Close comrade-in-arms weighs in on former Chancellor Sebastian Kurzo
For fifteen days, Thomas Schmidt, the former head of the Austrian state holding company, testified about corruption charges against former Chancellor Sebastian Kurz – and heavily convicted him. Kurz’s lawyer denied the statements.
DFormer Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has been heavily implicated in a corruption case by one of his closest aides. Thomas Schmid, the former head of state holding company OBAG, has testified for a total of fifteen days at the Economic and Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (WKSTA) since June, the authority announced in Vienna on Tuesday.
According to excerpts from interrogation protocols published by several media outlets, Schmid said Kurz had commissioned him to broadcast taxpayer-funded elections.
The Public Prosecutor’s Office had already investigated suspicions that Schmid, Kurz and others were involved in a survey case. Schmid, who also once served as a cabinet minister in the Treasury Department, has now confirmed according to the minutes released that the Treasury Department had placed advertisements in a newspaper, which in turn published the manipulated election.
The surveys were also partly financed covertly by the Ministry of Finance. This construction, known as a “tool”, according to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, was developed to pave the way for Kurz to become leader of the OVP party and the chancellor’s office in 2017.
According to excerpts from the minutes provided by the public broadcaster ORF and the editor-in-chief of the weekly newspaper, Schmid said, “It is very important for me to emphasize that I only applied this device because I received the order from Kurz. ” “Rookie” has been published. Kurz’s lawyer, Werner Suppan, denied the statements. “Their allegations are false and it will be proved,” he said.
According to Schmid’s statements, two companies were searched
A covert video shot in Ibiza triggered an investigation into corruption victims. In it, the then right-wing leader of FPÖ, Heinz-Christian Strache, gave the appearance of being for sale. The publication of the video led to the breakdown of the alliance between the Conservative Chancellor’s Party VP and FPÖ in 2019.
According to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, Schmid’s statements on Tuesday also led to a search of the home of two companies suspected of bribery, corruption and abuse of office. A large real estate company, which was also searched according to media reports, did not respond to a request from the German press agency.
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