Couple die after neighbour’s iron bar attack

An elderly couple who were beaten with an iron bar by their neighbour in a fight about noise on Saturday have died of their injuries.

Couple die after neighbour's iron bar attack
The town square in Leonding. Photo: H Raab/Wikimedia

According to police the couple from Leonding in Upper Austria had a long running dispute with their neighbours, a family with young children. The elderly couple are said to have frequently complained that the children made too much noise when playing outside.

The father (41) is reported to have snapped when he met the couple on the street and they began arguing. He grabbed an iron bar and hit the 71-year-old woman and her 74-year-old husband over the head, inflicting serious injuries.

He was arrested shortly afterwards. Bernd Innendorfer, head of Upper Austrian police, said the suspect confessed remorse for what he had done.

On Sunday afternoon doctors said that the couple were in a “very critical condition” and on Monday morning they confirmed that they had both died.

The mayor of Leonding, Walter Brunner, told the Krone newspaper that there had been “tensions and arguments between the neighbours for the past ten or 12 years”.

“We’re all completely shocked that this could happen. It’s just unimaginable that this conflict couldn’t have been solved another way,” he added.

Police will be questioning witnesses and relatives of the dead couple. The 41-year-old suspect faces a life sentence for double murder.


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.