A criminal complaint has been filed against former Austrian Prime Minister Sebastian Kurz for making false statements to the parliamentary committee investigating corruption allegations against him, the Vienna-based Economic and Corruption Prosecutor's Office (WKStA) announced in the statement.
The penalty for the alleged crime is up to three years in prison, the statement said.
In October 2021, a corruption investigation was launched against Kurz and several prominent figures, including Thomas Schmid, former CEO of Austrian Participation Holding (OBAG), which includes the country's largest companies and is known to be close to him.
In October 2022, Schmid made slanderous accusations against Kurz.
Among them were allegations that Kurz, when he was minister, contracted with the country's second-best-selling newspaper and an opinion research company to influence public opinion in order to become the chairman of the center-right Austrian People's Party (OVP), the major partner in the government, and to win the early elections held in 2017; that the media outlet and the firm in question shared poll results that showed ahead of Kurz, and that this event was financed from the finance ministry budget.
Kurz, who has been an influential political figure in the country in the last 10 years, was successful in using the anti-Türkiye, anti-Islam, and anti-immigrant card to gain the potential of far-right votes, especially in the elections held in 2017 and 2019, served as prime minister for two terms.
In October 2021, the Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes Prosecutor's Office launched a corruption investigation against more than 40 suspects, including Kurz, and raids were carried out at many addresses, including the prime minister's office.
Source: Anadolu Agency