the case, March 14th 2002
Lawsuit against the 3 police officers
or against Marcus Omofuma?
Persons present: judge Dr. Fiala, second judge, 2 lay jurors, 2 first
lay jurors, public prosecutor, lawyer Dr. Zanger as representative of
the children and the estate (left behind) of Marcus Omofuma, the lawyers
of the accused Dr. Rifaat and Dr. Ofner, the accused B., R., and K., as
well as the press and the public (audience).
After Ex-minister of the interior Mr. Frank Löschnak (SPÖ),
another former Minister of Interior is invited on this 6th day of the
hearing: Mr. Caspar Einem (SPÖ as well). He was Austrias Minister
of Interior from April 1995 to the end of January 1997.
The focal point of the interview was to what extent Einem knew about the
practice of sealing the mouth of a deportee during so called "problematic
deportations. Answering the question of the judge when he had heard
about the practice of sealing a deportees mouth during "problematic
deportations for the first time, he said he had learnt about it
through a report of the committee against torture at the Council of Europe
in 1995. That report was about reproaches of assault and battery against
Austrian officials from 1993. Investigations took place within the ministry
of the interior, still the reproaches could not be confirmed according
to Mr. Einem. In 1997, the independent administrative court of Styria
dealt with the practice of deportation, however, he claims never to have
received a written statement.
According to Mr. Einem the report of the committee against torture was
also discussed in the ministry of the interior. In his opinion the use
of adhesive tape was allowed for tying somebody up but not for sealing
his mouth. "I would not have accepted it as a means of self-defense.
There were no consequences since the only specific case occurred in 1993.
"As a superior of 33,000 officials you are not able to investigate
everything. Einem said there did not exist any regulations for "problematic
deportations during his term of office. "I was not aware of
that (the practice of sealing the mouth was meant). It would have
been necessary to lay down rules and it is important to give hints to
the human rights convention in the basic training. "Police officers
dont have a manual with them which is effective in every single
case. The attitude of the different departments of the Interior
Ministry varies. Another basic problem is being left alone. In the course
of solving problems measures could fall back on individual officers.
An official of the foreign police had given evidence that a picture showing
a Black African with a sealed mouth was submitted to Mr. Einem in 95 (1995).
Mr. Einem could not confirm that.
Commenting on the legal decision of the federal asylum office, Einem said:
"The question is how you actually think about deportations- an incorrect
decision on asylum application can lead to death. The federal asylum office
has to make proper and sensitive decisions. He claimed to have had
tried to support that through personal decisions. A statement concerning
the general proceedings of the foreign police: It could not have
been a question of deporting by all means. The possibilities would
have to be adequate. The job of foreign officers is "ungrateful
and difficult. According to Einem fear of a massive immigration into Austria
gripped the Ministry of Interior at the beginning of the 1990s. While
visiting an office of the foreign police in Wasagasse, Vienna during his
term of office, he took notice of a "strange attitude towards
lawyers and human rights organizations. He tried to change that- it turned
out to be very difficult. So-called "problematic deportations
were also discussed- according to the officials, people who protested
their deportation in the airplane were not deported.
Lawyer Zanger questioned the witness about difficulties concerning the
flow of information in the Ministry of Interior. Mr. Einem stated that
some in the Ministry had difficulties agreeing with him; a major problem
was the "social intercourse with foreigners. Further the political
consciousness in the country is important, to make clear that not everybody
coming in is "a crook. Deportations have to be carried out
in the case of the commitment of an offense or in the case of the refusal
of an application for asylum. Just after his term of office he learned
that some information had not been passed on to him because of his different
Lawyer Rifaat: "When did you first encounter the term problematic
deportations?. Einem: "The term problematic deportations
did not yet exist at that time. Question: "Which deportations
did you consider difficult? Einem: "In cases where states are
"not taking back their citizens, if documents were refused;
"resistance, violence, bites, scratching, spitting. Answering
the question what he had thought about the technical and practical conduct
of deportations, Mr. Einem said that this question had not been brought
up to the Minister. Rifaat: "Had there been any concrete clues that
there were incorrect decisions made by the federal asylum office?
Einem said he was trying to make sure that the authority decision was
well balanced, and that it should not be the agent of those "who
dont want to let anybody in.
Lawyer Ofner read out of the report of the Human Rights Advisory Board
in connection with so-called "problematic deportations which
contained the question of why there were no guidelines for deportations.
Einem said he had set up measures in the training sector, for example
seminars attended by both- police and Afro-Asian institute. The working
situation in the deportation prison was also bad. He stood for new ways
of care. It is also possible that the change of attitude towards the post,
which came simultaneously with the change from Löschnak to Einem,
did not reach down to the police officers.
Then Ofner once again tried to defame Marcus Omofuma ("two identities,
different information concerning the citizenship), judge Fiala did
not let him speak up.
At the end the judge announced the cost for deportations: approximately
4.400,-- Euro for "normal deportations, approximately 47.000
Euro for so called "problematic deportations.End of the day
of hearing: 10 h 30
Mehr Info: Medizinisches Gutachten von Prof. Brinkmann http://www.8ung.at/gutachten