In a highly publicized trial for allegedly insulting Austrian Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen by calling him “trampling the Constitution”, the court heard that the accused had been convicted before. The story of this criminal conviction is as hair-raising as the current trial and deserves to be told.
A comment from Florian Machl
Anyone who does not listen to the state and sticks to the given opinion is considered an enemy of the state and will be vigorously fought against. Unfortunately, the judiciary and the so-called Constitution Protection Office serve this purpose. When illegal mass migration began in 2014, politics and the state apparatus also violated many national and international laws and human rights conventions. Millions of people from different cultures migrated and settled in Europe – incidents of tension and violence arose and continued.
During this time I was in the middle of it without being there and, as many people know, I also managed two shelter homes. This gave me the unique opportunity to get an idea of the site: what kind of people are being sent to Europe like goods, who is making money from it and what is the performance of the Church and Caritas, for example, but also of care. Center in the federal states. I’ve published a lot about it, but most of the text fell victim to Facebook censorship. I still have contact with some asylum seekers from that time – but no longer with the (war) winners of that time.
On Facebook I was known as a fierce critic of illegal practices. Even at that time, I used to write my lessons in my own, slightly cheeky style. The “system” hated me for my critical opinions on migration violence and mass transfers, with vast communities being uprooted. On the other hand, former FPEO leader HC Strauch shared my content almost every day. By the way, I did not share its content. At the time, some radical leftist circles ridiculed me for being the FPO’s asylum expert. You just have to accept it. I’ve never had a problem with people reading and considering my writing.
Social media censorship, which was just beginning to emerge at the time, was apparently not enough to silence me. So at that time the domestic secret service BVT, which was bound by instructions, reported a bundle of 20-30 requests of mine, so to speak. The allegations were and are completely ridiculous and far-fetched – but certainly this method is still successful today. You keep digging around until you find something. In fact, the prosecution chanted “Keep it up!” Uttered the phrase. Fellner on display with a link to a report in the tabloid Austria.
The article, to which I commented very inadequately with the words “keep it up”, was related to the actions of the war in Yemen. US military used a helicopter gunship to intercept a ship illegally violating the border. It can be assumed that they were pirates or smugglers. There was firing from the attack helicopter and people were killed. The armed forces on the maritime border with Somalia completed the task they were given – and it can be assumed that all the actions that are normal protocol in such a case had already taken place: radio contact, loudspeaker speeches, warning shots. If it did not, the case would have been brought before the International War Crimes Court. I have checked it several times. There is no such case pending, the action of the border guards was legal.
The public prosecutor’s office was of the opinion – literally (!) – that my comment “Keep it up!” Wanted to incite violence against refugees in Austria. To this day, it is not clear to me and my lawyers how anyone could have come up with this idea. This was completely unclear at first even to the judge, who ordered a complete acquittal and harshly rebuked the BVT investigators in his judgment – this would be a case of GDR-like conditions. Of course, readers also deserve to know that this “Keep It Up!” Had to understand. At the time, I said in a comment that I welcome when states follow border security obligations as laid down in the Constitution and execute them through the police and the armed forces. I did not welcome the fact that people were harmed in the process. Unfortunately, compliance with the law and constitution sometimes also means that the use of state power leads to fatal consequences. In this case, as I said, there was no description to suggest that any illegal act had taken place.
The public prosecutor’s office did not appeal for several weeks. Usually such cases are settled. Not in my case. This is based on oral instructions from the Ministry. Not long after, it was ordered to reopen – something that would be completely unusual in Austria, as all the lawyers interviewed agreed. The case was sent back to first instance where a judge was found who found my crime serious. I, the then head of two asylums, who apparently always took good and humane care of the “guests” – with complete consistency and rigor – caused violence against refugees in Austria through my comments about a military campaign in Yemen. Would have called for. A “crime” without victims, based on sheer arbitrary interpretation.
Punishment, I didn’t save it: A few months in jail, suspended on probation. Of course I appealed, the higher regional court confirmed the verdict with the words, “We are not responsible for finding out the truth here.” So to actually support a legitimate military campaign in Yemen, “Keep it up!” I was condemned with words. To comment. This is possible in a country like Austria and is called the “rule of law”. The legal principle that all possible interpretations should be used in such controversial statements and the most favorable interpretation should be used in favor of the accused, was completely ignored.
The probation period has now ended and hence the sentence has been dismissed. Of course, I’m still interested in erasing this absurd episode from my CV – but the path to further instances is costly and uncertain. The Supreme Court will have no obligation to consider the case to determine whether an appeal of nullity is appropriate to uphold the law. If you look at the winds of many Corona decisions, you don’t expect much of a chance here – except getting stuck with further catastrophic costs. This is a decision you may shake your head at, but ultimately you will have to bow before the state machinery and heed it.
However, this experience has hardened me to such an extent that I can understand what it is like to be a subjectively innocent person who is caught in the wheels of justice and is crushed and judged by them. I therefore look forward to further negotiations in the case against Alexander van der Bellen with confidence. If the system decides to punish me once again for exercising my freedom of expression and accuse me of a completely absurd and far-fetched interpretation of my words, then so be it. All I can do is continue on my path and prove through unwavering, clean work that I support the rule of law, democracy and the Constitution. No one will ever hear anything else from me. I am at peace with myself and have nothing to hide.