Court Hearing 31st May 2017 – ‘EstAG’ continues harassing Suit against NGO Press Photographer

(Graz/Vienna, 29th May 2017) The arbitrary political court case of the national energy corporation ‘EstAG’ against the environmentalist and nature photographer Franz Keppel gets to the next round, although he hasn’t done anything different than his colleague of the ‘Kleine Zeitung’. The next hearing will therefore take place on Wednesday, 31st May 2017 at 8.30 a.m. at the district court Graz East. Justice minister Brandstetter will be dealing with the right of conduct disturbing the public.

‘EStAG’ pretends to have known nobody

Although ‘EStAG’, the subsidiary of the “Murkraftwerk Graz Errichtungs- und BetriebsgesmbH”, could not come up with any evidence for a disturbing conduct on the part of the photographer against the photographer at the first hearing, it insists on its suit. Now it has to be found out whether the plaintiff has in fact heard of the identity of the photographer well-known in the scene after the period for instituting proceedings has expired, whereas otherwise completely unknown activists were very well apprehended in time.

Supposedly there were approximately 200 hours of video material which had to be examined first by security officers on behalf of the builders of the power station. Imagine this, although the person accused by the subsidiary of the ‘EStAG’ was even called by his name by the press officer of the EStAG and was called by his name and with a photograph in a posting of the “Dialogbüro Murkraftwerk” of the ‘EStAG’ in the social media already on February 24th, 2017. He was easily to be seen at the side of the editor of the ‘Kleine Zeitung’, Günter Pilch who is unknown as well according to the ‘EStAG’ suit and who – strangely enough – will not be accused of interference with possession by the ‘EStAG’ subsidiary!

Of course, this raises the fundamental question if the video recordings for the inspection were examined in conformity with the law because no video surveillance was announced anywhere.

The ‘EStAG’ subsidiary does not even shy away from serious threats

That it’s primarily about the intimidation of the resistance against the expensive and environmentally destructive ‘Mur’ power station in Graz which now obviously becomes annoying was also clearly shown in the first trial against Roman Ull, which followed the first trial against Franz Keppel. Although Roman Ull has only looked after an info stand of “Rettet die Mur” which was officially approved – and which was wilfully destroyed and stolen by the ‘EStAG’ subsidiary – and who was on the lookout for legally protected dice snakes and who was only watching what was going on, was dragged before court by the ‘EStAG’ subsidiary.

During the trial the CEO of the “Murkraftwerk Graz Errichtungs- und BetriebsgesmbH” and the heads of the civil law department of the ‘EStAG’, Mag. Johannes Pratl, has even threatened Romana Ull with severe suits if she does not sign the declaration of omission demanded by him and which is quite vaguely formulated.

District court Graz East ignores constitution and human rights

The district court Graz East has shown its political compliance by rigidly controlling the identity cards especially and only at the first date of the trial and has additionally copied the identity cards of the visitors. Moreover a much too small room was chosen and the judge was unwilling to look for a bigger room so that all people interested could take part in the public hearing according to constitutional law.

The fact that court trials have to be public according to article 6 European Human Rights Convention and is also defined in the constitutional law is unpleasant to the courts in Graz which was also shown by neither putting up dates of trials nor announcing them on demand.

For this reason ‘Media Austria’ has lodged a complaint including an inquiry at the justice minister in order to help the modern state under the rule of law and in conformity with human rights to get the full effectiveness even in Graz.

So it all remains exciting, what will happen this time.

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