A. The applicants’ claims

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114. Following the Commission’s decision of 29 June 1998 declaring the applications partially admissible, the applicants were invited by the Commission to state their claims under former Article 50 of the Convention. The purpose of the invitation had been to speed up the proceedings before the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe under former Article 32 of the Convention, in case the applications fell to be examined under that procedure and a violation of the Convention was found.

By letter of 25 August 1998 Mr Stankov and Mr Ivanov replied stating that the applicants had sustained serious pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage and that they would leave the determination of the amounts to the Strasbourg institutions. The pecuniary damage consisted of, inter alia, fines imposed on persons who had driven their cars to the meetings sites, damage allegedly caused by the police to one car in 1993, and some expenses. The applicants explained that they were unable to provide documentary proof as it was difficult to keep financial documentation in the conditions in which their association functioned.

In respect of non-pecuniary damage, the applicants claimed compensation for, inter alia, suffering as a result of the actions of the authorities who allegedly sought to wipe out Ilinden.

115. In their memorial before the Court, which was prepared without legal advice, the applicants did not set out claims for just satisfaction. They did so at the hearing on 17 October 2000 giving further particulars in writing shortly thereafter.

116. Before the Court the applicants did not claim pecuniary or non-pecuniary damages. They requested the reimbursement of their costs, claiming 10,000 German marks (DEM) in respect of the domestic proceedings (trips to the local courts, secretarial and legal work), DEM 15,000 in respect of the Strasbourg proceedings (including 8,127 French francs (FRF) for Mr Ivanov’s travel and subsistence expenses for the hearing in Strasbourg, FRF 5,000 in translation expenses, and FRF 2,000 in other expenses), as well as an additional FRF 35,000 in legal fees for their counsel. The applicants submitted a copy of their agreement with Mr Hincker on legal fees and copies of Mr Ivanov’s hotel and airline-ticket invoices. They stated that they had been unable to present proof of the remaining costs as they had not been legally represented at the domestic level or before the Commission and had paid all the expenses with the association’s resources.