C. The Court’s assessment

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119. Rule 60 § 1 of the Rules of Court provides, in so far as relevant: “any claim which the ... applicant may wish to make for just satisfaction under Article 41 of the Convention shall, unless the President of the Chamber directs otherwise, be set out in the written observations on the merits or, if no such written observations are filed, in a special document filed no later than two months after the decision declaring the application admissible.”

120. The Court notes that on 25 August 1998 the applicants introduced a general just satisfaction claim for pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages and costs, albeit in the framework of a procedure under former Article 32 of the Convention. That claim has not been withdrawn.

It is true that at the hearing the applicants’ lawyer only claimed costs. However, the Court cannot interpret his submissions as withdrawing the claims filed by the applicants directly, without the involvement of Mr Hincker, in the absence of an express statement in that sense. As regards the Government’s objection under Rule 60 § 1 of the Rules of Court, the Court observes that the applicants’ memorial was prepared without legal advice and that the claims which were submitted for the first time at the hearing concerned solely their costs. It is clear that certain costs and expenses, and in particular those related to the hearing, could not be specified in advance.

Finally, the Government were given every opportunity to comment in detail on all the applicants’ claims and have done so, in December 1998 and December 2000.

In these circumstances, the Court considers that there is a validly submitted claim for pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages and costs, which should be examined.

121. The Court accepts that the applicants have suffered non-pecuniary damage as a consequence of the violation of their right to freedom of assembly. Deciding on an equitable basis, the Court awards under this head to the applicant association and to Mr Stankov the global sum of FRF 40,000, to be paid jointly to Mr Stankov and to the representative of Ilinden, Mr Ivanov. The claim in respect of pecuniary damages is unsubstantiated and should be dismissed.

122. As regards costs in the domestic proceedings, the Court agrees with the Government that the applicants were not legally represented at that level and have not mentioned any legal fees paid. The applicants must have incurred certain expenses, however, in translating correspondence and submissions for the purposes of the Strasbourg proceedings. Ruling on an equitable basis, the Court awards FRF 3,000 under this head.

123. In addition, the amounts claimed in respect of Mr Ivanov’s appearance before the Court (FRF 8,127) are to be awarded in full.

As regards counsel’s fees, the Court, noting that Mr Hincker was only involved in the last stage of the proceedings and ruling on an equitable basis, awards FRF 25,000.

124. According to the information available to the Court, the statutory rate of interest applicable in France at the date of adoption of the present judgment is 4.26% per annum.