The applicant, Mr. Rosiianu, presented a television program which discussed, among other issues, how public funds were used by the municipal administration. The applicant contacted the city’s mayor requesting certain items of information of a public nature to be disclosed to him. The mayor denied the disclosure without giving sufficient reasons. Considering that the mayor’s letter did not contain adequate replies to his requests for information, the applicant brought proceedings before the administrative court and attempted to obtain an order instructing the mayor to disclose the information to him. The administrative court ordered the mayor to disclose the requested information, however, the decision remained unenforced, despite numerous complaints by the applicant.
The applicant complained that his right to access to information of a public nature which was necessary for the exercise of his profession violated his freedom of expression.
The Court ruled that the applicant’s right to receive information as a part of right to freedom of expression had been violated.
The Court found that the applicant had been involved in the legitimate gathering of information on a matter of public importance, namely the activities of the municipal administration, and that his intention had been to communicate the information in question to the public and thereby to contribute to the public debate. The municipal authorities had never alleged that the requested information had been unavailable. Moreover, the interference with the applicant’s freedom of expression was neither prescribed by law, nor had a legitimate aim.