Larissa Bieber murderer gets 20 years

The trial for the murder last September of 21-year-old Larissa Bieber from Tirol began and ended on Friday at the Innsbruck Regional Court. The defendant pled guilty, and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Larissa Bieber murderer gets 20 years
The man accused of murdering Larissa. Photo: APA/ROLAND MÜHLANGER
Bieber's 24-year-old boyfriend is accused of murdering her in his apartment out of anger because of her alleged infidelity.  A speedy verdict was delivered in the afternoon, when the defendant pled guilty to the charges, and made a full confession.
Neither prosecutor nor defender made a statement. The verdict of the eight person jury was unanimous.
The comprehensive confession of the accused had worked in mitigation, explained Judge Norbert Hofer in the court's opinion. In addition, the personality disorder of the defendant was also influential in sentencing.
The prosecution has requested the admission of the defendant to an institution for abnormal offenders. A psychiatric expert has testified that the accused at the time of the murder was completely sane.
The accused has been diagnosed with a strong personality disorder with neurotic narcissistic features, which is why there is a high likelihood of further aggressive actions.
The 24-year-old is believed to have strangled the young woman during the night of September 14th, 2013.  He then threw the corpse into the Inn river.
Larissa was initially thought to have disappeared. Her body was recovered after a large-scale search operation on October 6th.
Her boyfriend was arrested on October 26th on suspicion of murder.

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EXPLAINED: What to do if you experience online abuse in Austria

Following the suicide of an Austrian doctor who received threats from Covid-19 anti-vaccination activists, the government has now launched a new campaign to help victims of online abuse.

EXPLAINED: What to do if you experience online abuse in Austria

The Austrian medical community was left in shock in July when Lisa-Maria Kellermayr, a local doctor in Seewalchen am Attersee in Upper Austria, took her own life following months of online abuse.

Kellermayr, 36, had been targeted by anti-vaccination activists and Covid-19 conspiracy theorists for her out-spoken support of vaccines, and the abuse even included death threats. 

Her death prompted candlelight vigils and demonstrations in Vienna and the tragic story was picked up by news outlets around the world.

READ MORE: How Austria’s attempt to make vaccines mandatory changed the country

This led to calls for tighter laws against online bullying and the ability for perpetrators to be prosecuted in other EU countries – particularly as at least two of the people who are believed to have targeted Kellermayr are based in Germany, according to the Guardian.

The Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) has even called for the creation of a special public prosecutor’s office to deal with “hate-on-the-net”, but this has been rejected by prosecutors and other political parties, as reported by ORF.

Instead, the Federal Justice Department has launched a new information campaign, website and hotline to help people dealing with online abuse.

FOR MEMBERS: What happens if you get arrested in Austria?

What is in the new campaign?

Austria’s Justice Minister Alma Zadic (Greens) said they have launched the campaign to raise awareness about the issue and to inform victims about the support available.

Zadic said: “It is important to me that those affected know that they are not alone in this situation and that the judiciary supports them with free psychological and legal process support.”

“You don’t have to cope alone with the extraordinary burdens that criminal proceedings can entail, for example through confrontation with the perpetrators.”

READ ALSO: Austria in shock over doctor’s suicide following anti-vax abuse

Part of the support package is the new website Hilfe bei Gewalt (Help with Violence), which details how to access help from the authorities, as well as secure free legal advice and representation from a lawyer.

The website states the service is for victims of bullying and/or hate online, defamation, stalking, terrorism, incitement, sexual violence and robbery.

The service is designed to be anonymous with options to contact the Justice Department by phone or via a chat box. The website also lists contact details for regional support services in all provinces across Austria. 

The free (kostenlos) hotline for Hilfe bei Gewalt is 0800 112 112.

Useful links

Hilfe bei Gewalt

Austrian Federal Justice Department