The Syrian has a residence permit in Austria. On the morning of June 7, 2021, he had an appointment with the authorities in Salzburg to issue a passport. Coming from the A 10 Tauern Autobahn, he and his buddy had probably been a bit inattentive and only noticed the mistake when the navigation system recommended “turn around” in Arabic. But by then it was too late: They were standing at the Walserberg border crossing in their Opel Astra.
“I got scared because I’ve been rejected before. We just got lost,” said the Syrian in the Laufen district court. “He wanted to go to Salzburg,” confirmed a 26-year-old federal police officer who had checked the GPS entries and the official documents on the spot. This is the crucial point, because the negligent commission of an unauthorized entry is not punishable.
Judge Christian Daubner ruled that he was acquitted, not without a rebuke to the police: “If the matter had been presented there as determined by the federal police, there would not have been any charges.” Only when the Syrian objected did he request follow-up investigations and thus experience the actual facts. Daubner apologized to the 23-year-old. He didn’t want to claim his travel expenses to Laufen. Instead, he thanked “for the treatment and the justice.”