No abuse of office and no violation of the basic needs of young refugees in the barbed wire-secured district of Drasenhofen (Lower Austria). This is the ruling in the Waldhäusl case. The FPÖ state councilor and his staff are therefore acquitted.
The senior prosecutor of the Economic and Corruption Public Prosecution Service (WKStA), Michael Schön, took the suspect to court: “The district in Drasenhofen, where young people were housed, had the appearance of a prison and a deportation center.” The refugees involved were the provincial executive “a thorn in the side”, the freedom seeker “sought for special treatment. The politician Waldhäusl can say what he likes. But not the Landesrat Waldhäusl.” Even though he spoke of ‘wants’, they were orders – and thereby criminalized himself, because they contradicted the meaning of the basic regulation: “Barbed wire as protection FOR young people is a protection claim!”
Younger was “afraid of death”
On the ninth day of the lengthy proceedings against the state councilor and an employee, the verdict in the Drasenhofen case is handed down in the regional court of St. Pölten. There, young unaccompanied refugees were housed in a neighborhood that was “secured” with fences and barbed wire and guarded by security with dogs. The youngsters were only allowed outside if they were accompanied. On the last day, one of them said he was “terrified”: “It was like a prison. I thought they were going to deport me.” Another ran away in fear but was returned to Drasenhofen Four days after the scandal became known, Governor Johanna Mikl-Leitner (ÖVP) closed the quarter.
Lawyers demanded acquittal
Lawyers Manfred Ainedter (Waldhäusl) and Philipp Wolm (employee) wanted their clients to be acquitted. Ainedter: “The barbed wire didn’t matter at all!” Neither lawyers nor the operator objected. Wolm: “You cannot assume that my client intentionally wanted to harm refugees in their basic needs.” She was charged with falsifying evidence.
Facility not unsuitable
The jury joined them after long deliberations and acquitted the provincial councilor and the woman. The facility was not necessarily unsuitable, the services to the young were given. The accommodation was purely privately managed. And – the intention was missing. Don’t make a final decision.