The state prosecutors in Munich made an illegal request to interrogate two investigative journalists working for the financial newspaper “Wirtschaftsblatt”, it has emerged.
German state prosecutors requested Austrian prosecutors to summon a total of five journalists investigating the Hypo Alpe Adria bank scandal for an interrogation as a first step to charging them for actions that are crimes in Germany but not in Austria.
The journalists quoted directly from court file, which is allowed in Austria, but not in Germany.
Wirtschaftsblatt Journalists Günter Fritz and Kid Möchel were targeted by the Munich state prosecutor for interrogations concerning their reports on the Hypo Alpe Adria scandal. But Vienna state prosecutors have now said that they will not summon the journalists following a public outcry last week over the illegal interrogations of journalists from Profil and News.
News journalist Kurt Kuch was summoned for an interrogation on August 2nd but the date was changed because he was on holiday.
The editor in chief of the Wirtschaftsblatt Wolfgang Unterhuber said the summons were an “attack against press freedom in Austria.”
“The attempt is being made here to criminalize the work of journalists trying to bring to light one of the biggest scandals of the last few years. The request for an interrogation is monstrous in view of the Austrian laws,” he said.