The president of the association of prosecutors, Cornelia Koller, speaks out against the “hate on the net” prosecution of the ÖVP proposed by the ÖVP over the weekend. Instead of a specialized cybercrime authority on the model of the Economic and Corruption Public Prosecution Service (WKStA), more resources are needed for existing police and judicial institutions, according to Koller. She immediately received support from SPÖ justice spokeswoman Selma Yildirim.
Koller argued in the “Standard” for broad support for existing initiatives against hate speech and crime on the internet. Corresponding competence centers were established six months ago at the public prosecutor’s offices in Vienna and Graz. According to Koller, this project, which currently involves seven specialized prosecutors, “must be expanded across the board so that every prosecutor in Austria has at least one specialist who can pass on his knowledge”.
Justice Minister Alma Zadic (Greens) this weekend cited the lack of “necessary resources and tools” as the biggest obstacle to an efficient digital crime fight and called for more resources for the police and the existing public prosecutor’s offices.
SPÖ considers rapid implementation possible
Yildirim agreed in a broadcast on Monday: “We do not need our own special public prosecutor’s office, nor an extension of the WKStA’s competence to fight online hate. This can be done directly with separate departments within the existing public prosecutor’s offices”. Nationally, “specially trained employees” are needed “who are constantly working on the problem and have a good network with the police”. The ÖVP accused Yildirim of following a “delay tactic” and that the plans for an online hate prosecutor’s office were “just hot air”.
Plakolm sees Minister of Justice in the train
Youth State Secretary Claudia Plakolm (ÖVP), on the other hand, saw Justice Minister Zadic on the train. The digital space must not go unpunished for perpetrators, Plakolm said at a press conference on Monday. One way in the judiciary is to secure this with a public prosecutor.
Already over the weekend, constitutional minister Karoline Edtstadler (ÖVP) was still quite cautious and then VP secretary-general Laura Sachslehner strongly supported a special prosecutor. The debate was sparked last week after the suicide of Dr. Lisa-Maria Kellermayr. The Upper Austrian had committed suicide after online hostilities against her.
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