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British man arrested for murder in Amstetten

An altercation between two men in the Lower Austrian town of Amstetten, former home of serial abuser Josef Fritzl, led to the arrest of a 36-year-old British man for murder.

British man arrested for murder in Amstetten
Amstetten's regional hospital. Photo: Dr. Martin Hirsch/Wikimedia
A 39-year-old man was found dead on Wednesday in the courtyard of an apartment building in the Sonntagberg region in the district of Amstetten, Lower Austria.  He had been killed with two stab wounds to the neck, according to a report from the National Police Directorate.
 
Two bloody knives were seized at the scene as suspected murder weapons.
 
The suspected perpetrator, a 36-year-old English man, has been taken into custody in the nearby prison in St. Pölten.
 
According to the State Criminal Investigation Office, several people were drinking heavily on Tuesday evening in a courtyard.  Around 2 a.m., the group relocated to the apartment of a 30-year-old man.
 
It is reported that a dispute developed between the 36-year-old British citizen and the 39-year-old victim from the district of Amstetten.  They both left the apartment, where it was suspected that a further dispute led to the fatal injuries being inflicted on the victim.
 
A resident of the house discovered the victim's body on Wednesday morning, and called the police.
 
Amstetten is notorious as the former home of Josef Fritzl, an Austrian man who imprisoned his daughter in a basement where he held her captive for 24 years in a concealed room, with his serial incest leading to the birth of seven children and one miscarriage.
 

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CRIME

Austria probes claim spyware targeted law firms and banks

Austria said Friday that it was investigating a report that an Austrian company developed spyware targeting law firms, banks and consultancies in at least three countries.

Austria probes claim spyware targeted law firms and banks

Microsoft’s security team earlier this week said it found that a malware called Subzero — developed by Vienna-based company DSIRF — was deployed in 2021 and 2022.

“Observed victims to date include law firms, banks and strategic consultancies in countries such as Austria, the United Kingdom and Panama,” it wrote in a blog entry on Wednesday.

Austria’s interior ministry said it had not received reports of any incidents.

READ ALSO: Austria wary of cyber attacks after personal data of foreign residents leaked online

“Of course, (intelligence agency) DSN checks the allegations. So far, there is no proof of the use of spy software from the company mentioned,” it said in a statement.

Austria’s Kurier newspaper cited DSIRF as saying that Subzero had not been misused and “was developed exclusively for use by authorities in EU states” and was not commercially available.

DSIRF did not immediately return a request for comment from AFP.

Austria’s interior ministry said it knew of the company but “has not had any business relationships” with it.

Last year several media outlets reported that governments around the world, including in the EU, had used Pegasus spyware made by Israel’s NSO Group to spy on opponents.

Budapest and Warsaw responded that the use of Pegasus was for legitimate national security reasons.

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