Police torture victim demands €384,000

Police torture victim demands €384,000
Austrian police. File photo: APA
The lawyer for the victim of a notorious case of police brutality, Bakary J, has begun an official liability lawsuit against the Republic of Austria.

Lawyer Nicholas Rast is seeking a compensation payout of €384,000 for the 41-year-old Gambian, plus an additional monthly pension of €1000.

The hearing, which was held at the Regional Court for Civil Affairs, was postponed indefinitely while Bakary's case is evaluated.

Norbert Loimer, general practitioner and specialist in psychiatry and neurology, will assess the plaintiff to determine whether his current physical and medical condition is the direct result of the brutal treatment he received at the hands of Austrian police officers in 2006.

Bakary J was severely beaten by four WEGA (Special Police Unit) officers in a Vienna warehouse after a failed deportation attempt, suffering extensive fractures to his cheekbone, jaw and eye socket.

In April 2012, three of the officers were convicted of abuse and sacked. The fourth, who acted as a 'watchdog', is still working for the police in a desk job.

To date Austrian authorities have paid €110,000 to Bakary J and his family, meaning the actual amount in question is expected to be €274,000, considerably less than the initial €750,000 figure demanded by his lawyer.

Authorities now have the task of deciding the appropriate amount of compensation the Interior Ministry should pay Bakary.

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