Austrian Constitutional Court orders administrative court to rule on police brutality case

02 April 1998

On October 8, the Austrian Constitutional Court overturned an administrative court decision of November 1996 not to rule, for procedural reasons, in a case of alleged police brutality against Roma. The case involves a Yugoslav Romani couple, Mr. Nicola Jevremović and his wife Violetta Jevremović, who were beaten by riot police in their flat in Vienna in front of their three children (see ERRC report Divide and Deport: Roma and Sinti in Austria). The administrative court declined to issue a decision in November 1996, because the date in the complaint was incorrect. The Constitutional Court ruled that the administrative court had „exercised arbitrariness in its ruling” and sent the case back to the administrative court for retrial.

In other Austrian news, on October 25, the German wire service Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA) reported that suspected Austrian bomber Franz Fuchs had told investigators that the killing of four Roma in the Austrian town of Oberwart had been a mistake. According to the DPA quoting Fuchs in the Austrian daily Kronen Zeitung, „The killing of four Gypsies was not planned. The Bajuwarians [an archaic form of the word „Bavarians”] made a mistake in this case.” Four Roma were killed in Oberwart in 1995 when a sign they were attempting to remove, saying „Roma back to India” which had been planted in the Romani settlement there, blew up, its stem packed with explosives. The „Bajuwarian Liberation Army”, a hitherto unheard of organisation, claimed responsibility for many of the bombings which have targeted Roma, foreigners and individuals involved in minority or foreigner politics since 1993. Fuchs was detained in early October when he attempted to blow himself up after being pulled over by the police for following girls in his car. It is still unclear whether he acted alone in the terror campaign or if a „Bajuwarian Liberation Army” exists.

(DPA, ERRC, Romano Centro)


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