Appeal successful

Eurofighter: acquittal for Mensdorff-Pouilly

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10.07.2024 16:27

The conviction against lobbyist Alfons Mensdorff-Pouilly for money laundering in the Eurofighter complex has been overturned. The Vienna Higher Regional Court overturned the guilty verdict of the regional court from 2022 and acquitted the defendant. The verdict is final.

Mensdorff-Pouilly had been sentenced to six months conditionally with a probation period of three years. He was also ordered to pay 50,000 euros, which he is said to have received for the money flows.

Trial concerning the shifting of EADS assets
The prosecution had accused Mensdorff-Pouilly of having shifted the assets of a former division manager of the Eurofighter manufacturer EADS. According to the indictment, the majority of these assets were endowed as "a slush fund for purposes outside the legitimate business interests of EADS".

More than 20 years after its purchase, the Eurofighter is still keeping the courts busy. (Bild: Bundesheer)
More than 20 years after its purchase, the Eurofighter is still keeping the courts busy.

While the judge at first instance essentially agreed with the accusers' allegations, the Higher Regional Court saw the matter differently.

Predicate offense or no predicate offense?
According to the legal situation applicable at the time, the offense of money laundering would be fulfilled if the concealed assets (the "laundered money") originated from a criminal act. In order to "launder money" in the criminal sense, a "predicate offense" is therefore required from which this "laundered" money originates, according to the court.

In the specific case, however, the findings of the court of first instance did not show that the "predicate offender" had received money from the criminal offense of which he was accused (embezzlement to the detriment of the company). Rather, the accusation was that he had money from the company for which he worked transferred to third parties thanks to sham contracts.

This article has been automatically translated,
read the original article here.

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