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Higher Regional Court Upholds Appeal in Scheuba vs. Holzer Legal Dispute, Orders New Hearing

© APA – Austria Press Agency

Scheuba had accused Federal Criminal Police Office director Holzer of inactivity. The Higher Regional Court upheld the appeal and ordered a new hearing.

In the legal dispute between the Federal Criminal Police Office Director Andreas Holzer and the cabaret artist Florian Scheuba goes to the second round. In connection with the investigation, Scheuba had Ibiza-Video in a StandardColumn Holzer – at the time head of the “Tape Market” – accused of inactivity, whereupon the latter complained of defamation. Scheuba was acquitted in June 2022, but Holzer was successful with an appeal against it.

The Vienna Higher Regional Court (OLG) upheld Holzer’s appeal, overturned the contested judgment in its entirety and referred the matter back to the first court, the Vienna Regional Court for Criminal Matters, for a new hearing and decision. There is already an appointment for that. The media case will be heard a second time on August 29, a court spokeswoman said Christina Salzborn up on Tuesday WHAT-Request with.

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The first court assumed a “satirical column”.

Scheuba had in September 2021 in Standard claims that as early as March 2015, Holzer received “various incriminating material from the future video producers HC Strache been presented, including photos of the bulging cash bag in Strache’s trunk”. Holzer only created an “incomplete file note”, which Scheuba described as “puzzling inactivity” and “refusal to work with serious consequences”. Holzer saw himself as accused of dishonorable behavior. He or his legal representative Peter Zöchbauer stressed that no evidence had been given or shown to him, and that no witnesses had been called.

The first court assumed a “satirical column” and acquitted Scheuba in the absence of any criminal conduct that could be determined. The OLG saw it differently. Scheuba “unmistakably accused Holzer of not having taken the investigative steps that he had requested and expected, as well as those that were actually required and necessary, despite the submission of sufficient evidence, i.e. refused”. Scheuba’s column was “an ironic undertone”, but the allegations of inactivity and refusal to work were “described completely soberly and presented as facts, so that the target group of readers of the daily newspaper The standard does not actually show that these allegations could have been satire,” says the OLG decision (18 Bs 308/22h).

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“Incriminating Statements”

And the Higher Regional Court goes on to say: “In particular, the use of individual humorous terms and the incorporation of ironic passages does not mean that the readers addressed perceive the article in its entirety and all statements contained therein as satire.”

Rather, it can be assumed that the Standard-Readers “despite knowledge of the accused’s activities as a cabaret artist” understand the incriminated statements “as an accusation of the subjectively shaped and thus targeted refusal of a police officer to take the required and expected as well as actually required and necessary investigative steps”. In the direction of Scheuba, it was also noted that he was “undoubtedly required, even as a cabaret artist (…), to pay careful attention to his formulations”.

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2023-07-18 14:35:56
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