Viennese Court Refuses to Counter Police Testimony

10 April 1997

The ERRC was saddened to learn on January 27, 1997, that Nicola Jevremovié had been found guilty of resisting arrest and his wife Violetta JevremoviC had been found guilty of „suspicion of resisting arrest". The case involved a Yugoslav Romani family living in Vienna whose flat was targeted for a massive riot police raid after Nicola Jevremovié became involved in a dispute with a policeman over a parking ticket. During the raid, both Nicola and Violetta were badly beaten in front of their three children. The case was described in detail in the European Roma Rights Center report, Divide and Deport. Roma and Sinti in Austria.

Nicola Jevremović was given a four month suspended sentence and Violetta Jevremović was given a two month suspended sentence. Both Nicola and Violetta now legitimately fear that their residence permits will not be renewed when the deadline for reapplication comes up this spring, although they have been legal residents in Austria for 17 years and neither has a prior criminal record.

Earlier, a Vienna administrative court threw out the Jevremović family's civil suit against the police for abuse of state power when their attorney accidentally submitted a document with an incorrect date. The refusal by the Austrian courts to hear cases on vital issues such as police abuse on the basis of minor technicalities raises serious doubts over the quality of the rule of law in Austria.

(ERRC, Romano Centro)

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