Cyprus News on ECHR's decision on Arestis case.
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ECHR's decision on Arestis case

Source: TRNC Ministry of Foreign Affairs  
08 December 2006

Immovable Property Commission in TRNC has been accepted as an "internal law" procedure.

The European Court of Human Rights has announced its final verdict on the Arestis Case yesterday (7 December) and accepted the Immovable Property Commission which was established in the TRNC last year, as an “internal law procedure“(domestic remedy).

In its verdict on the Arestis case, the court ordered Turkey to pay an amount of 850-thousand euros, as also envisaged by the Immovable Property Commission, and 35-thousand euros for costs and expenses incurred before the Court in total to Xenides-Arestis in compensation.

It was stressed that the Immovable Property Commission had begun functioning within the framework of ECHR’s suggestion made in March and December 2005 and stated that steps taken by Ankara in this direction were welcomed.

The decision is expected to affect the future of more than 1400 Greek Cypriot cases at the ECHR.

Law experts had considered the ECHR’s decision, which accepted the Immovable Property Commission as an internal law procedure, as a positive development for the Turkish side and stressed that in time all the cases could be directed to the Commission. Experts also said it was important that while deciding on the amount of the compensation the ECHR considered the amount envisaged by the Commission.

The Immovable Property Commission was set up with the aim of creating an internal law procedure for property issues in line with “The Law on Compensation, Exchange and Restitution of the Immovable Property”, which after long debates was approved and put into force on 19 December 2005. The Commission is responsible on implementing the law which envisaged compensation, exchange and restitution of the former Greek Cypriot properties in North Cyprus.

The Commission headed by Sümer Erkmen is composed of seven members, two of which are foreign members.

The Commission, which had received about 80 applications from the Greek Cypriots for their former property in the North and concluded 10 out of them, had also produced a decision for the Arestis case at the ECHR. The Commission offered to pay a total of 460 thousand CYP (Cyprus pounds), 220 thousand CYP of this for the property and 240 thousand CYP for the loss of income, to Arestis who applied to the ECHR requesting compensation for her former property in Varosha. The Commission had sent this offer in written to Arestis’ lawyer.

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