Justice Austria wants to tackle former Chancellor Kurz, requests waiver immunity

Justice in Austria has asked parliament to lift the immunity of former Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. The prosecutor wants to prosecute Kurz for corruption, among other things, but cannot do so as long as he has immunity as a parliamentarian.

The 35-year-old Kurz now leads the conservative ร–sterreichische Volkspartei (ร–VP) in parliament. He has already announced that she agrees to the prosecutor‘s request and therefore there is a good chance that Kurz will be charged soon. The former Chancellor himself said that he will not use the scheme that protects parliamentarians from persecution.

The opposition parties in parliament had already decided earlier this week that there will be a parliamentary committee of inquiry to investigate the corruption allegations. Among other things, the committee can hear witnesses under oath and confiscate documents.

Purchased positive messages

Last week, the police raided the Chancellor’s office, ร–VP headquarters and the Ministry of Finance, which is also run by his party.

Justice says it has evidence that Kurz and some confidants were fraudulent in 2016. Kurz was Secretary of State at the time, but he wanted to be Chancellor. Government money would have been used at that time to buy positive reports about Kurz from a newspaper. It came and Kurz managed to put aside his own party leader, became a party leader himself, won the election and became Chancellor.

Kurz stepped down last weekend. He insists he is innocent, but decided to step out โ€œin the national interestโ€. He says Austria cannot use chaos and instability now that the country has not yet overcome the corona crisis and the economy has not yet fully recovered.