Trial of Austrian Sebastian Kurz: Parliament lifts immunity | Abroad

Kurz, 35, has been criticized for allegations he used public money in 2016 to manipulate opinion polls in his favour, allowing him to become the leader of the conservative ÖVP party and thus an advisor. Nine people from his immediate environment were also accused of this. Austrian judicial authorities are investigating the case and have previously raided Kurz’s official office and the Finance Ministry.

Kurz resigned as prime minister last month over the scandal, under pressure from his coalition partner, De Groene. His party colleague and Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg succeeded him as chancellor. Because Kurz was then sworn in as a Member of Parliament, he still had legal immunity. The politician himself said earlier that he wants to waive his immunity to continue investigating him until his innocence is proven.

Kurz is also under investigation for his possible perjury about the Austrian corruption scandal known as Ibizagate. This case revolves around the leader of the right-wing populist FPÖ party, Heinz Christian Strache. A video clip appeared of him that was recorded in Ibiza and appears to be ready to commit corruption. At the time of the scandal, Strache was deputy chancellor in Kurz’s government.

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