Attack in Vienna – miscarriage of justice for Zadic “unacceptable error”

2023-05-27 14:42:00

“The partial stoppage against Marsel O. is an unacceptable mistake that must have clear consequences,” said Zadic on Saturday afternoon.

That is why she immediately had a legal examination of the case initiated, the minister told the APA. “So that such mistakes cannot be repeated in the future, I have also ordered further steps to strengthen internal supervision and structural changes in the authority concerned. Because we have a responsibility here, especially towards the victims and their families,” Zadic continued.

The arms supplier Marsel O. from Slovenia has to answer to the Vienna Regional Court next Tuesday – but only for offenses under the Arms Act. He benefits from a mistake made by the Vienna public prosecutor. Due to a procedure being discontinued in 2021, Marsel O. can no longer be held responsible for handing over the assault rifle used in the attack to the subsequent assassin.

Prosecutors have admitted mistakes

The spokeswoman for the Vienna prosecution authority, Nina Bussek, admitted the error on Saturday afternoon. “We’re sorry,” she stated. However, one is “legally bound” to the procedure that was erroneously set at the time. The error should have been noticed by the judiciary only a few days before the main hearing. The decision of the competent judge, according to which the Zastava M70 assault rifle – a model manufactured in the former Yugoslavia based on the technology of the Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifle – is no longer a subject of the case, is dated May 26.

Marsel O. only has to answer for a Tokarev pistol delivered on September 25, 2020, a few weeks before the attack, which he is said to have handed over to the later assassin and the business intermediary, Adam M., in the federal capital . The assassin was shot by the police in the attack in downtown Vienna, Adam M. was sentenced to life imprisonment last February at the Vienna Regional Court for his involvement in the procurement of weapons and for contributing to four murders and multiple attempted murders. He is only accused of offenses against the Weapons Act, participation or complicity in the act of terrorism is not charged. The prosecution does not assume any involvement in the murder. Marsel O. faces up to two years in prison if convicted in accordance with the charge.

In a lengthy telephone conversation with the APA, authority spokeswoman Bussek explained why the public prosecutor’s error could have occurred as follows: In the course of the criminal investigation of the night of terror, extensive investigations were carried out against far more than 30 suspects. In order to relieve the public prosecutor, who for years led the investigations with great commitment and in a time-consuming manner, the proceedings against those involved on the fringes were dropped in individual cases. Another public prosecutor received such an act against a suspect who – as Bussek emphasized – had nothing to do with the attack itself.

The name Marsel O. appeared for the first time in a report that initially referred primarily to this man and apparently to a suspicion of violating the War Material Act. The second prosecutor, who was not the lead prosecutor, quickly included the Slovene in her case. After evaluating the results of the investigation, this prosecutor came to the conclusion that there were insufficient suspicions against the original suspect to pursue him further. She therefore discontinued the proceedings against him – inadvertently, however, the discontinuation also referred to Marsel O., which was apparently not noticed by the authorities and the prosecutor who was primarily responsible did not come to the knowledge of it.

“Of course we’re not happy with that,” said Bussek. Since the Zastava M70 falls under the War Material Act, the criminal complaint against Marsel O. had to be withdrawn on this point: “If the War Material Act was discontinued there (meaning: in the proceedings that were already discontinued in 2021), that is the same fact of life.” You can no longer blame the Slovenian for that: “We are bound by that. There is no other way.” But it is not the case that the man will no longer be prosecuted: “The handgun will remain.”

However, the threat of punishment would be higher if it were not only about the pistol but also about the assault rifle next Tuesday. Anyone who imports, exports, carries through or brokers war material without the necessary license must expect up to three years in prison.

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Trial against terror accomplices:

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Terrorist attack in Vienna: Proceedings against arms suppliers dropped by mistake

VIENNA. In connection with the terrorist attack in Vienna, in which four passers-by were killed on November 2, 2020, the coming …

Terrorist attack in Vienna: Proceedings against arms suppliers dropped by mistake

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