Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Suspended sentence for Ernst August

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In a Wels, Austria courtroom, Judge Teresa Bergthaler asked Prince Ernst August of Hanover to temporarily remove his mask so she could see his facial expressions, reports Focus, an Austrian newspaper.   As titles have been forbidden in Austria since 1919, she addressed Ernst August as Herr Hannover.

At the start of the trial, Ernst August offered an apology. "I take responsibility, I deeply regret what happened and I am ready to pay for the damage."

The trial lasted nearly seven hours as ten witnesses were called to the stand.   Prince Ernst August received ten months probation for his verbal and physical attacks on police officers while he was drunk.   The judge reassured him that he would not be going to jail.

The prosecution did not make a statement.   Ernst August's lawyers wanted an acquittal.   The judgment is not final. 

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The Prince left the courtroom after the verdict, as a former cancer patient, he has a "justified fear" of Covid-19.

twenty seats in the courtroom were reserved for the media, most of whom came from Germany.  The prosecution dismissed the defense's claim that there was "prejudice" in the press coverage, stating that the investigations were carried out with complete objectivity.

Ernst August's problems began in the summer of 2020, when he made an emergency call to the police, claiming he was ill and felt threatened.  The police arrived and were witnesses to his aggressive behavior against the couple who was in charge of his housekeeping.  The heavily intoxicated Ernst August then turned his anger on the police.

According to the witnesses, Ernst August hit one police officer in the face and then tried to attack another officer with a knife which was knocked out of his hands.  He also made death threats against several of the officers, saying he would send mercenaries to kill them and their families.

Further threats were made when the police tried to enforce the gun ban and take away his guns.  Several weeks later, he threatened a female police officer with a baseball bat.  The officer, a single mother, feared for her safety and the safety of her children.  

"I have never had anything to do with a party that threatened me with death so often." referring to numerous calls that the prince made to the police station.

The defense made several references to the prince's apology.  His lawyer emphasized that Ernst August was in an "exceptional situation" because he had undergone an operation for cancer and his conflict with his elder son.   "He felt abandoned," claimed his lawyers.

Although some may see the suspended sentence as a slap on the wrist, the judge also banned Prince Ernst August from living in his Auerbach, near Grünau home for the next three years.  He is also banned from visiting other buildings that belong to the Herzog von Cumberland Foundation, nor can he have contact with the administrators of these buildings.  He also cannot have alcohol and must under psychotherapy.

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Prince Ernst August called the judge's decision "impossible and unthinkable."  He has resided in the former hunting lodge for over 50 years.

1 comment:

Allen said...

He "feels abandoned"? How about "Your alcoholism drove your ex-wife, friends and family away" instead. He needs treatment if he is to survive with any brain or liver. Thanks for posting this, Marlene.