“SoKo Tape” leader defends investigations

In the function of “SoKo Tape” leader, Csefan has succeeded Andreas Holzer, who is now head of the Federal Criminal Police Office. According to Csefan, he met Holzer when he came to the Federal Criminal Police Office in 2012. In addition to the “SoKo Tape”, he is currently a member of the SoKo “AG Fama” – she deals with several procedures, she was also involved with the stolen data from the cell phone of the long-standing Interior Ministry cabinet chief Michael Kloibmüller.

Attempts had already been made at the beginning of the “Ibiza” investigations to drive a “wedge” between SoKo and WKStA, Csefan complained. An anonymous letter to the authority reported alleged “black networks” regarding the composition of the SoKo – including the names of the investigators allegedly affected. The opposition also criticized the fact that the special unit had been staffed with people close to the ÖVP – the FPÖ even spoke of “black crime scene cleaners” before the survey.

“I’m not a member of the ÖVP”

In the course of the questioning, Csefan – when asked about the anonymous letter with the corresponding allegations – rejected the representations as “false”, that none of the investigators involved had ever worked politically. The said anonymous letter was later found on the then employee of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution and Terrorism (BVT) Egisto Ott, so it is assumed that he was at least involved, said the SoKo boss. In the course of the survey, he denied being a member of the ÖVP – when asked about connections to parties: “I’m helping a friend who is a green councilor to set up a marquee.”

Dieter Csefan at the ÖVP corruption investigation committee on May 11, 2022

ORF.at/Peter Pfeiffer

Csefan upon his arrival prior to the interrogation

How was the handling of the Kloibmüller stick?

The questions about the Kloibmüller chats were remarkable – background: Greens and NEOS in particular complained that certain data on the corresponding data stick had been viewed very carefully (such as that on ex-BVT man Ott), others (such as that on alleged post corruption – the presumption of innocence applies) but only very superficially. Csefan tried to explain: In a chat there was a reference to a data stick, which was then found during a house search.

At that time, however, it was not known that Kloibmüller’s data was involved, according to Csefan. Later, the clerk superficially inspected the stick and Kloibmüller subsequently confirmed during the interrogation that it was the data from his mobile phone (Kloibmüller had handed it over soaked to an IT expert from the BVT for data recovery after the boat accident, the data was then secretly extracted).

A “sacrificial stick”

Csefan said the stick was evidence that the data was stolen – it was “victim status” (Csefan spoke of a “victim stick”). “For us, this was evidence that the data had been stolen,” says Csefan. He himself had “never seen” the stick, the informant stated.

David Stögmüller (Greens) and Stephanie Krisper (NEOS)

ORF.at/Peter Pfeiffer

NEOS faction leader Stephanie Krisper and the Green Stögmüller asked Csefan how to handle the Kloibmüller stick

Greens mandater David Stögmüller presented a document that came from an inspection of the files but was not in the sub-committee files. According to Stögmüller, this report shows that Kloibmüller chats were evaluated. Csefan then repeated that the stick was evidence and had been kept until it was handed over to the judiciary. There was no reason to evaluate the stick.

“Shocked” by withdrawal by WKStA

The ÖVP asked Csefan about the fact that the WKStA had withdrawn the investigation from the “SoKo Tape” in mid-March. Csefan stated that he was “shocked” when he received the corresponding letter – after all, the SoKo’s investigations were about to be completed and cooperation with the WKStA had gone well in the recent past.

The letter was based solely on representations in a “Falter” article, and false allegations had also been made. All allegations in the letter are also old, as Csefan explained quite wordily. For example, that the SoKo was called upon to observe public prosecutors from the WKStA. Csefan emphasized that there had never been any investigations into the WKStA – and that had never been an issue either.

“humbug” and “staged”

“It’s a humbug, it’s staged, it was done to evade the investigation by the SoKo,” said Csefan about the allegations. In addition to the letter, there was another anonymous submission because of his bias, he explained: “It’s always the same pattern as attempts are made to attack the investigative authorities.” But you had no choice, because the public prosecutor’s office was master of the Procedure is, you have implemented that. The Ministry of the Interior has asked him and Holzer to comment on all the allegations that the service authority is examining.

Judge Christa Edwards and Wolfgang Sobotka (ÖVP)

ORF.at/Peter Pfeiffer

The committee was chaired on Wednesday by Wolfgang Sobotka (ÖVP)

“We will not be dissolved”

WKStA head Ilse-Maria Vrabl-Sanda also told the responsible section head that “nothing was against him”, as Csefan stated. He also could not understand why this letter was necessary at all, one could have discussed all of this “in a simple telephone call”, according to Csefan. The SoKo still consists of exactly three investigators, reports that the SoKo is being dissolved are false, according to Csefan. “We will not be disbanded until the final report is done.”

“Come from the Crossfire”

The ÖVP wanted to know what such allegations would have triggered among the police officers in the SoKo. That does something to people, according to Csefan, but the investigators were also “glad that they came out of the crossfire”. He did not perceive any political influence, neither on the judiciary nor on the police investigations, “not in my entire career,” says Csefan.

In order to avoid duplication in the investigation, he asked for an interview with the WKStA, according to Csefan: “I wanted to hand over the investigation so that only one police unit was entrusted with it.” However, the interview was refused. Until February, investigation steps were then taken for the WKStA. That letter came in March.

In the opinion of the SoKo head, it would also have been more efficient to bundle the public prosecutor’s investigations at one authority after the publication of the “Ibiza video” and not to split them into the creation of the video (Vienna public prosecutor’s office) and corruption offenses (WKStA). Initially, the focus was on the creation of the video, and then he brought business experts into the group for the corruption offences.

Then, according to NEOS parliamentary group leader Stephanie Krisper, the “Ibiza video” would probably not have been withheld from the WKStA for weeks. According to Csefan, he immediately informed his superior. The fact that the WKStA only found out about the find later was not due to bad intentions.

Wolfgang Zanger (FPÖ)

ORF.at/Peter Pfeiffer

In response to questions from FPÖ mandater Zanger, Csefan shed light on the genesis of the “AG Fama” name

“Fama stands for the Greek goddess of rumor”

The informant was also able to provide enlightenment to the question from the liberal Wolfgang Zanger as to how the name “AG Fama” came about: “Fama stands for the Greek goddess of rumor and fame,” said Csefan, who is visibly proud of – like him stressed – gave his idea. He was inspired to do this by the “package” in which rumors about BAT were spread.

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