“In my 30-year career, I have defended hundreds of drug cases. But this one is special,” says lawyer Werner Tomanek, opening the trial against the alleged mafia boss “Dexter”. Because it’s not just about horrendous amounts of drugs, the evidence is also special.
“This procedure is extraordinary for several reasons,” said the public prosecutor in Vienna, opening the trial against a 35-year-old. Who is well known to the court: drugs, robbery and murder – a mafia boss as he is in the book. Because of the latter, he had already been imprisoned in Serbia for eleven years. Eleven years for aggravated drug robbery Because of aggravated robbery, he was also not legally sentenced to eleven years in prison in the Vienna regional court in December 2022. Just the beginning of a series of proceedings against “Dexter” – that is his nickname. The Serb is a leading member of a Serbian-Montenegrin gang. The subject in the current trial: half a ton of cocaine and 100 kilograms of heroin. “He was, I call it the ‘branch manager’, from Austria,” said the public prosecutor. The 35-year-old is said to have organized and directed the smuggling and delivery of the drug. Crypto phones with particularly complex encryption were used. FBI smuggled phones into gangs “They felt safe and spoke openly,” the prosecutor points out, pointing to pages of messages in which the alleged mafia boss communicated with accomplices and customers. What they didn’t know: The cell phones were specially developed by the FBI and then smuggled into potentially criminal circles. The security authority listened and therefore passed on the results.Evidence illegal?And that is exactly what is a thorn in the side of defense attorney Werner Tomanek: “This is a legal issue that has never arisen anywhere in the world.” The procurement and use of the data is according to extremely questionable for the lawyer. According to the Austrian Code of Criminal Procedure, a strong suspicion of a crime would be required to justify the monitoring of encrypted messages. That would not have been the case at the time of the crime. The evidence was obtained illegally. The exploitation of chat messages was already an issue in the robbery trial against the Serb in December. However, the Supreme Court decided in this context that this was legal and dismissed the appeal for nullity. Nevertheless, the defense submits a motion for evidence to stop the relevant data from being presented and also presents it orally for one and a half hours. So that the Senate of Judges rejects him with reference to the OGH decision. 333 cases of drug delivery and procurement “Dexter” himself is less talkative. Even in the first trial, he remains steadfastly silent. “No, I have nothing to do with the prosecution,” is one of his few statements. The judge’s legitimate question: “How can it be that you are associated with narcotics in 333 cases here?” and refers to photos of the 35-year-old and voice messages in the chats. Adventurous explanation from the Serb: “Photomontages can certainly do that be. Maybe it was the police. But tell me, how can it be that the police haven’t photographed me during a handover once in two years or haven’t found a gram of drug on me?” He had nothing to do with drugs at all, he was the manager of a café in the city Serbian Belgrade. He only visits Austria to buy toys for his children: “It’s cheaper here.” The witnesses don’t provide much in the way of clarification. Because none of the men want to testify against the alleged mafia boss. The trial is scheduled to last a total of five days. A verdict is due to be made at the beginning of October.