Politics

Justice is said to have withheld sensitive emails from the U-Committee

In the summer, Christian Pilnacek, section head in the Ministry of Justice, and Johann Fuchs, head of the Vienna Public Prosecutor’s Office, were questioned in the U-Committee – it was about possible influence on investigations.

A long-time ex-cabinet employee in the Ministry of Justice apparently has doubts about her statements: Loud Default, Profil and ZiB2 he has now turned to the Economic and Corruption Public Prosecutor’s Office (WKStA).

His suspicion: Members of the chain of command in the judiciary had withheld important e-mails and memos from the U-Committee on the Ibiza or casino cause. He forwarded the news to the WKStA that it should now have reached the U-Committee via detours. The news is also available to the three media outlets.

Should WKStA be kept out?

The Innsbruck public prosecutor is now examining the suspicion of false statements against Fuchs and Pilnacek, according to the media reports. A first project report has already been sent to the Ministry of Justice.

The internal judicial documents deal with the immediate reaction to the publication of the Ibiza video and the search of the house of ÖBAG boss Thomas Schmid.

Point one: After the video became public on May 17, 2019, Fuchs and Pilnacek corresponded. In one of the emails it says: “Dear Hans! I think that you should place the order actively; HBM (Mr. Federal Minister; this is the then Justice Minister Josef Moser, note) does not want to give the WKStA an active role.”

This is interpreted in such a way that one wanted to keep the WKStA out of the investigation. In the judiciary, one declares default– Inquiry, however, that they meant that media work should be centralized – and not through the individual public prosecutor.

Ex-Justice Minister Josef Moser also denies that he wanted to leave the WKStA outside – he rather instructed that the judiciary should investigate “as quickly” as possible.

Informed about the raid beforehand?

Point two: Justice Section Head Pilnacek once maintained friendly, collegial contact with Schmid, who used to be Section Head in the Finance Department. The WKStA locates a bias in Pilnacek after Schmid is being investigated in the Ibiza case.

Before the U Committee, Pilnacek had said that he was only informed by the OStA Vienna after the raid on Schmid had been carried out. However, a memo that the informant sent to the WKStA shows a contradiction:

According to the memo, Pilnacek said that Fuchs gave him four days on November 8th in front the house search, “informed by telephone about the (…) planned project” have.

The case is apparently the one that WKStA boss Ilse Vrabl-Sanda had vaguely addressed in December in the U-Committee – see article below. Out of consideration for the investigation, she didn’t want to say anything at the time.

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