Accused of fraud against the EU through bogus bills ultimately turned out to be a somewhat vague whistleblower report: The Tyrolean ex-EU MP Richard Seeber was acquitted on Monday in Innsbruck.
The ex-ÖVP member of the European Union Richard Seeber was acquitted.
© APA / EXPA
By Reinhard Fellner
Innsbruck – On the last day of the fraud trial against ex-EU parliamentarian Richard Seeber, WKStA senior public prosecutor Wolfgang Handler called again on Monday at the regional court. As accused, he further advocated the thesis that the second accused graduate engineer from Romania Seeber had never given parliamentary advice and therefore both had only submitted bogus bills to the EU Parliament: “For 70 submitted consultations, the bill is actually 70 times zero. Here it was 70 times zero but is 409,956 euros. And that is what prosecutors call fraud! ”Yesterday too, witnesses remained vague. A former EU assistant believed that it would make no sense to withhold advice from her, but another said that as an assistant you only work for committees and have no overview of the entire activities of an EU parliamentarian .
Defense attorney Markus Orgler emphasized again that nobody in Austria has to prove himself free – since there would also be no consultation documents until 2010, this could not be successful in terms of content anyway. So yesterday, after six years of investigation and three days of trial on the “Seeber case”, everything was said and the case was ripe for an expected verdict: acquittals for Seeber and the second defendant.
“Here, assumptions were made to a large extent – and no one with us has to act freely.” – criminal judge Andreas Mair
Judge Andreas Mair for the jury’s senate: “It remains a stale taste, but the allegation could not be proven. The witnesses largely made assumptions, and even the whistleblower who reported the death (a former office worker) admitted that she had not known about the entire area of responsibility. Ultimately, a defendant in Austria does not have to expose himself to allegations. ”
Judge Mair also noted critically that three of the former assistants had apparently been too happy to testify against the once hated boss, while others had reported that they had made a good living: “Also the complaint, three after the interns left, but very shortly before the EU -The choice was probably ‘purely coincidental’. ”Surprise for the Romanian: One court would not have been competent for him. Prosecutor Handler has three days in consultation with the Ministry of Justice to declare any legal force or appeal against the acquittals.
Richard Seeber after the acquittal for TT: “It’s joy, but relief! Eight years of persecution hung like a millstone on me and the family! “He is disappointed by the Federal Criminal Police Office:” If the reports were purely anonymous, I would have expected more detailed investigations. They didn’t even find any data on the EU homepage. ”If the law becomes final, Seeber would like to return to the office in Brussels.