Donations for Gaza – Terrorist investigations disguised as financial proceedings?

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Infidelity and financial crimes: these are the accusations on paper against an Islamic aid organization. Lawyer Andreas Schweitzer is sure that this is just an excuse to continue the investigation into Rahma Austria for terrorist financing – even though this procedure has long been stopped.

On November 9, 2020, 930 police officers stormed apartments and club facilities across Austria. During Operation Luxor, more than a hundred suspects were investigated on charges of terrorism; the majority of the studies have already been completed. This also applies to the proceedings against Rahma Austria, an Islamic aid organization.

Further terror investigations under the guise of disloyalty?
Nevertheless, the investigation continues because “Rahma Austria is suspected, among other things, of having committed embezzlement and financial crimes,” reveals Andreas Schweitzer, who already represented the association in the terror proceedings and other suspects in the Luxor case. But the lawyer does not see the motivation of the Public Prosecution Service in making embezzled donations public: “In my opinion, this is an attempt to circumvent the blocking effect of a discontinued case. Now placing Rahma Austria under this suspicion is a pretext to conduct further investigation.”

Schweitzer is certain that there will be terrorist financing – even though the procedure has already been discontinued. Under the motto: “If you dig deep enough, you will find something,” said the defender of Taher Hassan, the chairman of the donation organization. In his role he is now at the center of investigations into breach of trust and financial crimes.

Surprise tactics used with donors
The actions of the police have had serious consequences for the association for years: “We have lost many donors because we were presented in the media as if we were criminals and terrorists. The reputational damage continues.” And it is precisely these donors who are now considered witnesses in the new proceedings.

Here too, Andreas Schweitzer and his colleague Leonhard Kregcjk sharply criticize the researchers: “Someone knocks on families’ doors early in the morning when they are getting ready for school and work. We look at how someone lives, what someone does. “It’s like being a witness, but you get the feeling that you are the subject of the investigation,” said Kregcjk, who represents five suspects.

“This approach does not correspond to the investigation method enshrined in the Code of Criminal Procedure,” said Schweitzer. Because what the current procedure should actually be about: donations that have been used for the electricity bill of people who actually already received government support; Flights funded with charity proceeds and other misused donations.

Donations flow into the Gaza Strip
Here, 700 donors, mainly with a migration background, will be interviewed. The chairman of Rahma Austria complains: “They are trying to portray us as Muslims. The work continues, but every year something comes up that makes it more difficult or delays it.” The humanitarian aid organization is active in Europe, Africa and Asia. And also in the Gaza Strip, where food and fresh water are safe. With no fewer than 35,000 donors, Rahma Austria raises approximately four million euros annually. President Taher Hassan: “At the end, I just want to point out what we need to do in Austria so that we can continue our work without any problems.”

Source: Krone

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