ECHR: K. v. Germany (no. 68556/13)

The applicant, R. K., is a German national who was born in 1979. The case concerned his complaint that a court hearing his appeal against sentence in one casedeclared him guilty of crimes in further pending criminal proceedings.

Mr K. was found guilty in August 2010 of fraud and forgery after ordering documents and services through the Internet under a false name and using someone else’s bank account details for payment. He was given a prison sentence of 10 months, with no suspension on probation.

On appeal against the sentence, the Weiden Regional Court held hearings. In one of them, the court heard testimony from a police officer who was investigating new charges of fraud against the applicant, allegedly committed after his first sentence.

The appeal court upheld the 10-month sentence with no probation, stating in particular that it was convinced of Mr K.’s guilt of the further offences the police were investigating.

Mr K. appealed on points of law, arguing that the Regional Court had breached his right to be presumed innocent. His appeal was unsuccessful, as was a complaint about being denied the right to be heard. He was convicted in August 2012 on further counts of fraud and forgery and given a global sentence of one year and six months’ imprisonment for both sets of crimes.

In July 2013 the Federal Constitutional Court declined to consider a complaint by the applicant about his initial 10-month sentence.

Relying in particular on Article 6 § 2 (presumption of innocence), the applicant complained about the Regional Court’s statements on his being guilty of further offences of fraud.

Violation of Article 6 § 2

Just satisfaction: EUR 5,000 for non-pecuniary damage and EUR 3,750 for costs and expenses.

Press Release ECHR 69 20/02/2020 – application no. 68556/13