Politics

Grasser trial: “gang of four ran into their own pockets”

Prosecutors opened closing arguments and have “no doubt that Grasser is guilty”. Judgment in November or December.

With a smile of relief, judge Marion Hohenecker announced the end of the evidence in the Grasser trial at 12 noon sharp after a record 166 days of trial. Almost three years after the start of the monster trial, only the closing arguments and the verdict are missing. The latter could be a long time coming, however, because the judge has announced that the verdict will be pronounced on a Friday in November or December. The judge notifies the accused only 24 hours beforehand. Another specific feature of the eleven-year process.

But back to the closing arguments of the public prosecutors – which didn’t leave Karl-Heinz Grasser & Co. happy. In the three years of the trial, the defenders would only have thrown “smoke grenades” and served up “G’schichtln”. The “gang of four” – consisting of the defendants Grasser, Walter Meischberger, Ernst Karl Plech and Peter Hochegger – had “run into their own pockets, to the detriment of us taxpayers”, the senior public prosecutors Alexander Marchart and Gerald Denk opened their closing arguments. Grasser played the “ignoramus” in the courtroom during the privatization, but in the end he had the information and the decision in hand.

“Fairy tale”

As evidence, Attorney General Gerald Denk cited Grasser’s cash flows, stock purchases and travel movements – and now the narrative thread, admittedly, gets a bit complicated.

The “mother-in-law tale” by Grasser, namely that the money in the Ferint account at Meinl Bank was from his mother-in-law (Grasser received 500,000 euros from his mother-in-law for the investment), did not hold, because the mother-in-law had denied that it was their money.

Over 700,000 euros were transferred from the Ferint account to the Mandarin account. Explanation: The Mandarin account is the account of Grasser’s asset manager Norbert Wicki. He set up the account because he was expecting a large inheritance of around 500,000 euros from his mother, but it turned out to be small. But the prosecutors say: The mother of the wealth trustee Wicki was only pretended to be for the Mandarin Society.

The Mandarin account also received money from one of the three Liechtenstein accounts, which the public prosecutor has assigned to Grasser. “It was full of bribes,” said Denk. The merger at Mandarin and the numerous share purchases of Meinl International Power securities are proof that this is all money from Grasser.

Why Grasser bought huge amounts of Meinl International Power securities is also clear to the public prosecutor: The critical shareholders wanted a change of power at the top of the company. “His (Grassers; note) job was at stake,” the prosecutors said. Grasser wanted to influence the fight vote. Ida Metzger

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