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Lawyers for German student lodge appeal

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Lawyers for German student lodge appeal
Josef S in court. Photo: APA/GEORG HOCHMUTH
16:11 CEST+02:00
Lawyers for the 23-year-old German student sentenced on Tuesday to 12 months in prison have announced they will lodge an appeal against the verdict.

Josef S. was found guilty of breaching the peace, serious property damage and aggravated assault during protests against Vienna's right-wing Akademikerball (Academic's Ball) in January this year.

Of the one year sentence, four months were unconditional, with the remaining eight given as a suspended sentence.

Josef, accused of being a member of the extreme-left Black Bloc (Schwarze Block), has already spent almost six months in custody since being arrested on the night of the ball.

Clemens Breitlahner and Kristin Pietrzyk, lawyers for the convicted student, confirmed in a written statement to the Austrian Press Agency on Thursday that they will appeal to have his conviction overturned.

When asked what chances he thought they had, Breitlahner told the magazine Datum, that when a person lodges an appeal within three days of the verdict, the court is required to draw up a written judgement.

"We will carefully review the written judgement and try to find the errors," said Breitlahner. "I'm curious to know exactly how this verdict is justified."

The Vienna Regional Criminal Court's verdict has been sharply criticized by many quarters, including the anti-fascist organisation Offensive Against Justice (Offensive gegen Rechts), the Socialist Youth (SJ), and also the Greens.

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