Association of judges outraged by ÖVP «kleinezeitung.at

Even politicians should remain objective, even if they are being investigated – that was not always the case in the end, criticizes Sabine Matejka, President of the Association of Judges.

08.12, 17 May 2021

Attacks damage trust in the judiciary © WHAT / HERBERT PFARRHOFER

The Association of judges strongly criticizes the handling of the ÖVP with the investigation against Chancellor Kurz. He sees the proceedings against him as known to be politically motivated, as it is based on a complaint by the Neos. The permanent ones Attacks on the judiciary be last “cross-border” said Sabine Matejka, president of the professional association, in the Ö1 morning journal.

“I don’t want to judge whether the complaint that triggered this investigation was politically motivated. But that Prosecutor is now investigating on the basis of an initial suspicion and this is completely regardless of who originally submitted this ad“, explains Matejka on ORF radio.” The public prosecutor itself determines objectively and not politically motivated.

Also Top politicians shouldeven if they are under investigation, to stay objective. The objectivity of the process is repeatedly called into question, such accusations always leave something behind. “Even if they turn out to be wrong in retrospect or if there is a half-hearted apology, they stand in the room. That gradually attacks the rule of law,” says Mateika. This could damage trust in the judiciary.

What’s next?

With a decision the Economic and Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (WKStA) about a criminal complaint or the termination of the investigation against Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) for alleged false testimony in the Ibiza-U-Committee should not be expected until autumn. It could “have been six months,” he said Commercial criminal law expert Robert Kert (WU Vienna) Sunday in the “ZiB 2”. Criminal lawyers are of the opposite view as to how the decision will turn out.

Criminal law expert on brief investigations

In any case, the WKStA had to hear the accused – so briefly – that witness interviews could also be expected. It will not take “a few weeks” but “a few months,” explained Kert. At this point in time, it is “not yet possible to say exactly” whether an indictment will be brought. But Kert thinks it is “most likely”. He could imagine that a criminal complaint will be filed “because the public prosecutor’s office says there are problems of evidence and that a court has to clarify”.

The Salzburg Univ.Prof. Hubert Hinterhofer comes in one – commissioned by the office of ÖVP party attorney Werner Suppan – Opinion to the contrary: An urgent suspicion of the intentional incorrect testimony of the Chancellor, which is necessary for the indictment, cannot be inferred from the notification of the WKStA (about the investigation). Because their statements are “overall too speculative and presumptive for this”. “If the state of affairs remained like this, an indictment would not be justified,” he said in the “ZiB2”.