Sebastian Kurz had to resign as Chancellor in Austria due to allegations of corruption. Now he has been sworn in as a member of parliament. A suspected key figure in the affair is now at large.
After his resignation as Chancellor of Austria, Sebastian Kurz was sworn in as a member of parliament. Despite the corruption investigations against Kurz, the 35-year-old party leader remains in the conservative ÖVP and will in future lead the parliamentary group in the National Council.
With the move to parliament, Kurz initially enjoys immunity. However, at the request of the public prosecutor’s office, parliament can decide whether a parliamentarian is extradited to the judiciary. However, Kurz has already announced that he wants to forego immunity.
There are two investigations underway against the former head of government. On the one hand, the public prosecutor is investigating the suspicion of a false testimony in the Ibiza investigation committee, which investigated corruption in the public sector.
On the other hand, the investigators are investigating the suspicion that Kurz and his leadership circle bought positive media reports and embellished surveys with tax money. A total of ten people are investigated on suspicion of infidelity, bribery and corruption. Kurz denies the allegations.
Because of the corruption affair, the co-ruling Greens had ultimately called for Kurz to be replaced. On Monday, the previous Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg was sworn in as his successor in the Chancellery.
Meanwhile, against the background of the investigation, a pollster has been released. As the Economic and Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (WKStA) confirmed, the woman was released on Thursday. She had been arrested two days earlier – according to media reports because of the risk of blackout.
The reasons for the release were not disclosed. The public prosecutor suspects the pollster to have played a central role in the creation of embellished surveys for the benefit of the ÖVP.