Austrian Prosecutor Ends Covid-19 Case Against Ischgl
25th November 2021
Last modified on November 27th, 2021
The Innsbruck state prosecutor has concluded its 18-month probe into criminal liability for the outbreak in the ski resort. There will be no charges for the authorities in Ischgl. There are accusations of a ‘cover up’ from some interested parties.
The resort became a by-word as a super-spreader of coroanvirus back in the early months of 2020.
In truth it was just one of many ski resorts where the virus spread, out of control.
Ischgl was latched on to by the international media and has suffered the consequences.
More than 6,000 people from 45 countries are reported to have contracted Covid-19 in Ischgl and other local ski resorts in March 2020.
“There is no evidence that the authorities were culpable of doing, or refraining from doing, something that would have led to an increase in the risk of infections,” said the Innsbruck prosecutor in a statement.
“The investigations into the spread of coronavirus in Ischgl in Spring 2020 have been discontinued.”
The investigation looked at accusations that officials had wanted to keep the resort open amid concerns over the economic impact of shutting the resort.
The officials included the district governor and the mayor of Ischgl.
The prosecutor reviewed more than 15,000 pages of evidence and carried out 27 interviews.
The investigation was completed in May but has been reviewed by senior prosecution authorities, plus the Justice Ministry of Austria.
An earlier government inquiry into events at Ischgl found that officials had poorly managed the outbreak.
Ski lifts should have been shut earlier and the exodus of tourists was described as ‘chaotic’.
A separate civil suit against Ischgl authorities, backed by Austria’s consumer protection association is ongoing.
The widow and son of a 72-year-old Austrian man are seeking €100,000 in compensation and it is being seen as a test case for many other potential law suits.
It is backed by Austria’s Consumer Protection Association, VSV.
The VSV chairman, Peter Kolba, said that he had ‘the impression’ there had been ‘a cover up’ following the prosecutors’ decision not to proceed.