Ibiza case: Austria’s public prosecutors are investigating Counselor Sebastian Kurz

In the room there is a possible false statement before the Ibiza commission of inquiry into the post-chess case. The Austrian Chancellor does not want to know anything about resigning.

The corruption scandal surrounding the results of the parliamentary “Ibiza” investigation committee has reached the summit of the government consisting of the ÖVP party and the Greens: Federal Chancellor Sebastian Curtis As it became known on Wednesday, the Economic and Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (WKStA), along with its closest advisor, the Prime Minister, Bernard Bonnelly, is leading a criminal investigation – on suspicion of multiple false statements before the Investigative Committee.

Background: During his interrogation, Kurtz denied that he was personally involved in appointing his close friend Thomas Schmid as the sole director of the state holding company ÖBAG – from chat messages between Bonelli and Schmid, however, corruption investigators seem to have concluded the opposite. Nearly two months before the truly crucial Schmid hearing, Bonelli wrote an SMS denouncing the only director later, Schmid: With ÖBAG “Everything has been coordinated with Sebastian and our team.”

The investigation process is open: Corruption investigators will likely soon file a criminal complaint against Curtis

Kurtz and Bonnelli were denounced by the liberal News, who together with SPÖ were the driving force behind the opposition on the commission of inquiry. Because Counselor Bonnelli also wrote that “The team is at BMF (Ministry of Finance, He noted. red.) Newus concluded that even at that time in the inner circle around Kurtz, it was clear that Schmid would move from the ministry to the only highly talented boardroom position.

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Although many observers expect that corruption investigators will soon file a criminal complaint against Curtis and his advisor – which they can do at any time – the results of the now-started investigation are completely open. However, in the event of a criminal complaint, and consequently an indictment against Kurtz and Bonnelly, a prison sentence of up to three years threatens.

Four ÖVP men from the closest political department to Curtis were charged

This means that four ÖVP men from the deeper circle of power are accused – each of them – of different investigation procedures: ÖBAG President Thomas Schmid, former Secretary General of the Ministry of Finance led by the ÖVP; Current Finance Minister ÖVP and Kurtz’s close partner Gernot Blumel, Kurtz Prime Minister Bernard Bonnelli – now the same advisor. The presumption of innocence applies to all of the above.

As for the opposition, the “self-imposed limit” has now been clearly exceeded, as the head of the largest opposition faction in the investigation committee of Ibiza, MP SPÖ Kay Jan Kriner, confirmed in an interview with our editorial team: “The limit is criminal law.” The same counselor said so. Crane, who “expects to be indicted,” said Curtis, “It is unreasonable for someone to remain in the government accused by the judiciary.” By then, at the latest, it was time for Kurtz to resign.

She demanded resignation: Sebastian Curtis wants to show strength

In this regard, the statements of the Green Party, who had formed a coalition with Curtis, in the past few days had to be understood: referring to the opening of investigations, they refrained from calling on Finance Minister Blumel to resign. In our first editorial statement, Al-Khidr warned: “WKStA is investigating on the basis of reports received from members of the U Committee. We have full confidence in the judiciary, which will take the necessary steps and deal with the allegations. For a person. ” That Curtis would be forced to resign if an indictment was issued, which was requested on Wednesday by SPÖ leader Pamela Rende Wagner. . Neos President Beate Meindl-Reisinger spoke in a broadcast of “additional confirmation of the disregard for the rule of law by Sebastian Kurtz and the ÖVP”. ÖVP has always tried to discredit the Investigative Committee – and most recently he got it with the Löwinger stage (Austrian Peasant Theater, Editor’s note) The far-right Freedom Party called on Kurtz on Wednesday to resign.

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The fact that Curtis is not considering resigning for a second is clear from his brief statement to the Cabinet on Wednesday morning: In his opinion, a criminal complaint against him “will have no consequences.” It is a “single judge action”, presumably WKStA will file a criminal complaint. “I then have the opportunity to present my point of view to the judge at the latest,” Curtis said. It would also be “very happy to comply with that”.

On top of all this, Curtis has to deal with another unpleasant ruling from the judiciary: as it became known on Wednesday afternoon, the Constitutional Court (VfGH) decided that the Chancellor must send more files that have not yet been submitted to Ibiza. Investigation committee. Opposition parties submitted three similar requests to the Supreme Court, because Curtis, in their view, failed to hand over files from the Federal Chancellery. The court has now ruled that all email boxes must be provided to the chancellor, other government members working there, and a few other employees. The decision also affects emails sent by the “Think Austria” research center, which has been established as the staff unit of the chancellery. However, Curtis doesn’t have to send his cell phone messages – the opposition has requested that, too. The chancellery promised to send the files immediately on Wednesday.

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