Dropping of investigation in Austria into the Christchurch bombing

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Austrian justice dismissed an investigation targeting far-right activists linked to the terrorist in Christchurch, New Zealand, the prosecution said Friday.

In 2018, the co-founder of the Austrian Identity Movement (IBÖ) Martin Sellner received 1,500 euros from Australian Brenton Tarrant.

However, in March 2019, the latter carried out anti-Muslim attacks in Christchurch and Austrian justice has since sought to know whether IBÖ activists were involved.

Martin Sellner had admitted to having had regular contact by email with Brenton Tarrant and the prosecution had opened an investigation for “participation in a terrorist organization”. A search had been carried out at Mr Sellner’s home.

But this investigation “has been abandoned,” the prosecutor of the Graz regional court, Hansjörg Bacher, told AFP.

At the end of 2019, “the higher regional court of Graz ruled that the search targeting me was illegal and that there had never been any danger justifying it,” said Martin Sellner, interviewed by AFP on Friday.

He added that he was informed of the end of the investigation following the rejection of the prosecution’s appeal also targeting his wife and the IBÖ as an association on 24 December.

Another investigation for “embezzlement” remains, however, suspended, according to the APA news agency.

Austria is currently preparing a law to fight terrorism after an Islamist attack and wants to ban the use of the symbol of the IBÖ group.

On November 2, four people were killed at close range in the Austrian capital. An Austro-Macedonian claiming to be Islamic State was shot dead by police.

On March 15, 2019, white supremacist Brenton Tarrant killed 51 Muslim worshipers in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

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