trial of animal rights’ activists in Austria abruptly stopped
Arleth makes unexpected announcement on Thursday that a ruling is to be
issued by April
- Year-long trial has drawn criticism from legal experts for evident similarities
to Nazi-era, show trials
- Animal activists accused of no crimes, put on trial under special anti-terrorism
- People all over Europe could be summoned to similar trials under
provisions of the European Arrest Warrant
trial of German second world war resistance heroes Sophie and Hans Scholl had
one plus poin: it was short. Nazi Judge Roland Freisler sentenced
them to death in 1943 in a few short hours for their „crime“
of distributing leaflets calling for freedom.
trial of 13 animal right’s activists in Austria for engaging in a
similar civil rights activities, on the other hand, has been going on since
March 2, 2010, under a special anti-mafia and terrorism paragraph 278a.
regular news bulletins on the bizarre show-trial announced to Austrians
that a new era of universal repression by the state had started. Coupled
with plans for a massive expansion of the surveillance state through data
monitoring and storage, it opens the door to a return of a Nazi-style terror
regime by the state.
the European Arrest Warrant, people all over Europe could find themselves
being summoned to face such trials in Austria. However, the notorious animal
right’s trial seems finally to be coming to an end. Yesterday, Judge
Sonya Arleth announced without warning that she had abandoned plans to call
in another 200 witnesses and would give her ruling in April. Activists believe
they will be freed because so far none of the 100 or so witnesses called
against them has implicated them in any crime and the witnesses called in
their defence have not been allowed to take the stand so far.
heavy police presence at the court in Wiener Neustadt was also wound down
abrupt end to the trial is a sign that there are forces in Austria still
committed to the rule of law and able to stop the slide into a terror regime.
any person or activist who commits a crime should be punished. But in as
far as people have not engaged in any crime, they should never be put on
trial as individuals or as part of a group.
is to hope paragraph 278a is rapidly modified to stop a repetition
of the kind of trial in Wiener Neustadt and that reforms are introduced
to get a grip on an increasingly renegade justice system.
September, Vienna state prosecutors conducted illegal interrogation of journalists
investigating bank scandals underlining the fact that justice system has
become part of a corporate-controlled state apparatus and that is
itself engaging in blatantly criminal actions.
addition, state prosecutors in Graz a few weeks ago ordered the arrest of
the brother of police inspector Franz Kröll for no other reason than
authorities believed he was about to hand over to politicians and
the media evidence that his murdered brother had found out that the Natascha
Kampush peadeophile ring was much larger than portrayed.
trial of the animal right’s activist’sl had, however, the greatest
potential for damage because this mode can be scaled up to conduct large-scale
show trials in future against political opponents and also to pass far more
moddeling herself on Roland Freisler himself, Judge Arleth used every opportunity
to demonstrate her bias against activists and to humiliate them in breach
of a code of behaviour that judges should try to be fair. Her manner brimming
with personal scorn and mistrust appeared to be part of a psychological
warfare against the activists – and, indeed, the people of Austria.
She seemed to
go out of her way to make it clear to everyone that justice, fairness and
objecitivty would have no place in an Austrian court room when citizens
were found to be guilty under this obscure paragraph of engaging in civil
rights activities that the government did not like.
Freisler, she perfected a technique of intervening to ensure she posed all
the questions – and also virtually answered all of them herself, leaving
the hapless victims with little room to mount their own defence. Of the
105 witnesses called so far by her, 100 have been against the animal rights
activists while only 5 have been for the activists, further underlining
the bias against them.
evidence that they had committed no crime – in the form of a report
by undercover police agent „Danielle Durand“ – was simply
removed from the file by Arleth.
Judge Arleth was swift to make it known she would not tolerate any criticism
of her methods. Law professor Petra Velten who said the trial departed
radically from conventional law standards in a newspaper interview
in December found herself facing defamation charges issued by the body representing
judges in Austria.
This show trial cost Austrian tax payers 5 million euros. But the activists
themselvs found their livelihoods ruined. Four lost their jobs but were
barred from claiming unemployment benefits because of the requirement to
attend the trial, leaving them in a financial no man’s land all too
familiar to any who dares cross the path of the corporations.
trial of the animal right’s activits trampled on every principle
of international law and has done much damage to the reputation of the Austrian
justice system among the people. It has opened the door to compensation
claims by animal rights activists.
judges’s themselves could not seem to care less what the ordinary
Austrian people think: they seem to share the arrogant mindset that they
are above the law, the people are all fools anyway, and as long as they
stick together n their far right-wing networks, they can break any law.
the judges may find out to their surprise that if the new model German army
under Chancellor Guttenberg? does not march into Austria soon in a repeat
of 1938, the prison doors could be swinging shut on them as they would have
swung shut on them in 1937 if Home Affairs Minister Friederich Stockinger
had had his way. As it was, Hitler marched in in 1938, annexed the country,
and the Austrian judges played an instrumental role in gathering up, imprisoning
and killing 200,000 anti Nazis on a special political hit list within ten
knows if they also made out special court orders to grab their property?
The plundering of private property that falls into justice officials hands
as part of their duty to wind up an inheritance under Austrian law
— in the UK magistrates courts are not automatically involved as in
Austria — seems to be widespread phenomena today anyway as the Dörnbirn
scandal and my own nightmare experience shows. resulting in my having, anyway, to
spend much time and money now on legal action to finally put a halt.
is really is time for Austrians to stand up to this small,
nepotistic clique of judges, who are misusing their positions to violate
the standard principles and practises of international law to facilitate
corporate and other crimes and to persecute their critics, and who are
operating like a “state within a state” against the people