MOSCOW, June 7 (RAPSI) – The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled on Tuesday that the rights of German national Dieter Claus Knick were violated as he had been deprived of his shares in Demirbank, a medium-sized Turkish bank.
The applicant complained that he was deprived of his shares as a result of the transfer and subsequent sale of Demirbank in 2000, Turkey’s fifth largest private bank at the time.
In December 2000, the Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (Fund) took control over Demirbank by a decision of the Banking Regulation and Supervision Board. In 2001, Demirbank was sold to the HSBC.
The main shareholder of Demirbank, Cıngıllı Holding, brought administrative proceedings against the Fund seeking the annulment of the agreement to sell the bank. In November 2004, the decision on the takeover of the bank by the Fund was annulled by the Supreme Administrative Court. In 2006, the courts reviewing the claim found in favor of the shareholder.
Knick, who unsuccessfully sought compensation for the shares he had in Demirbank, complained to ECHR that he was illegally deprived of his shares and obtained no compensation, relying on Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights (protection of property). The applicant requested compensation for his pecuniary (about 3,000 to 6,000 euros depending on calculation method) and non-pecuniary (1,000 euros) damage, as well as about 3,000 euros for lawyers’ fees and costs and expenses.
The court held that Knick’s rights were violated; however noting that the question of just satisfaction was not ready for decision. The applicant and the government of Turkey were invited to submit within three months their observations or notify the court of any agreement that they might reach by that time.