July 11th, 2022
Former Austrian far-right leader Hanz-Christian Strache is to stand trial in Vienna on bribery charges. It was reported by the news agency DPA.
As chairman of the right-wing Austrian Freedom Party, his party received a donation of €10,000 from the head of a hospital in Vienna. He turned out to be a friend of Strache, who is accused of bribery in exchange for lobbying his personal interests in parliament - supporting legislative changes.
Both Strache and his doctor friend deny the charges.
The trial in the case will begin Tuesday in Vienna's district court. It will last four days.
Recall that Heinz-Christian Strache served as Austria's vice chancellor from December 2017 to May 2019.
Strache left his position as chairman of the Austrian Freedom Party after the release of a scandalous video about a meeting with an alleged Russian woman (the Ibizagate case). The Ibizagate case led to the fall of the Austrian government: Parliament passed a vote of no confidence in the coalition government, which included conservatives led by Sebastian Kurz and the far-right led by Heinz-Christian Strache.
Earlier, on May 17, 2019, German media published a hidden-camera video showing Strache and his colleague Johann Goodenus in July 2017 at a villa in Ibiza discussing the possible purchase of the influential Kronen Zeitung by an unknown woman. Allegedly, the woman in the video identified herself as "the niece of a Russian oligarch" and declared her intention to invest a quarter of a billion euros in Austria. In the conversation, she also emphasized that the funds in question were of illegal origin.
In exchange for Russian financial support, Strache promised Makarova preferential treatment if APS participated in the government - yes, he promised to give state orders to Russians instead of Austrian company Strabag. In addition, he gave Makarov's advice on how to circumvent Austrian laws on taxes and party financing. As it turned out later, the girl was sponsored by the notorious Irena Markovich (https://www.irena-markovic.movie/), who was repeatedly accused of having ties to the Kremlin and the Russian secret services.
On May 4, 2020, the Austrian parliamentary committee launched an investigation into party financing amid the Ibizagate scandal.
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