In what may have been a case of over-zealous recycling, journalist and blogger Marcus Oswald (44) discovered papers relating to the prosecution's case against banker Julius Meinl, for fraud and embezzlement. When he published excerpts on the internet he was visited by police.
Meinl, whose bank focuses on wealth management and investment banking, was arrested in April 2009 over allegations of fraud and misuse of funds.
Prosecutors are still investigating Meinl, who rejects the allegations and who hasn’t been charged with a crime.
Oswald also discovered documents relating to an ongoing police operation against organized crime in five countries.
Nina Bussek, spokeswoman for the prosecutor's office, said that the Meinl case documents were "sensitive" but no longer needed by the prosecution.
She said the court staff have held meetings and improvements have now been made in its waste management. Every employee will now receive two containers for waste disposal, one for "normal paper" and one for "documents relating to personal and sensitive data".
The latter will be shredded and disposed of by a specialist company.
The 'normal paper' will also be collected separately by the Vienna council, rather than being mixed in with other household waste.