The Austrian Justice carried out this Wednesday searches at the headquarters of the Austrian Popular Party (OVP) of the Chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, and in several offices of the Chancellery, in the framework of an investigation for alleged crimes of corruption.
Specifically, Kurz is accused of inciting the payment of bribes, while several people in his closest circle are accused of paying them, including, among others, his media strategists Johannes Frischmann and Gerald Fleischmann, the Austrian press has reported. In the raids, investigators have seized mobile phones and electronic devices.
This case apparently not related to the ‘Ibiza affair’ or ‘Ibizagate’ investigation, a corruption scandal detected within the government coalition of the Chancellor’s conservatives, which is currently at the EU Summit in Slovenia.
This investigation is related to polls allegedly commissioned by the Austrian Ministry of Finance in which Kurz and the Austrian People’s Party were favored and which appeared in a group of media in the country, as reported by ‘Die Presse’.
Investigators believe that the Finance portfolio diverted money for polls that, in the prosecutor’s opinion, were “exclusively motivated for the political advancement of the party.” Its publication in the media group was accompanied by an advertising cooperation of more than 1.1 million euros. The media group rejects the accusations.