The European Court of Human Rights is due to give judgement at its next sitting, on Tuesday 22 January, on two cases regarding Maltese citizens.
The cases are:
Camilleri v. Malta (no. 42931/10)
The applicant, John Camilleri, is a Maltese national who was born in 1968 and lives in Malta.
The case concerns the discretion of the public prosecutor to decide in which court to try a drug trafficking case. Notably, Mr Camilleri, who was found guilty in November 2005 and sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment and a €35,000 fine for illegal possession of Ecstasy, alleges that if he had appeared before the Court of Magistrates instead of the Criminal Court, the maximum punishment for a verdict of guilt would have been 10 years’ imprisonment and a lower fine.
He relies on Article 6 § 1 (right to a fair trial) and Article 7 (no punishment without law).
Saliba and Others v. Malta (no. 20287/10)
The case concerned property owned by 18 Maltese nationals in Senglea that was damaged during the Second World War.
The applicants complained that the government had taken possession of their property – demolishing and rebuilding it – and that the compensation they had been paid was insignificant as it was linked to the property’s rental value before the Second World War.
In its principal judgment of 22 November 2011, the court held that there had been a violation of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (protection of property) and Article 6 § 1 (right to a fair trial within a reasonable time).
The court reserved the question of just satisfaction for a future decision; it will rule on this question in its judgment of 22 January.