Lawyer Ramin M., the alleged financier of the “Ibiza video”, is charged: The Vienna public prosecutor has filed a criminal complaint for misuse of audio recording or listening devices and for a violation of the data protection law.
Specifically, the second offense is about “data processing with the intention of profit or damage,” reports the “Standard”, citing the prosecution. The maximum sentence is one year.
“civil society motivated project”
The Viennese lawyer M., who is presumed innocent, admitted his involvement shortly after the “Ibiza video” appeared more than three years ago. “It was a project motivated by civil society, in which investigative journalistic paths were taken,” it said at the time. The lawyer argued at the time that he wanted to uncover grievances.
The public prosecutor had previously investigated M. for deception – “to the detriment of Heinz-Christian Strache and Johann Gudenus”. M. had introduced the supposed oligarch niece known from the video to ex-FPÖ club boss Gudenus. She had specified that she wanted to buy a property from Gudenus. This procedure was dropped by the public prosecutor’s office, as were investigations into forgery of documents.
Charges against Hessenthaler dropped
Just last week, the Vienna public prosecutor’s office confirmed that the proceedings against the second mastermind behind the “Ibiza video”, Julian Hessenthaler, had been discontinued. However, Hessenthaler is in prison: At the end of March, he was sentenced to three and a half years in prison, among other things, for cocaine trafficking.
Before that, Hessenthaler had been in extradition custody in Germany since December 2020 and in custody in Austria since March 2021. Both count towards his penalty. At the end of May, renewed investigations into Hessenthaler for a drug offense became known.
In the investigations into the alleged oligarch’s niece, there was a partial cessation of the allegation of deception. The rest of the process has been broken off: If the authorities get hold of the decoy, these parts could be resumed.
Video led to the end of the turquoise-blue government
The video was made in the summer of 2017. The publication of the recordings in May 2019 led to the resignations of the then Vice Chancellor Strache and the FPÖ club leader Gudenus and subsequently to the exit of the turquoise-blue federal government.