Ransom was paid for freed Austrian kidnap victim

Newspapers from Yemen agree that the sultanate of Oman paid 16 million dollars of ransom for the Austrian kidnap victim Dominik N. (26). Four million dollars were paid to tribal leaders who worked as intermediaries.

The news agency AFP confirmed the figures: apparently, 50 million dollars were paid for all three hostages. Arabian media reported that the kidnappers previously tried to blackmail the government of Yemen. However, the government refused to support terrorism.

According to diplomatic circles, there were discrepancies between the Austrian and the Finnish negotiating team. The Finnish were apparently not very active in the attempt of liberating the hostages.

Dominik is now recovering with relatives in Vienna. It will probably take a long time until he has processed everything he has gone through. Apparently, he was also tortured in the 139 days of imprisonment.

A debate is underway whether Dominik N. will have to financially contribute to his liberation. Foreign minister Michael Spindelegger (ÖVP) emphasised that the foreign ministry would examine whether they can charge him anything as high costs were involved.

The law provides that the state can demand up to 50,000 Euros from victims. This is only the case if the victim put himself in danger through gross negligence. The victim has to pay less if he was exposed to “severe mental stress”.