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Criminal Charges made against Austrian State Officials

VGT | 28.07.2008 10:15 | Animal Liberation | Ecology | Repression | World

Criminal Charges made against Austrian State Officials by Peter Pilz of the Austrian Green Party
28th July

In the scandal surrounding ten Austrian animal rights advocates detained in remand prison, Austrian Green Party security spokesman and leader of the parliament select committee on internal affairs, pressed today for criminal charges against two police investigators, a state prosecutor and two remand judges, who all stand now accused of abuse of authority, defamation and libel, illegal arrest and damage of property.

"This time crime emerged from the other side of the bar!", stated Dr. Peter Pilz, who has been one the first Austrian politicians criticising the flawed accusations under the criminal code paragraph 278a against the animal advocates, and he stated that the requirements to apply this paragraph were not given in that case.

During the observations of the detainees prior to their arrest multiple violations of the existing laws were committed by the state investigators, such as the illegal installation of hidden positioning devices on cars, and concerning several of the permissions granted by the judges. Evidence supporting police suspicion, as required by law, was either not substantiated or not even provided by the public prosecution.

One Police investigator subjected an animal protectionist officially to suspicion of a severe crime and to secret observation intrusions just because it was said that the person had expressed disapproving comments and forwarded a similar text of an official press statement by the Alternative Youth group of the Green Party. The police officer thereby seriously infringed this person’s basic and constitutional right to free speech and the freedom to not be persecuted for criminal charges without reason, as set out in the law stated Pilz.

While it is an extraordinary step to press charges against remand judges or a state prosecutor, the parliamentarian justified his intervention with the abhorrent negligence apparent in this case, which demands the prosecution of these state officials. In addition Dr. Pilz insisted that non-governmental organisations as well as civil society must be protected from such police officers and judges colluding in an affair which bears the political stamp of the ÖVP (Austrian Conservative Party).

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