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2005-08-31

NZZ discloses name of US-lawyer implicated in Viennese call girl ring scandal 

The Swiss daily Neue Zürcher Zeitung, which operates under a different media law than Austrian media, discloses the name [DE] of the famous US-lawyer implicated in the scandal over a call girl ring that sold young women from Eastern Europe below the age of 18 to prominent clients in Vienna (as this blog reported earlier).

According to the NZZ, the US-lawyer whose phone was tapped when he ordered several girls including a 17-year old to his Vienna hotel was Ed Fagan. His Austrian bodyguard was part of the call girl ring and has been sentenced to a prison term. Fagan represented Jewish victims of the Nazi-regime in several campaigns and court actions directed at obtaining compensation for the holocaust from the Austrian state and restitution from various institutions of property confiscated by the Nazis. He became a highly controversial figure in Austria due to his hardball-tactics and international publicity stunts.

As the NZZ reports in its article, Fagan has recently been fined independently by a New Jersey court for acting in breach of professional standards in a case he brought to that court against an Austrian bank over the restitution of property. In response to the verdict, Fagan stated that he would continue to fight "relentlessly in several human rights cases for his clients." He alone was "predestined in a unique way" to pursue these cases. He had "sacrificed family, private life and health" for these issues (quotes according to the NZZ).

Due to public pressure it seems that Austrian state attorneys will now try to bring charges against those prominent clients of the call girl ring who may have perpetrated illegal acts, as DerStandard reports [DE].


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