Áustria: Sabaditsch-Wolff condenada por «denegrir ensinamentos de religião reconhecida»

Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff foi condenada a pagar multa de 480€ por «denegrir ensinamentos de religião reconhecida» ao, alegadamente, dizer que Mafoma era pedófilo.

Se preza a liberdade de expressão, se se preocupa com a islamização do Ocidente, se teme o activismo dos juízes, não deixe de ler, na íntegra, o artigo infra, do qual apenas destaco o início:

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Henrik Ræder Clausen has compiled a lucid and thorough analysis of the case against Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, and the questionable — dare I say ludicrous? — legal sleight-of-hand which was used to convict her.
Convicted for calling Muhammad a ‘paedophile’
by Henrik Ræder Clausen

In Austria, calling Muhammad a ‘paedophile’ constitutes illegal denigration of “religious teachings”. This is what Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff was found guilty of in an Austrian court. Read on for an analysis of the puzzling verdict.

Acquitted and convicted

There is now a conviction against Austrian citizen Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff (ESW), who stood trial on a charge of “incitement to hatred” at a series of seminars educating about political Islam and the challenges we face. The case was closed on February 15th 2011 by judge Bettina Neubauer, who gave the following verdict to ESW, who was also convicted of being a “Repeat offender”, in spite of this conviction being her first:

  • Acquitted on the charge of incitement to hatred
  • Convicted for denigration of the teachings of a legally recognized religion.
  • Punishment: 120 day fines for a total of 480 euros.

This verdict deserves analysis and scrutiny.

The original charges

Acquittal first: The charge of incitement to hatred was originally the main point of the case. The defence has countered that charge in two different ways:

First by going through factual details of the lectures, documenting that everything said there was firmly based on Islamic source material, for instance Reliance of the Traveller from the Al-Azhar University in Cairo. The defence even shouldered the cost of an authorized translation of relevant passages into German, so that they might be accepted by the court. The judge took the documentation into the case, and the public prosecutor did not challenge the validity of it.

Second, the defence had recordings from the seminars played in court, demonstrating that they had been held in a peaceful tone, going through the substance of the material taught, letting the audience ask about detail they had not understood immediately.

Playing the recordings made another important point, namely that some of the quotes used by the prosecution as being from Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff were in reality from members of the audience, and that quotes from the lectures had been mixed with out-of-context comments from small-talk in the coffee breaks.

The public prosecutor, who had made no statements or comments since his initial statement in the first hearing, did not challenge this interpretation.

During the first hearing, the defence had made the prosecutor admit that he had not gone through the primary evidence in the case (the audio recordings), but had instead relied on a transcript provided by the journalist from the Austrian magazine NEWS.at, who filed the original police report.

The expected acquittal

After having gone through this material at the first two hearings, the audience of the case had a clear expectation that ESW would be acquitted of the charges and have her name cleared. But at the end of the second hearing, the judge added an unexpected twist to the case:

She inquired of ESW about her comments that the actions of Muhammad would today be considered ‘paedophilia’. While ensuring a nod of approval from the prosecutor, she then extended the charges to also encompass “Denigrating the teachings of a legally recognized religion”.

The defence attorney requested time to work on this additional charge, as he had not prepared defending his client from this point of view.

An inheritance from the Austrian-Hungarian Empire

It might sound odd that the judge can extend the charges in a trial as she sees fit, but that is actually possible under Austrian law. The charge was specifically for denigrating the teachings of a religion recognized by the Austrian state.

This recognition was granted in 1912 through the law Islamgesetz, which had as its primary purpose to integrate Bosnia-Herzegovina more fully into the Empire, and Bosnian soldiers more effectively into the Imperial army. Since Bosnia-Herzegovina was lost to the Empire after World War One, the original purpose of the law was gone. However, it remained on the books, and for that reason Islam and its teachings enjoy special protection under Austrian law.
Read more at gatesofvienna.blogspot.com

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