A 62-year-old Slovenian man had to stand trial before a jury in the Klagenfurt District Court on Thursday for stabbing and seriously wounding a local guest. This is the second legal action taken against the innkeeper; He was sentenced to seven years in prison for attempted murder in February, but the Supreme Court (OGH) overturned parts of the verdict. The hearing was postponed.

The crime occurred in August 2022 outside a bar in Klopein Lake. The victim, a 35-year-old Slovenian, was at the restaurant with his family. An argument broke out over a minor issue in which the defendant’s son grabbed the waiter by the neck and pushed him against the wall, the 35-year-old said. The 35-year-old man then wanted to leave the restaurant. The waiter followed him and another argument ensued. The 61-year-old man suddenly rushed out of the kitchen with a large knife and stabbed the 35-year-old man in the stomach. He survived thanks to an excellent rescue chain and emergency surgery.

The reason for the overturning of the decision was the incorrectly worded additional question at the hearing in February. The conviction for attempted murder was finalized. But in February, the jury rejected the additional question about self-defense or emergency aid; This part of the decision was overturned. Reason: The additional question regarding emergency aid is “not regulated in accordance with the law”. The current case revolves solely around the question of whether the man acted in self-defense.

“I just wanted to scare you”

This was the purpose of prosecutor Julius Heidinger’s indictment: “The defendant says that he did not want to kill his victim, he just wanted to scare him, and that he was also attacked by the victim. However, this situation is not compatible with the forensic report.” Rather, the picture that emerged was that the “fight” was already over when the fatal stabbing occurred. From a forensic perspective, this was a “fatal stab” in which, among other things, the abdominal artery was injured.

The man’s defense lawyer, Christine Lanschutz, said she would not seek acquittal: “A stabbing that big was too much of a good thing.” However, this action was “an extreme in self-defense”: “Because of the shock he feared for the health of himself and his son. And in this situation he had a justified fear that he would no longer be able to defend himself in the next attack.” The stabbing occurred during an ongoing argument.

The defendant also emphasized this during the interrogation of Judge Sabine Götz, who presided over the jury: “I defended my family, so I do not feel guilty. I apologize for overreacting in self-defence.” The subsequent victim attacked not only the 35-year-old, but also him, the defendant. He adhered to this responsibility even when professional judges repeatedly noted contradictions in his statements.

The victim explained the crime in a completely different way: The 36-year-old young man admitted that he grabbed the waiter by the neck. Later, in front of the restaurant, the waiter grabbed him by his shirt and shoulder bag and a fight broke out. However, he did not attack the defendant and he and the waiter had already left when the stabbing occurred.

different expressions

How exactly the incident, which started with a fight, continued in front of the bar, and ended with a stab in the stomach, could not be clarified beyond doubt, despite a total of 5 hours of witness statements. The testimony of individual witnesses often varied in nuance, but was sometimes very clearly stated. However, what was remarkable was that the defendant’s relatives, his ex-wife and his son gave completely different statements in court to the statements they gave during the police interrogation. In fact, the ex-wife was repeatedly informed by professional judges that criminal charges could be filed for providing false evidence.

The hearing was postponed because the defense lawyer demanded that a witness be heard directly. The trial will continue in January.

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