“Very borderline” – the Beinschab case fuels criticism of the leniency rule

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The Beinschab case exposes a major problem area: lawyers criticize the Austrian system. But partly also the Economic and Corruption Public Prosecution Service (WKStA).

The crown witness causes irritation. Sabine Beinschab. The pollster is said to have been involved in embellished investigations into the popularity of Sebastian Kurz, which subsequently appeared in the media. She has offered to be a star witness at the WKStA. And got the status. Remarkable: Beinschab only unpacked after she was arrested. The Austrian regulation states that you must actively approach the investigators and uncover alleged crimes in order to be granted leniency status.

‘There is a lack of trust in the Public Prosecution Service’
“I think the WKStA decision is very borderline. Because laws were bent. I don’t see it being voluntary,” says Stefan Prochaska. The lawyer represented Austria’s first key witness. Gernot Schieszler accused others in the Telekom trial and thus avoided jail time. Prochaska criticizes that there are too few incentives and no legal certainty for people who like “Unfortunately, it is not like in Anglo-American countries, where there is a classic deal, even if the person has already been charged. That is how criminal defense lawyer Astrid Wagner sees it. “There is so often a lack of trust in the Public Prosecution Service, lawyers advise their clients not to unpack.” Ultimately, the senior prosecutor decides whether the statements also justify the status of leniency witness.

Legal expert and ex-politician Alfred Noll: “You want a bird that sings. But that comes at a price in terms of the rule of law: in this way, especially those who are guilty get the benefit of reduced sentences or even immunity from punishment.” Prochaska: It should not be the centrally accused who should be given the status like Mrs. Beinschab, but then “little fish”. Moreover, she put everything on the table and was granted leniency ten months later. “The whole thing appears to be politically motivated by the WKStA.” The corruption investigators vehemently deny such allegations. They investigate not only in the Causa studies, but also in Ibiza and the consequences against countless blacks and turquoises. It is the presumption of innocence.

The leniency notice has been extended. There is no trace of a major tightening. Now you can also contact the police, not just the public prosecutor. Stefan Prochaska: “A farce. Many of these cases are political. Apparently there is no interest in a good reform.”

Source: Krone

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