Another farmer accused of keeping slave

A Styrian farmer is suspected of having kept a mentally disabled person as a servant – just weeks after another farmer from the same province was sentenced to prison for the same offence.The provincial Agriculture Chamber said today (Mon) that it planned to take the farmer from Oberkurzheim near Judenburg to court over the accusations.The institution said the farmer kept a mentally disabled man as a skivvy since the 1980s, adding that he “barely paid him any money”. The chamber plans to sue the farmer to pay 65,000 Euros of financial compensation to the man. It considers to go to court again over the issue in case of success.The man, who was hired by the farmer at the age of 16, only recently told a friend of his situation. He was then taken away from the agricultural estate by worried citizens who helped him find a flat to start a new life.The accused farmer denies any wrongdoings. “He said the worker was paid a salary common in the branch. The farmer also told us he registered the man with insurance officials. We are checking his claims,” a spokesman for the Styrian Agriculture Chamber announced.Only last month, the High Court in Graz increased a Styrian farmer’s sentence for keeping a mentally disabled man under inhumane conditions for 30 years.The 63-year-old man was ordered to serve six months behind bars. He was given a suspended 18-month prison term by judges in Leoben last year. The new verdict is legally binding.