The Economic and Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (WKStA) is investigating in the political crime thriller against ex-family minister and opinion researcher Sophie Karmasin (ÖVP) on suspicion of embezzlement and bribery. As a suspect, she has the right to a full inspection of the files. This has not yet been granted to her by the WKStA, according to a communication from Karmasin’s lawyer Norbert Wess to the WKStA.
This is explosive in that Wess also proves that chat modules were torn out of context by the WKStA. A central conclusion of the WKStA against Sebastian Kurz in the political crime thriller was therefore “without a doubt incorrect” – the eXXpress reported. But at the moment Karmasin does not have “the complete copy of the files and all evaluation results”, although she is entitled to do so according to the law. With the help of the proof of a mistake by the WKStA, Wess wants to underline the importance of such an insight. As long as Karmasin is not granted insight, a statement by Karmasin is also not “possible and effective”.
After numerous house searches ordered by the WKStA took place on October 6th – including in the Federal Chancellery and the ÖVP headquarters – the WKStA asked Karmasin on October 14th whether it was ready to make a statement. Norbert Wess explains in a communication to the WKStA: For this purpose, his mandate would have to have “a complete copy of the files and all the evaluation results of the coercive measures carried out at the beginning of October 2021.” But: “This stage is of course still a long way off at the moment.”
The WKStA suspects Sophie Karmasin of mediating between the ÖVP and the owners of the Austrian Media Group and creating bogus invoices in the political crime thriller about ex-Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP). The aim should have been to create benevolent reporting for Sebastian Kurz. The WKStA established a connection between the alleged manipulation of opinion polls and chats – although the connection was completely different, as Wess shows.
The very detailed explanations in the communication to the WKStA are intended to “show above all that individual chat messages, taken out of context, can lead to a demonstrably incorrect assessment or incorrect interpretation of historical events”. Therefore, it is all the more important and due to the rule of law to give Karmasin “only a comprehensive opportunity to make a statement within the framework of a legal hearing according to § 6 StPO when the investigating authorities have disclosed all – from their point of view – available evidence.”
The chats on which the WKStA relies were secured in the course of a house search at Thomas Schmid, the ex-head of the cabinet in the Ministry of Finance. They are still under lock and key to this day.