Interview with One Accused

Extracts from a radio feature on Radio Orange from the 3rd of October, 2014.
Stream at:

Already at the beginning of the trial in spring it has become evident that the transla-
tions of the observed phone calls are inaccurate. Since September the single charges
are again topic. For every charge the court has been going over the protocols of phone
recordings and has been questioning the accused on certain calls. In doing so, it shows
once again, that there is no evidence at all for the horrendous quantity of money, which
they supposedly made.

One of the accused explains: “I don’t remember exactly where I read that our group
supposedly made 30 Mio Euros. But what we hear in the courtroom, what the interpreters
from the police translated from the protocols of the monitored telephone calls, these are
conversations where nobody even talks about 500 or 1000 Euros.”

The prosecutor and the judge ask very detailed questions as soon as money is men-
tioned in the monitored phone calls. Talking about small amounts of money, which
are necessary for the daily routine, is criminalized. Some accused report that they even
added money out of their own pockets when they helped others, showed them the
train station or provided similar support.

“Many people don’t know that, but when I meet a person on the street who talks the same
language as my mother tongue and asks me for something, I have to help. When the per-
son asks me for directions, I have to show them where to go or where they can buy certain
things. We also told those people about our own problems, because they asked us. When
they ask how it is in Austria, we have to tell them, that it is very difficult here, that it is
not easy to stay here. And then many of them leave.”

If this is a payoff for the Refugee-Protest-Camp, then even a verdict of not guilty would
not change much. Because the everyday life of the accused is massively restricted, also
after the release from investigative custody of eight months in March.

“I have a lot of problems with my school. I was in school on Monday and my teacher
was very angry. She said, that what I am doing is not worth a graduation. I explained to
her, that I have to go to court or otherwise I will get in trouble with the authorities. She
agreed, but she said, that I also have to go to school. I am afraid, because I don’t want to
be kicked out of school. I also have to do something for my own life. Now I have hearings
in the court until 4th of December, I hope that will be the last day of trial.
The others can’t go to work. They always tell me, that they have problems at work, because they
always have to go to court and can’t show up for the job.”