Edtstadler: “If there are misconduct, you can’t stand it”

There is a long list of misconducts that need to be addressed. “Criticism must be possible in a constitutional state,” said Edtstadler in the “ZiB2” on Tuesday. The statements of the Green coalition partner, according to which the ÖVP has a “disturbed relationship with the independent judiciary”, was rejected “as completely absurd”.

The ÖVP is not about attacks against the judiciary and the fact that Finance Minister Gernot Blümel (ÖVP) is being investigated, but about misconduct by the WKStA Edtstadler again on the illegal house search in the BVT, investigations by the WKStA against a journalist and the fact that Blümel learned about his status as a suspect from the media.

This “long list of misconduct must be addressed, criticism must be possible in a constitutional state. If there are misconduct, you can not let it stand,” said Edtstadler and insisted that the “presumption of innocence must apply to everyone, including a finance minister, and must not degenerate into an empty phrase”. The former judge also questioned the proportionality of the action against Blümel. A house search is the sharpest means, there would have been milder ones.

The criticism of the ÖVP, especially by Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, of the WKStA also causes displeasure among professional representatives. “In a country like Austria, one would not really expect one state authority to blacken another state authority in this way,” said Sabine Matejka, president of the judges’ association for the “Standard”.

Every accused has the right to a judicial review of the actions of a public prosecutor. “But this control of the content is the task of the independent courts, not of politics.”

Something similar can be heard from the President of the Association of Austrian Public Prosecutors: “These blanket insinuations by the Chancellor are causing us indignation,” says Cornelia Koller.

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