Germany violated the Convention on Human Rights by letting a court case drag on for more than 30 years, the European Court of Human Rights ruled on Thursday. The plaintiff now seeks millions in compensation.
Documents related to the case are bound to fill cupboards by now
Just seven weeks after the soccer World Cup ended in Germany, Jürgen Grässer took his case to court. The young developer sued the city of Saarbrücken, which refused to issue him a building permit for a shopping center on land he already owned.
The above-mentioned World Cup took place in 1974 and Grässer's been making his way through the courts ever since. On Thursday, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the extraordinary length of the legal proceedings amounted to "a particularly grave violation of the right to a hearing within a reasonable time.
"He undoubtedly suffered distress resulting from the protracted length of the proceedings, which he had to conduct for almost all his working life," the court continued. "Throughout these proceedings, his economic existence had been at stake, which is illustrated by the fact that he went bankrupt following the levy of execution to enforce payment of heavy court costs."
A moral, not a monetary victory
The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg
"That's a moral victory that doesn't buy me much," the 66-year-old was quoted as saying by German news service DPA.
But Grässer hasn't given up hope for more compensation: He still has a case pending before a German court, claiming 180 million euros in damages.
India and Germany have significantly scaled up bilateral relations, signing 18 agreements in a range of key sectors designed to bolster trade, energy and defense ties. Murali Krishnan reports from New Delhi.
Bayern Munich didn't just beat Borussia Dortmund, they humiliated them. Slowly but surely hopes of an exciting Bundesliga title race are also dying, according to DW's Stefan Nestler
Steven Spielberg's Cold War spy thriller "Bridge of Spies" has opened in New York to rave reviews. Starring Tom Hanks, the film tells of the near-nuclear fallout after the downing of a US spy plane over the Soviet Union.