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PROCESS IN SALZBURG (AUSTRIA): Corona-positive man came to the birth of his child - fine

Tender Branson

DP Veteran
Jun 3, 2021
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🇦🇹 Austria 🇦🇹
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In November 2021, a man from Salzburg drove to a Pongau hospital with his heavily pregnant wife to give birth to his first child, although according to the indictment he knew that he was infected with the corona virus. The confessed, previously blameless 30-year-old was sentenced on Friday by a criminal judge at the Salzburg Regional Court to a fine of 2,700 euros for intentionally endangering people through communicable diseases. The judgment is final.

"I'm sorry, I know I did wrong," the Pongauer asked the judge for a lenient verdict. At the time, he was informed by SMS that his PCR test was positive. "Because I had a negative rapid test and was symptom-free, I thought I was negative."

"Just acted"​

When his wife's water broke at home that night, everything happened so quickly. "We just acted." He didn't really think about the positive test result. He no longer knows today whether he spoke about his corona test results in the Cardinal Schwarzenberg Clinic. He stayed in the hospital for about an hour or two. There he had contact with the porter and two midwives. The PCR test in the clinic was also positive with a CT value of 15, as the judge held against him.

The public prosecutor pointed out that there are seriously ill people in a hospital and that obstetrics is also a sensitive area. The defendant acted intentionally by believing it possible to endanger other people. However, the emotional circumstances of the man who was expecting his first child had to be taken into account when determining the penal sanction. The prosecutor cited a fine instead of imprisonment as an example.

The judge said he was convinced that it was a particularly exceptional situation at the time and that a fine was enough to deter Salzburg from further such acts. The amount of the fine played a role for general preventive reasons. "We are still stuck in a pandemic. It is necessary for the law-abiding population to send a clear signal." He refrained from a diversion due to the settled case law, because diversions in connection with corona cases are always reversed in the next instance. The offense of intentionally endangering people through communicable diseases is punishable by imprisonment for up to three years.

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