“We could have been done since December,” the judge said. However, the nature of the defense makes rapid proceedings impossible. “There is also a risk of over-arrest,” he told the accused. The lawyers stated that the accused could not be charged with his illness. The trial is now scheduled to continue on March 30 at 9 a.m.
The accused, who is in custody, described his state of health at the beginning of the hearing when asked by the judge and said: “I’m limited.” Nevertheless, he wanted to be present during the questioning of a Serb witness.
Hessenthaler is burdened by a former business partner and his former lover. The witness had stated that he originally wanted to “clean the slate” in his trial for drug trafficking in Salzburg and testify against Hessenthaler. Because his mother was threatened by two men shortly before his main hearing, he then decided differently and only charged the so-called “Ibiza detectives” afterwards. The man suspected that Hessenthaler was behind the reported intimidation. That has been disputed.
The mother of the prosecution witnesses was connected via video link in the court in St. Pölten on Wednesday. She reported that she was visited by two men in 2020. They had informed her that “my son should be careful what he says in court in Austria, otherwise there will be consequences”. “I was shocked and said: ‘Get out, otherwise I’ll call the police’,” the witness described her reaction, according to the interpreter. The men described them as “tall and strong,” with one said to be bald.
The Serb had already been questioned twice in her home country. Since the defense lawyers did not agree to the reading of the woman’s statements, a video conference was organized. Because the survey originally planned for February 16 did not take place, the process that started on September 8, 2021 had to be postponed again. The hearing was not completed on Wednesday either due to Hessenthaler’s state of health. Hessenthaler said he had prepared a statement but was unable to present it.
The so-called “Ibiza detective” thus gained some time again. He will presumably hope for help from his influential friends in certain media and his supporters in left-wing parties until the last second. After all, he enjoys hero status in the left-wing socialites thanks to the video trap that blew up the turquoise-blue coalition and robbed former Vice Chancellor HC Strache of his political career.
And so, despite the evidence and incriminating witness statements, Hessenthaler has so far not made a confession in his drug trial: This would also destroy the nice fairy tale of the Ibiza video coup as a “civil society project” against an “evil right-wing government” too much. A suspect who might have thrown dozens of people into addiction and misfortune with hard drugs just doesn’t fit into this left-wing heroic epic.