European Court awards road menace Maximilian Ciantar's father €6,000 over vehicle seizures

Emanuel Ciantar, the father of Maximillian Ciantar, has been awarded compensation by the European Court of Human Rights for the seizure of vehicles belonging to him

In 2014, the Constitutional Court had ordered the release of two cars driven by Maximilian Ciantar, after finding that the father’s rights were violated when the vehicles were confiscated
In 2014, the Constitutional Court had ordered the release of two cars driven by Maximilian Ciantar, after finding that the father’s rights were violated when the vehicles were confiscated

Emanuel Ciantar, father of road menace Maximilian Ciantar, has been awarded €6,000 in compensation by the European Court of Human Rights for the seizure of vehicles belonging to him, including one which his son had been driving when he grievously injured two children in 2010.

In 2014, the Constitutional Court had ordered the release of two cars driven by Maximilian Ciantar, after finding that the father’s rights were violated when the vehicles were confiscated.

The vehicles are a Peugeot Partner registered to Emanuel Ciantar on behalf of Maxkim Limited, and a Toyota Vitz personally owned by Emanuel Ciantar.

His son Maximilian had been driving the Peugeot Partner at 102km per hour when he hit and seriously injured 10-year-old twins Sarah Marie and Rebecca Marie Falzon as they crossed the road in Attard on April 28, 2010.

Two years later, Maximilian Ciantar was found to be driving a Toyota Vitz belonging to his father, in contravention of a court order. The Vitz was also seized by the authorities.

In 2014, a constitutional court had found that there had been a violation of the first protocol of the European Human Rights Convention on the right to property since the owner was not given sufficient opportunity to contest the confiscation of the vehicles.

The court ordered that the vehicles be returned to Emanuel Ciantar and also ordered compensation of €300 be paid to him and his company.

Ciantar’s lawyer Joe Brincat had then taken the case to the European Court of Human Rights, arguing that while the confiscation of the Peugeot had been lawful, it had however placed a disproportionate and excessive burden upon the applicant’s company thereby leading to a violation of its rights - especially since the applicants had no possibility of defending themselves in order to prevent the confiscation of the vehicle, which was mandatory at law.

Furthermore, there existed no adequate or effective remedy to prevent the confiscation of the Peugeot, and third parties were not protected by any procedural safeguards.

Ciantar claimed €1,000 in non-pecuniary damages for the anguish suffered for being deprived of his car. He also claimed pecuniary damages in the amount of € 4,500 in respect of the Toyota (Vitz), representing the depreciation of the car, as established by a car dealer’s declaration submitted to the Court, during the period while it had been held by the authorities, as well as €2,400 in car rentals based on quotations issued in 2011 (€12 per day for 200 days).

The applicant explained that he had originally started to rent another car and that after 200 days when the matter started dragging on too much, he opted to buy a new one.

The Court noted that the claim for car rental expenses was not supported by actual receipts but only by a quotation, and therefore it had not been shown that such sums were actually incurred. That claim was therefore dismissed in its entirety. The Court awarded Ciantar € 3,000 in respect of pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages combined.

Another €3,000 were awarded in costs.

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