The head of the Austrian Cabinet was listed as a suspect by the Economic and Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (WKStA) over alleged false statements to a parliamentary commission.
Chancellor Sebastian Kurz stated on Wednesday that he was under investigation by the WKStA over statements he gave concerning the so-called Ibiza affair that caused a previous government crisis in 2019.
“I knew there was a legal requirement to speak the truth in the commission and therefore, of course, always answered [the questions] truthfully”, Kurz said.
The Ibiza controversy that sunk the coalition Cabinet of the Austrian People’s Party, led by Kurz, and the Freedom Party of Austria (FPO), escalated in May 2019, right before elections to the European Parliament.
It was caused by a video of ex-Austrian Vice Chancellor and FPO leader Heinz-Christian Strache discussing the possible acquisition of the newspaper Kronen Zeitung by a Russian-speaking Latvian citizen in order to secure her help in the coming parliamentary elections.
According to Der Spiegel and Suddeutsche Zeitung, Strache allegedly offered the woman government construction contracts in return for money and press support for his party.