04:21 GMT +323 September 2019
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    Heinz-Christian Strache, chairman of the right-wing Freedom Party, FPOE, adjusts his glasses during a news conference in Vienna, Austria, Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017

    Austrian Prosecution Sees No Reasons to Launch Probe Into Strache Video Scandal

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The Austrian Procurator General's Office said on Sunday it had not found any reasons to launch an investigation against former Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache over the scandalous video that resulted in his resignation.

    On Friday, just over a week before the European Parliament elections, some of the major German media reported, citing a video recording made during a July 2017 meeting in Ibiza, Spain, that an alleged niece of a Russian oligarch offered Strache to provide his Freedom Party (FPO) with money and buy half of shares in Austria's largest newspaper in order to make the outlet support the FPO ahead of the election, while Strache reportedly offered the woman government construction contracts in return. The scandal resulted in Strache’s resignation from the posts of vice-chancellor and FPO leader.

    “There is no specific evidence for any crime in this [video],” the Procurator General's Office said in a statement, as quoted by the Oesterreich 1 radio broadcaster.

    READ MORE: Austrian President Calls Video With Former Vice-Chancellor Strache 'Shameful'

    Strache said that the woman was, in fact, a Russian-speaking Latvian citizen. He also described the situation as a trap and a “political assassination.”

    Amid the scandal, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz called for holding snap parliamentary elections refusing to maintain a government coalition with the FPO.


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    investigation, scandal, Freedom Party of Austria (FPO), Hainz-Christian Strache, Austria
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