Belated decision on olive grove

STRASBOURG (AFP) – The European Court of Human Rights yesterday upheld a complaint by 10 Turkish nationals resident in Greece who waited 63 years for a Greek court ruling over the expropriation of an olive plantation. The court, which reserved judgment on the penalty to be paid by Greece until later, also found that the Greek court had deprived the plaintiffs of their property rights by throwing out their case. The plaintiffs had originally applied to a Greek court for compensation in 1933, eight years after their olive plantation had been handed over to refugees by the Greek state, which later expropriated them without payment. But it was only in 1997 that the Greek court system finally handed down a ruling – judging that the plaintiffs’ case had no merit as the time-limit for compensation had passed. The European Court said it could only take account of nine years out of the 63 because Greece had only allowed individual complaints to the rights court as of November 1985.

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