Offices of Austrian Chancellor Kurz’s party raided in Vienna

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz walks through the rain holding an umbrella.
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and his party have had their offices raided. Photo: JOE KLAMAR / AFP
Austria's ruling People's Party (OeVP) said it had been targeted by raids from prosecutors on Wednesday morning, with local media reporting that offices in the chancellery were among those searched.

Cellphones and documents were confiscated in the raids, which Austrian media reported was connected to ongoing corruption allegations. 

Deputy OeVP general secretary Gaby Schwarz confirmed the prosecutors’ actions but did not confirm who was being investigated, saying only that raids were “for show” and that “accusations were constructed over events that date back as far as five years”.

According to Die Presse newspaper, raids also took place in the chancellery and targeted several employees of OeVP Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.

The newspaper reported that the raids related to possible corruption offences in the publication of adverts and opinion polls in the Oesterreich daily.

Kurz himself is allegedly suspected of being an accessory to the offences, it added.

OeVP Finance Minister Gernot Bluemel said there had been a raid at his ministry but said it did not concern him personally or his time in office.

Kurz began his second term as chancellor in January 2020 at the head of a coalition with the Green party.

His previous government, a coalition with the far-right Freedom Party (FPOe), fell apart in May 2019 over the so-called “Ibiza-gate” corruption scandal.

After ex-FPOe chief Heinz-Christian Strache was caught on camera appearing to offer public contracts in exchange for campaign help for the FPOe, investigators launched several sprawling investigations into alleged corruption in Austrian politics.

Some of these have targeted high-ranking OeVP figures, including Bluemel. Kurz himself is under investigation on suspicion of making false statements to a parliamentary committee on corruption, though he has not been charged.


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