Decision (Partial) of Court (Fifth Section), March 10, 2009 (case RADKOV v. BULGARIA [II])

Resolution DateMarch 10, 2009
Issuing OrganizationCourt (Fifth Section)




Application no. 18382/05by Plamen Todorov RADKOV against Bulgaria

The European Court of Human Rights (Fifth Section), sitting on 10 March 2009 as a Chamber composed of:

             Rait Maruste, President,              Karel Jungwiert,              Renate Jaeger,              Mark Villiger,              Isabelle Berro-Lefèvre,              Mirjana Lazarova Trajkovska,              Zdravka Kalaydjieva, judges,and Claudia Westerdiek, Section Registrar,

Having regard to the above application lodged on 26 April 2005,

Having deliberated, decides as follows:


The applicant, Mr Plamen Todorov Radkov, is a Bulgarian national who was born in 1972 and is currently serving a sentence of life imprisonment in Lovech Prison.

  1. The circumstances of the case

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

    1. Conditions in the Ruse Investigation Service detention centre

      On 26 May 1999 the applicant was arrested on suspicion of having committed murder. He was placed in the detention centre at the Ruse Investigation Service, where he remained until 8 March 2000.

      The applicant lived in a dirty cell, with insufficient ventilation and lacking access to sunlight. The detainees were allowed to go to the toilet three times a day; outside the set time for toilet visits they had to use plastic buckets. There was no possibility for outdoor activity.

      On 27 September 2004 the applicant brought an action for damages under the State Responsibility for Damage Act against the Ministry of Justice for 900 Bulgarian levs (BGN) alleging that the conditions in the Ruse Investigation Service detention centre had been miserable and humiliating.

      In a judgment of 18 February 2005 the Ruse District Court granted the action partially. Accepting that the conditions of detention had indeed caused him humiliation and suffering, it awarded the applicant BGN 500 (the equivalent of approximately EUR 255).

      The Ministry of Justice filed an appeal against this judgment. The applicant did not appeal, as he was satisfied with the outcome.

      In a final judgment of 30 September 2005 the Ruse Regional Court upheld the District Court's judgment.

    2. Conditions in Lovech Prison

      On 8 March 2000 the applicant was transferred to Lovech Prison. He is still detained there. For an unspecified period of time he lived in an individual cell measuring 4 square metres. It appears that he was subsequently...

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