Since 9:30 a.m., Sophie Karmasin (56) has been sitting visibly tense and with a petrified mine on the dock in Vienna’s “Landl”. The voltage increases. Prosecutors from the Economic and Corruption Prosecutor’s Office and Karmasin’s defense attorney Norbert Wess mastered their closing arguments on the fourth day of the trial. Now it’s up to the grand jury.
More light than in the previous week, but this time an ice-cold atmosphere in the large courtroom in the Vienna Regional Court. On the one hand, because the air conditioning is turned up to the fullest level. But above all because the atmosphere between the prosecutor’s office and the defense attorneys is at its lowest point. The closing arguments began shortly before 2 p.m. “Evidence paints a clear picture” According to the indictment, former Federal Minister Sophie Karmasin illegally received continued payments after leaving politics. “The evidence paints a clear picture and leaves no doubt. Karmasin knew that she wasn’t allowed to earn anything while she continued to receive her salary – this is confirmed by emails she received from the chancellery,” said senior public prosecutor Gregor Adamovic from the WKStA. “‘Well, then I won’t earn anything’, the defendant wrote back at the time. Although she has long since been back to work. The second allegation concerns illegal price-fixing in relation to studies for the Ministry of Sports. 27,000 paid back too much “I am deeply convinced that Doctor Karmasin cannot be criminally accused”, meanwhile Karmasin’s lawyer Norbert Wess introduces his closing argument. In his view, active repentance “was not only timely, but voluntary. And not only completely, but more than completely”. Because Karmasin even paid back 27,000 euros too much, which the Republic had withheld as income tax. With regard to the illegal price fixing, Wess does not see the facts as fulfilled either: “Everyone in the ministry was involved. There was no competition at all.” Judgment pronouncement after deliberation by the lay judges The testimony of CASAG key witness Sabine Beinschab caused a stir during the four-day trial. The pollster heavily incriminated her former boss Karmasin, whom she described as her “big role model”. After the deliberations of the lay judges, the verdict is announced. Incidentally, the lay judges did not ask any questions on any of the days of the hearing.
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