Grasser trial – Written judgment available after 13 months

On December 4, 2020, ex-Finance Minister Karl-Heinz Grasser and other defendants were sentenced to several years in prison by judge Marion Hohenecker in the first instance. The written verdict is now available, it was delivered on Friday morning. Hohenecker justified her verdict on almost 1,300 pages, now it is the turn of the defense with any objections. Grasser had already announced that he would appeal after the verdict was announced.

Due to the appeals filed by eight defendants, the judgment is not final, according to a broadcast by the Vienna Regional Criminal Court on Friday. The Supreme Court (OGH) in Vienna is now responsible for deciding on this. The acquittals issued to six of the accused had become final and the prosecution had accepted the Senate decision, it was recalled.

A nullity complaint must be filed within four weeks of the delivery of the written judgement. In the case of an extreme extent of the procedure, the regional court has to extend this period upon request, it is said.

Grasser had always maintained his innocence

“I know that I’m innocent,” said Grasser at the time, who was “sad, shocked and frightened” after the verdict. His lawyer Manfred Ainedter spoke of a “blatant misjudgment”.

The main defendant, ex-finance minister Karl-Heinz Grasser, was sentenced to eight years in prison more than a year ago for the crimes of infidelity and the acceptance of gifts by officials, as well as the crime of forging evidence, the ex-FPÖ top politician Walter Meischberger received seven and the partially confessed Peter Hochegger six years in prison, not final. Only the six acquittals became final.

The trial began on December 12, 2017 in the large courtroom of the Vienna Criminal Court. Corruption was accused in the case of federal housing privatization and in the case of the Linz Terminal Tower. There were also other minor charges in the course of the proceedings.

Irrespective of this procedure, Grasser will soon be in the dock again in the Vienna Criminal Court. It is about the allegation of tax evasion. Here, too, the former star of the ÖVP-FPÖ government under Chancellor Wolfgang Bowl (ÖVP) denies all allegations. However, Hohenecker is not in charge of this tax procedure, she has switched from the department for white collar crime to a general department. (apa)

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