Court: Judges to rule on WW2 Polish Resistance veteran’s human rights protest

Judges will decide tomorrow on damages against Poland for its confiscation of antique firearms belonging to a veteran who fought World War Two Nazi occupiers.

Waldemar Nowakowski v. Poland (no. 55167/11)

The applicant, Waldemar Nowakowski, is a Polish national who was born in 1933 and lives in Warsaw. He is a veteran of the Polish Resistance during the Second World War and a former professional officer in the Polish Army.

The case concerned his complaint that, in July 2008, the police had confiscated all of his collection of antique arms, considered dangerous, because he did not have a licence.

In all he had collected 199 pieces over 50 years; at the end of 2010 the courts had only returned to him 24 of the arms from his collection.

In its principal judgment of 24 July 2012, the court held that there had been a violation of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (protection of property) and awarded Mr Nowakowski 4,000 euros in respect of non-pecuniary damage, reserving the question of pecuniary damage for decision at a later date. The court will deal with this question in its judgment of 22 July 2014.

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