Mother of German victim of Islamist attack in Vienna sues Austrian government – “The attack could have been prevented”

About six months after the terrorist attack in Vienna, the mother of a victim from Bavaria is suing the Republic of Austria for the payment of damages and compensation for pain and suffering. The trial will take place on May 17 at the Regional Court for Civil Matters in Vienna, a court spokeswoman confirmed on Wednesday, according to a report in the newspaper “Die Presse”.

The mother of a 24-year-old art student from Bavaria claims that the Republic of Austria did not sufficiently follow up on clues in the run-up to the attack. “The attack could have been prevented,” says her lawyer Norbert Wess. The lawsuit is about 125,000 euros. The funeral costs alone would have exceeded the payment of 2,000 euros received under the Crime Victims Act several times over, Wess said.

On November 2, 2020, a 20-year-old supporter of the terrorist militia Islamic State (IS) had shot four passers-by and injured 23 before being killed himself. In its report published in February, an investigative commission had criticised considerable mishaps in the run-up to the crime. For example, the investigators had been aware of a meeting between the later assassin and other Islamists as well as his attempt to buy ammunition for military weapons.

There had been serious indications of the suspect’s continued membership in a terrorist organisation, the commission said. The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution and Counterterrorism (BVT) and the Vienna State Office for the Protection of the Constitution (LVT) had not cooperated effectively.

The attack was the latest reason for a reform of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution in Austria, which has been initiated in the meantime.

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