Anton Shekhovtsov: Dieter Böhmdorfer, Ukrainian oligarch Dmytro Firtash’s right-wing lawyer

Anton Shekhovtsov: Dieter Böhmdorfer, Ukrainian oligarch Dmytro Firtash’s right-wing lawyer


As the readers who are interested in contemporary Ukrainian politics perfectly know, the Austrian police arrested a Ukrainian oligarch Dmytro Firtash who was and possibly still is a backer of former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych. At the moment, Firtash, who was arrested on 12 March on the basis of a US arrest warrant, remains in custody. Austrian authorities set bail for Firtash, at 125 million euros, but he has not – as of today – paid yet. The US government is asking Austria to extradite Firtash to the US.

Since the organised economic crime is not the focus of this blog, my interest in the Firtash case is his lawyer, rather than the oligarch himself.* His lawyer’s name is Dieter Böhmdorfer (1943) and he is former Minister of Justice of Austria (29.02.2000 – 25.06.2004).

Dieter Böhmdorfer

Yet Firtash is hardly Böhmdorfer‘s most (in)famous client. Rather, it is Jörg Haider (1950-2008), late former leader of the radical right-wing Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) and later the Alliance for the Future of Austria (BZÖ) guided by a similar ideology. While not a member of the FPÖ, Böhmdorfer advocated Haider in numerous lawsuits against the latter.

After Böhmdorfer left his post as Minister of Justice, he returned to his legal practice and started working for the law firm Böhmdorfer-Schender Rechtsanwalt GmbH which he co-founded with FPÖ‘s member Rüdiger Schender (1974). To remind the readers, at least two members of the FPÖ (namely Johannes Hübner and Johann Gudenus) were “observers” at the illegitimate Crimean “referendum”.

Dieter Böhmdorfer and FPÖ’s Uwe Scheuch


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