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Yesterday in Vienna the first decision was made regarding the so-called Eurofighter affair. A spokeswoman for the Vienna State Court for Criminal Matters, however, emphasized to the European Security & Technology (ES&T) that it was not the main proceedings, but only the investigative proceedings from February 2017. It was about a report of fraud against a manager (not Tom Enders) from Airbus and the two companies Airbus and Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH. The then Austrian defense minister Hans Peter Doskozil (SPÖ) made the advertisement, which is why it is often referred to as the Doskozil advertisement. The complainant assumed that the Republic of Austria would pay approximately EUR 183.4 million.

In the award procedure in 2002, Austria ordered 18 Eurofighters for around 1.9 billion euros. Later, suspicions of bribes and other irregularities arose, so that this award is now known in Austria as the "Eurofighter affair". In the course of solving this Eurofighter affair, two proceedings were launched - the first was the large case involving the investigation against the companies and the politicians and officials involved, and the second was the reporting of fraudulent acts against one of the then managing directors and the two companies. The latter is, so to speak, only a secondary location, over which the District Court for Criminal Matters Vienna has provisionally decided.

The decision follows an application to terminate the proceedings by the accused. The judge ruled yesterday that the trial should be terminated on the grounds that there was no evidence within the three-year investigation to substantiate suspicion of fraud by the three suspects, the spokeswoman for the regional court told ES&T. An appeal against this decision can be filed until May 1 - due to COVID-19 the deadlines have been extended. Well-informed sources are firmly expecting such a complaint, so this procedure could also be resumed soon.

Dorothee Frank