No charges for the spread of corona in Ischgl

Ischgl achieved notoriety as a Corona hotspot in March 2020 with its Apès-Skie-Parties.

Corona-pandemic

Innsbruck (dpa) – The public prosecutor’s office stopped the criminal investigation into the spread of corona in the Austrian ski resort of Ischgl in spring 2020.

“There are no charges,” said the authority on Wednesday in Innsbruck. There is no evidence that “someone culpably did or failed to do something that would have increased the risk of infection,” it said in the statement.

In March 2020, Ischgl was also considered a hotspot for the spread of the virus because of its après-ski scene. The place and the entire Paznaun Valley were finally quarantined under sometimes chaotic circumstances. The investigation focused on five public officials.

15,000 pages of evidence viewed

The measures were checked after the first cases of infection became known, the issuing and implementation of ordinances on the closure of restaurants, ski operations and the other traffic restrictions in Ischgl and the quarantine in the Paznaun Valley, according to the public prosecutor. The investigation consists of 15,000 pages of minutes, reports and other evidence. In order to understand and evaluate the processes, 27 people were questioned by the public prosecutor.

The authorities had been accused of having responded too late and insufficiently. An expert report that has already been presented saw no failure, but incorrect assessments by the authorities. Pressure from the tourism industry on decision-makers was not found. Numerous civil proceedings are pending before the Vienna Regional Court, in which, among other things, the relatives of German victims are suing for damages.

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There was criticism from the consumer protection association (VSV), which represents the interests of the plaintiffs in Vienna. “I have the impression that an official scandal is to be largely hushed up,” said VSV board member Peter Kolba. The association will do everything possible to uncover the “multiple organ failure” of the authorities in the Ischgl case. Serious official errors could be completely proven in the files. The public prosecutor’s office has apparently only investigated errors at the level of the state of Tyrol, but has so far not taken into account errors at the level of the federal government, said Kolba.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 211124-99-124156 / 2