Loucis Loucaides, a former judge of the European Court of Human Rights and a former deputy attorney-general, has lost an appeal he filed with the supreme court by which he was contesting a speeding fine.
Loucaides was caught speeding on November 22, 2016 on Grivas Digenis Avenue in Nicosia. He clocked 83km/h, when the speed limit was 65km/h.
The case had gone to court, with the Nicosia district court ruling against him and fining him €200 plus two penalty points on his driver’s licence.
The decision was rendered in absentia, as Loucaides was not present in the courtroom on the day.
Later, he claimed that he was not notified in writing of the date on which the hearing in question was to take place.
In filing an appeal with the supreme court, he also argued that the minutes of the district court – for the day he was instructed to re-appear in court on May 22, 2017 – were wrong.
Therefore, in his opinion, the judgement of the district court was invalid because he had not appeared in court on that day to defend himself – through no fault of his own.
Loucaides further alleged that he received the district court minutes belatedly after requesting these.
But in its judgement, delivered on March 13, 2018, the supreme court rejected his arguments and upheld the district court’s decision.
The supreme court cited the minutes of the pertinent day in the district court, where the judge had explicitly advised the defendant that the next hearing was set for May 22, 2017 – and that the court would proceed with the case whether Loucaides were present or not.
In short, the supreme court said the district court’s instructions were clear-cut, not subject to interpretation, and that therefore Loucaides should have known he was due in court on that day.
What’s more, the district court minutes that were cited contain an interesting exchange between Loucaides and the prosecutor, representing the police.
Under questioning, Loucaides sought to cast doubt that he was the person driving the vehicle on the day in question, suggesting that perhaps his clerk was behind the wheel.
“There is a series of such cases where I do not know whether I was the driver or whether it was my son or wife,” he told the prosecutor.
His statement reveals that he has received numerous speeding tickets which have likewise ended up in court.