31 May – 4 June 2010
Hunter as Witness for Arson
week in court a hunter testified about the burning down of a hunting cabin
in 2007. He had told police in his statement that he had found the burnt
down cabin on 13 November 2007. Whilst at the cabin he claimed he had seen
two people cycling by and that one of them was one of the defendants. He
said he recognized the defendant from a TV appearance.
Demonstration in Lugano, Switzerland
experts say however that the cause of the fire was most likely the careless
use of a stove. A police officer on patrol had found the fire on 11 November
2007 at 7:09 pm. Nevertheless, the police special commission, becoming aware
that one of the defendants was near the cabin 2 days later, just shifted
the date of the fire to be able to claim that the denfendant is a suspect.
The hunter witness had admitted later to the police that he had used the
stove. Asked why he had concealed this information in his first two statements
to the police, he said that he hadn't mentioned it for fear that he might
be held responsible for the fire.
witness went on to admit that on the 11 November, the date that the fire
happened, he had used the cabin with fellow hunters and had heated the cabin
with the stove, but he was sure that the fire in the stove was out when
he left. He also admitted, though, that two years earlier, the stove had
almost set the cabin on fire already and that there was never any inspection
by the fire service or a cleaning of the chimney in the 10 years the stove
to an anonymous letter received by the insurance company the witness had
been celebrating with other hunters in the cabin into the night hours when
the stove overheated. The witness claimed no knowledge of this letter.
unreliability of this witness's testimony was debated intensely in the courtroom.
Party calls for change to section 278a of the criminal code
of the court proceedings this week the socialist party (SPÖ) announced
in a press release that they want to change section 278a to prevent its
misuse against NGOs. Johannes Jarolim said “Animal campaigners must
not be allowed to be smashed with the same legal hammer as organised crime
operations.” Jarolim wants a change in the law before the defendants
in the animal protection trial are being convicted.
press release is in connection with a parliamentary hearing set for 1 July
2010 to discuss and tighten Austrian anti-terrorism laws. Jarolim went on
to say that “parliament cannot ignore addressing the problems with
the poorly defined 278a law during a hearing concerning anti-terrorism laws.”
Socialists have the majority in the socialist – conservative coalition