This is the second day in a row when Walter Meischberger sits alone in the courtroom of the Viennese Straflandesgericht before Marion Hohenecker. Only professional judges, jury juries, his attorney and two chief prosecutors, as well as several journalists, are present. Reason: The Affair of Buwog and the Terminal Tower (see infobox below) have been treated, but the process involved in this process of corruption revolves around the ex-villa of former FPÖ Secretary General.
What is the accused? According to prosecutors, the 50-year-old has given false statements to the District Court in Döblingen, delaying the sale of villas from 2013 to 2015, which became necessary due to tax debts. The buyer has thus lost the rental income. Meischberger sees it differently: there was no need to sell, he pointed out on Wednesday. He tried to raise money differently. It was then released by a former friend S. who sold the sale, sketched his role as a victim.
The State Attorney General found "common grenades for fog"
On Thursday, Meischberger added: Yes, he deliberately signed a pseudo-contract for selling his fairy. He is still defending himself from being removed from home: "That was my credit, he was assured of my house and I paid what it was supposed to pay, which shows that it is my house," Meischberger persisted. He was the real owner who "paid everything for the house".
His attorney Jörg Zarbl added that no evil would be caused by his client's behavior – as the landlord's accused did not appear, as Meischberger's anti-eviction charge paid 5,000 euros a month. Attorney Alexander Marchart, however, did not allow this argument to be applied, after all, it was not a rent but an insurance, so Delogierung was postponed, he said, locating the "usual grenades of fog" defense.
Prospects: If the judge, jurors, prosecutors, and attorneys finish their inquiries with Meischberger, the process will continue with the sale of the Federal Housing Area in 2004 and the controversial leasing of the tax authorities at the Linz Terminal Hall. On February 19, the trial will begin, so the first witnesses will be called.
Among the most important witnesses were two former members of the government under the then black and white government of Chancellor Wolfgang Schussel (ÖVP). They should have confirmed to the plaintiff that there was a plan of the then finance minister and today's chief defendant Karla-Heinz Grasser and his acquaintances to illegally participate in the privatization of the state – Grasser and Meischberger strongly denied. However, former lobbyist Peter Hochegger filed a partial acknowledgment at the beginning of the trial.
On first sight
Cause: The Prosecution for Corruption presumes that the privatization of federal housing units in 2004 had a bribe (9.6 million euros). The money had to come from the Austrian consortium in the bidding process for Immofinanz and RLB OÖ – it went through the forays to various accounts. The payment has been proven since 2009 but the question is still open: did Finance Minister Karl-Heinz Grasser forward information to enrich (and others)? And: Did Grasser, his best man Walter Meischberger, real estate agent Ernst Karl Plech and lobbyist Peter Hochegger share the commission?
Terminal tower Cause: As with the Buwog agreement, here too must be followed by "Tatplan" (for privatization projects "cut out" in the series). Indeed, Grasser should have included a portion of the 200,000 euro commission, claiming to lease the financial services of Upper Austria at the terminal tower in Linz.
Defendants deny those allegations, only Peter Hochegger partially admitted. That is the presumption of innocence.
Side Donation Affair: Judge Marion Hohenecker has decided that the process of corruption extends to the cause of the "black box". These "cash registers" claim that Hochegger (charged on both fronts) was filled with money by Telekom Austria. Purpose of the Indictment: The former leadership wanted to have reserves for voting for politicians if necessary. This complex will be discussed for the first time in the fall / winter on the Grand Circle.
(APA / light)