The launch of the hearing of Karl-Heinz Grasser, the former Minister of Finance, against the Republic of Austria has been postponed. Mr Grasser is suing the prosecutors as they launched a press release regarding searches at his house.
Mr Grasser claims that the civil charges are an infringement of his personal rights and constitute damage to his “commercial reputation”.
Mr Grasser’s lawyer Michael Rami is suing for the establishment of his client’s entitlement to compensation.
The prosecutors sent out a press release soon after the start of the house search on 26 May 2011. Many representatives of the media came to Grasser’s house and reported about the search.
Mr Rami declared that it is impossible to estimate the damage his client has suffered and will suffer in the future, and the state must compensate Mr Grasser for these current and potential damages.
Mr Grasser had already attempted to criminally prosecute the press office of the State Prosecution Office before, but this was rejected.
The representatives of the State, The State Financial Procurator’s Office, argued that a strong police presence will be noticed by the population. Therefore, it is important to guarantuee that the media are equally and objectively informed.
According to Mr Grasser’s lawyer, the extensive reporting in the media affected his client’s commercial activities. Potential and current business partners became unsettled and unsure as to whether to maintain or take on new business dealings with Mr Grasser.