• Austria's news in English

Akademikerball trial continues

The Local · 21 Jul 2014, 14:24

Published: 21 Jul 2014 14:24 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Josef S., 23, is thought to be a member of the extreme left-wing Black Bloc (Schwarzen Block) and is accused of breaching the peace, causing serious damage to property and of grievous bodily harm during protests against the FPÖ's student fraternity ball.

Identified by the police as a ringleader, the young man is alleged to have smashed windows and thrown stones and other objects at officers.

His lawyer, Clemens Breitlahner, said Josef was "at the demonstrations, but was a peaceful participant and had nothing to do with these crimes. We believe there has been some confusion and our client was arrested in error."

The defendant declined to comment on the allegations.

A solidarity rally was held outside the criminal court and numerous interested parties were unable to find a place in the packed courtroom.

Some observers had come from Germany for the trial.

Josef's father had travelled from the university town of Jena, south of Leipzig.

"A shadow has been hanging over our lives since the arrest and we can't deal with it. Our life has totally changed," the distraught father told ORF. "We are striving to show that our son is not a violent offender."

Numerous witnesses were called to testify, including chemical experts who presented a report which aims to determine whether the sweater and glove of the accused show traces of a smoke bomb.

No nitrite particles were found on the young man's hoodie and left glove, however three nitrite particles were discovered on his right glove.

According to the expert witness this indicates "a high probability that he had ignited a pyrotechnic object."

The expert was unable to come to a firm conclusion. "The particles could also have been blown onto the glove if he was standing next to a smoke bomb, although then it would be likely also to find particles on clothes."

Two photographers and one ORF cameraman also took to the witness stand on Monday morning.

Despite being in the middle of the action, none had seen the accused igniting a smoke bomb or engaging in violent behaviour.

One photographer testified that the accused was not to be seen in any of the 700 photos he took during the violence.

Video recordings submitted as incriminating evidence on the first day of the trial have also shown no connection to the defendant. Voice analysis of the recordings, made by a policeman on his private mobile phone, have proved that the recordings are not of the accused.

When the trial began on June 6th, the defendant pleaded not guilty, however the judge refused a request for bail.

A trial against a second man, also accused of leading violent protests against the Akademikerball, will begin on August 18th.

For more news from Austria, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Austrian police rescue 47 puppies from animal smuggler
Photo: Landespolizeidirektion Burgenland

Austrian police have seized 47 puppies found in a car at the Hungarian border.

Call for FPÖ chief's Facebook page to be shut
Heinz-Christian Strache. Photo: Facebook/Personal

The Austrian lawyer who filed a criminal case against the leader of the Freedom Party for inciting hatred has called for his Facebook page to be shut down.

Female terror suspect 'planned suicide attack'
Photo: Paul Gillingwater

Police have arrested the wife of a Chechen terror suspect after they found evidence that the pair were planning a suicide attack in Austria.

'Death must be Viennese', and not just at Halloween
Prater amusement features memento mori. Photo: Paul Gillingwater

Dominik Creazzi, "Paranormal Investigator" embossed on his jacket, strains his ears among the decaying tombstones of Vienna's central cemetery, the last resting place of three million mortals from Beethoven to "Rock Me Amadeus" singer Falco.

ECJ puts brakes on deportation of Iraqi family
Photo: ORF

An Iraqi family threatened with deportation has been granted a brief reprieve after the European Court of Justice recommended they be allowed to stay in Austria for the time being.

Flats evacuated after man swallows explosive substance
A decontamination squad was ordered in. Photo: MA 68 Lichtbildstelle

A block of flats in Vienna had to be evacuated after a suicidal resident swallowed a highly toxic and explosive substance.

'Horror clown' threatens bus driver in Vienna's Donaustadt
Pennywise, the original scary clown from the movie It. Photo: Warner Bros

A man disguised as a ‘horror clown’ threatened a bus driver in Vienna’s Donaustadt district and vandalised the bus.

Man lived with body of murdered lover for weeks

A man has been arrested in Graz after police discovered the body of his girlfriend hidden in the shower cubicle of their rented apartment.

Austrian far-right leader brands Merkel 'dangerous'
Heinz-Christian Strache. Photo: Facebook/Personal

The head of Austria's far-right Freedom Party has branded Angela Merkel Europe's most dangerous politician.

Austria 'horror clown' attacks leave several injured
Clown performers are not happy about the negative media stories. Photo: Graeme Maclean/Flickr

Several people have been injured in attacks by masked assailants dressed as 'creepy clowns' in the lead-up to Halloween.

12 brilliant German words you won't find in English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Five films which will change your mind about Austrian cinema
Those surprising Austrians!
100 years since the last emperor's death
Afghani family's new home in Austria
Der you learn Deutsch?
Delighted by the light
Beware these passport scams
Of course we skipped Oarsch
Foodies rejoice at the choice!
Travel & Tourism
10 years after her escape from captivity
Surviving the Brexit for British expats
Day 2 of the World Bodypainting Festival 2016
Is Islam hostile to Western society?
Bodypainting festival in southern Austria
Europe's ice cream capital
Best Austrian beauty spots
Travel & Tourism
Three days in Vienna as a tourist
How to make friends in Austria
jobs available