Probe Launched Into Austrian Chancellor Kurz's Corruption Case
VIENNA (Sputnik) - Austrian prosecution confirmed on Wednesday that it has launched an investigation into Chancellor Sebastian Kurz' corruption case.
The prosecutor's office stated that the case involves Kurz and nine others, with the chancellor charged with being an accomplice to bribery and media manipulation.
Investigators claim that from 2016 till 2018, the finance ministry used public funds "for party and politically motivated ends, often manipulating opinion polls," which were conducted by a public opinion research company in the interests of the political party and its leader.
The poll results were then published by an unnamed Austrian daily newspaper without being labeled as advertising, the statement said. Austrian media have speculated that the newspaper in questions was Österreich.
Party Deputy Secretary General Gabriela Schwarz said the investigation is being carried out to damage the repuation of the People's Party and Sebastian Kurz.
Kurz himself has said he is confident that all accusations will turn out to be false, Austria's Kurier news outlet reported. He further noted that the suspicions of the prosecutor's office were based on SMS messages and "taken out of context," the news added.
Earlier on Wednesday, searches were conducted in the Austrian Federal Chancellery, Kurz' Austrian People's Party's office, and the finance ministry.