The continued incarceration of Jewish journalist Stephan Templ by the Republic of Austria despite the existence of exculpatory evidence represents an unimaginable miscarriage of justice, says his international lawyer Robert Amsterdam.
Templ, who has been serving a sentence since October 15, 2015 on a charge relating to a restitution claim he filed for the recovery of Nazi-looted property, has presented documents proving that he disclosed all required information concerning other family members, yet the Austrian government continues to refuse to act.
Additionally, on 16 February, Vienna’s Higher State Prosecutor issued a judicial statement recognizing that it cannot be ruled out that evidence exists that would have changed the original decision in the Stephan Templ matter.
“In any ordinary circumstance, such a discovery of evidence and statement from a prosecutor would trigger the immediate re-opening of the case and the release of Mr. Templ pending the outcome,” said Mr. Amsterdam. “But clearly as we have seen over and over in the State’s treatment of this case, this is not an ordinary circumstance, and they appear determined to continue to inflict suffering.”
Instead of re-opening of the case, the Prosecutor instead recommended that a witness from the original hearing be heard again in the lower courts, while Templ remains in jail.
Amsterdam said the State’s conduct is deplorable. “This decision ignores the real and ongoing harm being suffered by Stephan Templ while being imprisoned, and reveals itself as a move to run out the clock before Stephan Templ’s likely early release in April.”