Austria, Chancellor Kurz investigated for aiding and abetting corruption: “Polls in favor of him paid with public money”

The Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz is under investigation for “aiding and abetting the corruption“. The newspapers write it The press e The standard, explaining that close collaborators of the popular party leader are also under investigation praise, including Johannes Frischmann e Gerald Fleischmann of the press staff and the consultant Stefan Steiner, in addition to the former minister Sabine leg scraper. The investigation concerns polls published by the newspaper Austria and private TV oe24, both owned by Fellner family. According to the indictment, Kurz parried these polls in 2016 through the Ministry of Finance, then with public money, but in reality they were commissioned “exclusively for party” and personal purposes. His goal was to increase the consensus towards him to become party leader and aim for the government.

This morning the searches began in the Chancellor and in the Övp headquarters. The investigators look for documents, after the investigation was triggered by the analysis of the cell phones confiscated for another investigation, the one related to Ibizagate scandal, which involved Heinz-Christian Strache, ex vice chancellor Austrian and leader of the far-right party Fpoe, at the time a government partner of Kurz himself. Strache was then condemned for corruption. Investigators also want to understand more about it in addition one million euros of advertisements published in the same newspapers by April 2016.

From what emerged, explains the newspaper The press, the Ministry of Finance has been commissioning polls since 2016 that were helpful to Kurz – at the time foreign Minister – in the ascent to the chancellery. The current head of the Austrian government at the time was not yet party leader and therefore did not have the broken of the conservatives, which were still under the control of Reinhold Mitterlehner. For this, it is the accusation, he activated the Ministry of Finance. The prosecutors argue that the polls and studies are “motivated solely by party politics and for political advancement by Sebastian Kurz and the group of his closest confidant ”. These polls, published in the Fellner media, would then help Kurz highlight the consent against him and to discredit the work of Mitterlehner, to take the People’s Party.

Who are the people involved besides Kurz? It is under investigation for corruption the then head of cabinet and secretary general of the Ministry of Finance, Thomas Schmid. As an official of the Ministry of Finance, according to the investigation he is theintermediary who sought contacts with Wolfgang e Helmuth Fellner (in turn investigated). The same accusations also apply to a second senior official of the Ministry of Finance. Then there are notes the chancellor’s collaborators: Fleischmann and Frischmann, his historians spokesmen and press officer, accused in turn of aiding and abetting corruption, as well as the consultant Steiner. Also investigated the pollster ed former minister of the family, Sophie Karmasin. Together with another pollster, Sabine leg scraper, is accused of having tightened a deal with the Ministry of Finance or with Kurz’s circle to deliver polls that they would put in good light the future chancellor.

The Övp rejects the accusations and harshly criticizes the investigators. “After the false accusations against Kurz” and other members of the popular party, “whose groundlessness it is now proven, new accusations are now being made on events that in part date back to five years ago ”, the party contests. “All of this always happens with it same goal and system: seriously damage the Volkspartei and Kurz ”, the note reads.

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