Case of European Court of Human Rights, March 15, 2016 (case MENÉNDEZ GARCÍA AND ÁLVAREZ GONZÁLEZ v. SPAIN)

Defense:SPAIN
Resolution Date:March 15, 2016

THIRD SECTION

CASE OF MENÉNDEZ GARCÍA AND ÁLVAREZ GONZÁLEZ v. SPAIN

(Applications nos. 73818/11 and 19420/12)

JUDGMENT

STRASBOURG

15 March 2016

This judgment is final but it may be subject to editorial revision.

In the case of Menéndez García and Álvarez González v. Spain,

The European Court of Human Rights (Third Section), sitting as a Committee composed of:

George Nicolaou, President,Branko Lubarda,Pere Pastor Vilanova, judges,

and Marialena Tsirli, Deputy Section Registrar,

Having deliberated in private on 23 February 2016,

Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:

PROCEDURE

  1. The case originated in two applications (nos. 73818/11 and 19420/12) against the Kingdom of Spain lodged with the Court under Article 34 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (“the Convention”) by Mr Gerardo Menéndez García, and Mr Sigifredo Álvarez González, both Spanish nationals, (“the applicants”), on 18 November 2011 and 22 March 2012 respectively.

  2. The first applicant was represented by Mr J.C. Menéndez Argüelles, a lawyer practising in Langreo. The second applicant was self-represented. The Spanish Government (“the Government”) were represented by their Agent, Mr R.A León Cavero, a State Attorney.

  3. On 12 September 2013 the complaints concerning the length of proceedings were communicated to the Government and the remainder of the applications was declared inadmissible by the President of the Section, pursuant to Rule 54 § 3 of the Rules of Court.

    THE FACTS

    THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE

  4. Mr Gerardo Menéndez García (“the first applicant”) was born in 1964 and lives in Gargantada (Langreo). Mr Sigifredo Álvarez González (“the second applicant”) was born in 1956 and lives in Sant Jordi de Cercs (Barcelona).

  5. On 2000 the applicants acted as intermediary (purchase agent) in the sale of three cars, sold to a company. As a result of this sale, on 20 November 2000 criminal investigations were instituted by the Gijón no. 1 investigating judge against the applicants and other eight suspects for fraud and forgery of documents.

  6. On 16 April 2001 and 18 April 2001, respectively, the applicants were detained, charged with document forgery and informed about the rights they were entitled as detainees. They were subsequently interrogated by the Guardia Civil in the presence of their lawyer.

  7. On 8 November 2004 the Judge issued a decision (auto) ordering the initiation of oral proceedings (apertura de juicio...

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