Lawyer Petzner: ‘Then he would be the stupidest con artist in the republic’

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tears in the courtroom. Stefan Petzner, the former confidant of Jörg Haider, is accused of serious fraud. According to the public prosecutor, he received unemployment benefits and social assistance benefits in 2019, although he earned income as a self-employed person. The trial does not show the dazzling politician, but a depressed defendant and a sad person.

“I was embarrassed to go to the AMS. I stood in front of it for 15 minutes and felt like a failure,” explains Stefan Petzner at the beginning of the interrogation in room 301 of the Vienna court. The 42-year-old ex-BZÖ politician and companion of the former governor of Carinthia, Jörg Haider, should be charged with serious fraud.”But I assumed that to the best of my knowledge and belief I would do the best.”

Petzner: “I thought everything was right”
In 2019, Petzner was successful on the ORF show Dancing Stars until May. He put his company Petzner Communications on hold. On May 20, 2019, an application for unemployment benefit followed and later an application for unemployment benefit. Although he continued to work independently, according to the public prosecutor’s office. “Then I thought this was the right thing to do. I’m a numbers guy, not a mathematician. I didn’t mean to deliberately cheat anyone here.”

Petzner himself filed an income tax assessment
The case was blown up by Petzner himself. When a letter came in from the regional health insurance fund that Petzner was self-employed with compulsory insurance, the suspect unconcernedly submitted his income tax assessment to the AMS – which showed an income of around 30,000 euros. Petzner received a collection request, which he did not pay due to pending bankruptcy proceedings.

Two previous convictions for infidelity and incitement to hatred
“My client is a dream dancer. If there had been intent and he had submitted the income tax assessment himself, then he would have been the stupidest fraudster walking around in our republic,” Petzner’s lawyer Meinhard Novak also argues why this was not fraud.

The suspect has two prior convictions
When Petzner talks about his professional life after his political career, the suspect bursts into tears. “If you want, we can take a break, Mr. Petzner,” says the judge. Two previous convictions – one for complicity in infidelity in the 2018 “brochure affair” and one for hate speech from 2020 – will also be discussed at the hearing. The verdict is pending.

Source: Krone

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