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Net News (Israel)
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
release taints Austria's legal
LAST week it became apparent
that despite Austria being a law abiding country it
is not necessarily a just one. To be more exact,
there are judges whose rulings do not honor their
nations. Such a judge is Ernest Maurer, who
decided to immediately release
denier David Irving, who was
sentenced last February to a three-year prison
the appeals court's presiding judge, left, never
concealed his right-wing tendencies and is known to
have close ties with Jörg Haider, the
leader of Austria's Freedom Party.
Among other things, at Haider's recommendation,
Maurer was the choice of the Freedom Party to serve
on a board that oversees the Austrian public
broadcasting network, ORF.
For years, the same Maurer gained "recognition"
for rulings that opposed verdicts handed down in
previous proceedings. In several cases, Maurer
ruled in favor of Haider after he sued journalists
and academics who accused him of trying to
In Irving's case this is a double-edged scandal.
On the one hand, the actual decision to reduce his
punishment by two thirds and to release him from
jail is outrageous. Judge Maurer brutally trampled
on all the rules of justice, law and
However, the other side of the sword is far
worse: How did it transpire that the heads of
Vienna's courts and the Justice Ministry, with such
a "controversial" record pertaining to lawsuits of
far-right organizations, allow him to preside over
Although Maurer is the person who made this
outrageous decision, those responsible for the rule
of law in Austria are no less guilty, which of
course will not bring prestige or honor to their
country's legal system.
It appears therefore, that even if there is a
liberal and enlightened trend in Austria today, it
still comprises too many members from the old
school, which is very different.
It is the school that in 1938 led almost 100
percent of Austrians to vote in favor of the
unification with Germany, where their countryman
Adolf Hitler ruled.
Maybe the Austrians will gain something positive
from this embarrassing incident after all: The
public outcry sounded following the affair may
result in Maurer finally being "released" from the
Irving imprisoned in Austria: dossier: