journalists' murders must be fully investigated", without Double Standards.                                                                                    

During a special Mega-Event to celebrate 20 Years of SAKHAROV Prize for "Freedom of Thought", attributed in 2008 by EU Parliament to jailed Chinese Cyber-Dissident Hu JIA, the move was reinforced by strongly criticizing the persisting impunity in three cases of Journalists' Murders, such as POLITKOVSKAYA in Russia, GONGADZE in Ukraine, and ADALI in Turkish-occupied part of Cyprus.

Any bureaucratic doubt about whether Cyber-dissidents like Hu JIA might have, or not, a right to be protected as all Journalists must be, particularly when they take risks to search, find and publish original and critical News on issues of general interest to the society, could not resist to the emotion provoked by the message of his Wife, Zeng JINYAN spectacularly transmitted at a big screen in EU Parliament's hemicycle :

- "The most important and most interesting thing he did was to ... say the Truth :.. to write about the phenomena he observed... He never stopped Publishing.. on websites, so that the Public could learn about the reality .. and understand it.  In my view, this has been his greatest contribution", stressed the young wife of the jailed man, eager to cite also the cases of other critical journalists who faced various kinds of "harassment".

 - "Welcoming all those who have suffered for defending Human Rights", EU Parliament's President, German MEP Hans Gert POETTERING, who had invited to Strasbourg all former Sakharov prize-winners from various Countries throughout the World, said that "China needs Europe, and Europe needs China : A great nation" with which "we want to have a good relationship", "association and ..friendship". "But we are never going to stop our fight for Human Rights, and No Government can expect this from us".

    - "It's impossible  to achieve goals of Peace, if Human Rights are left out. In fact, Peace and Human Rights are intrinsequaly linked", added POETTERING.

    It's in this spirit that MEPs adopted, on Thursday, a Resolution denouncing that "the criminal
investigation and trial following the murder of (a) Journalist ...raises serious concerns with regard to transparency and respect for the rule of law", when a "brutal killing has not yet been fully investigated and solved in a satisfactory way".

    The text refered to dissident Journalist "Anna POLITOVSKAYA", a critic of Tchechen conflict, killed some years ago in Moscow, where Russian Authorities have found, arrested and are currently judging two executants, while also searching to arrest also a 3rd one, allegedly escaped in Belgium. But they have not yet found the instigators.

     Similar texts were adopted recently also on dissident Ukranian Journalist Georgiy GONGADZE's murder, for which Ukranian Authorities have at least found, arrested and condemned 2 executants to 12 and 13 Years of jail, but not yet the instigators. For that purpose, they recently accepted an International Experts team to participate to the investigations.     

But, it's only for the Murder of dissident Turkish Cypriot Journalist ADALI, in the occupied territories of Cyprus, that Turkey has NOT yet found ANYONE responsible, and even claimed recently inside CoE that it would be "impossible" to do so !    

These astonishing differences exist despite the fact that ECHR condemned alike Ukraine and Turkey with 2 Judgements on the same year : 2005, for the murders of  Journalists GONGADZE and ADALI, strong critics of Corruption in Ukraine, and of Ankara's policies on mass-influx of Turkish Settlers in the Occupied Territories of Cyprus, respectively.    

Regarless of that, CoE's Committee of Ministers, who is entrusted with the duty to supervise execution of ECHR's judgements, has just asked Ukraine's Government to reply to further questions on Gongadze's murder before March 2009, while Turkey, curiously, got a longer postponement for answering questions on Adali's murder, until June...   

A comparison of these cases, raises serious questions about Double Standards :

------------------------

On TRANSPARENCY :
--------------------------
    On Gongadze's murder, CoE's body speaks even about the participation of
"an INTERNATIONAL group of Experts" in the Investigation, (f.ex. of "Tape Recordings"), accepted by Ukraine.
    On the contrary, on Adali's murder, CoE is obliged to repeatedly ask (for a 2nd
time) Turkey whether, at least, it informed the victims' Family, or not...
------------------------------
- On EFFICIENCY :
-----------------------
On Gongadze's murder, CoE formally "recalls that the Committee (of Ministers) ..URGED the Ukranian authorities.. to TAKE ALL NECESSARY INVESTIGATIVE STEPS TO ACHIEVE CONCRETE and VISIBLE RESULTS in the INVESTIGATION, aimed at the Identification of the INSTIGATORS and Organisers of the Murder", and "STRONGLY INVITED the Ukranian Authorities to provide information on the PROGRESS IN THE INVESTIGATION", before MARCH 2009.

But, on Adali's murder, on the contrary, CoE's body merely .. "took note" of the "arguments presented by" Cyprus, which denounce the absence of any proof of new "investigation" by Turkey. Following Turkey's own suggestion (!), it simply "noted" that there is "no limitation period" for "any new element" to "lead potentialy (sic !) to a Re-Opening of the Investigation". Without saying who might find any such "new" fact, since Turkey stoped searching... It also POSTPONED the issue until .. JUNE  !
-----------------------
 - On the PUNISHMENT OF THOSE RESPONSIBLE :
----------------------
 -  On Gongadze's murder case, Ukranian Authorities already arrested and condemned, at least 2 suspects, to 12 and 13 Years of jail. And on Politkovskaya's murder at least 2 suspects are judged, and a 3rd one "wanted".

On the contrary, on Adali's murder case, the Turkish authorities simply claim that "it had not been possible to obtain new .. information .. on the basis of which criminal charges could be brought against ANY person" !...

Moreover,  a LETTER sent by Turkey ...2 Years after CoE's 2006 call to re-investigate anew Adali's murder case, is totally EMPTY of Facts ! As Cypus' Delegation denounced earlier, Turkey's Letter ONLY CLAIMS that a "New Investigation" was made without any result, but does NOT even cite ANY FACT to prove it :

F.ex.,on the crucial issue of the "MOTIVATIONS" behind Adali's murder, noted by ECHR, Turkey MERELY CLAIMS that "all allegations  were investigated; without result", but OMITS ANY FACT TO PROVE IT !..(It doesn't even remind which were these "allegations").. .

+ On ECHR's astonishment that the Turkish Occupation regime didn't produce any "BALLISTIC REPORT" on the Shots which murdered Adali, Turkey again repeats, 12 years later, that, still, even until now, "it  was not possible to obtain the BalisticReport"...

- As for the astonishing absence of key-WITNESSES' Testimonies, denounced by ECHR, Turkey agains repeats various pretexts avoiding to reveal anything, (Fex. that a person "left" the Occupied Territories  "on 2002", or that another witness was heard, but without revealing nothing of what he said, etc).

Turkey obviously "FAILS TO MEET THE CRITICISM made BY THE COURT" for lack of any efficient Investigation in Adali's case, concluded Cyprus' Government.
---------------------------------------------
Replying to our Question which COMPARED these 3 outstanding cases of "JOURNALISTS MURDERS", Adali, Gongadze and Politkovskaya, in order to avoid "Double Standards" by asking from Ukraine and Russia more than what is asked EU candidate Turkey, many European personalities were critical /

They criticised Ankara's recent claim at the CoE to stop investigating, because it would be "impossible to find anyone" responsible for the 5 bullet shots which killed Kutlu ADALI in front of his Family Home, contrary to the other two Journalists' murders, where Ukraine and Russia at least arrested the executants, searching now for the instigators :
----------------------------------

imag0103_400

    - "Where was that ? In Turkish Occupied Cyprus ? WITHOUT ANY DOUBT : Any murder of Journalist should be investigated in full ! All these Murders must be investigated !", replied the famous SAKHAROV's wife, Elena BONNER to our question on Adali's case, compared to Gongadze and Politofskaya.

    Elena Bonner spoke us EXCLUSIVELY shortly after being honored by the President
of EU Parliament on the occasion of 20 Years of her husband's SAKHAROV Prize.

    A strong personality, Sakharov's wife even had to struggle against an anonymous EU staffer who, astonishingly, tried to stop her speaking when h heard our question on "Turkey" (!) : - "Please, let me translate, she continues
speaking, don't stop us !", had to cry Sakharov's daughter, (a Journalist
herself), who was translating her mothers' reply, (obliged to speak louder to
make her voice heard despite the harassment).. (= + Audio Proof !)

    Earlier, Elena Bonner also fustigated "Double Standards" at another case, on
Western countries' attitude vis a vis Kosovo and the Kurds : -F.ex. "You have
recognized a few 400.000 Kosovars as an "independent" country, but you still
deny that to 30 millions of Kurds in Turkey !", she denounced.
-----------------------------
    - "This (ADALI's murder) is an issue which should be pursued by the Committee
for Human Rights. That's why we have one, and it's its duty to examine cases of
Journalists' murders as the one you referred to. You should bring the case in
front of that Committee", suggested in reply to our question on Adali, EU
Parliament's President, German MEP Hans Gert POETTERING.

    - "It's impossible  to achieve goals of PEACE, if HUMAN RIGHTS are left out :
in fact, Peace and Human Rights are intrinsequaly linked", added POETTERING.
--------------------------------------
    + "For us (European/International Federation of Journalists) it's clear :
Whenever a Journalist is Murdered, the Investigation should continue until
those Responsible are found !", replied earlier to another question on ADALI
EFJ/IFJ's Secretary General, Aidan WHITE.

    Speaking as a matter of General Principle, White asked us for "concrete data"
on the execution of ECHR's judgement on Adali case, in order to "look at it in
depth" and "make a formal statement", in comparison with the other Murdered
Journalist case, also pending at CoE's  Ministers for completing its execution,
on Ukranian Gongadze.
----------------------------------------------------
     From EU Rapporteur on Human Rights, vice-President of EU Parliament Liberties' Committee, MEP Giusto CATANIA, we were told that, since there is an ECHR judgement in both Adali and Gongadge's cases, "Turkey must naturally execute the judgement and make a full and efficient investigation, until those responsible for the Journalist's murder are found and punished".

    Even if "we (Catania's "EuroLeft" Group) support Turkey's EU perspectives, this does not mean that Ankara should not behave properly. On the contrary, it means that they have to meet tough conditions, particularly on Human Rights", was added on the occasion of Adali's murder case.

    Moreover, "since you raise the issue of Mr. Adali's muder as a part of a Series of Journalist's murders, including fex. Gongadze, Politkovskaya, ao., tthen we (EU) could also act together with CoE's Commissioner on Human Rights, Thomas HAMMARBERG, it was suggested.

    - "We (EU) must step up efforts against the problem of IMPUNITY : Real Peace cannot exist without Justice",  stressed also this week at EU Parliament in Strasbourg, French Minister on Human Rights, Mrs Rama YADE.
------------------------
                     

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