Status: 07/29/2022 2:09 p.m.
The former Austrian vice-chancellor and FPÖ leader Strache has been acquitted of corruption charges. He was suspected of having negotiated a position on the supervisory board in exchange for a donation.
In a second trial on suspicion of corruption, former FPÖ chairman Heinz-Christian Strache was acquitted. Strache was suspected of having helped a friend of his contractor to a supervisory board position during the government of the ÖVP and the FPÖ in Austria as vice-chancellor in exchange for donations to an association close to the FPÖ.
The Vienna Regional Court did not consider the prosecution’s accusation to be indisputable. The entrepreneur had intervened “nastily” in favor of his order. However, according to the judge, it was not proven that Strache knew about the contractor’s donation.
The contractor was also acquitted. Both defendants pleaded innocent. The judgment is not final.
“Don’t talk about a trivial offence”
A procedure was negotiated from 2018. According to the indictment, Strache allegedly gave a real estate entrepreneur a position on the supervisory board of the national highway company Asfinag. In return, the entrepreneur donated 10,000 euros to the association affiliated with the FPÖ. “We are not talking about a trivial offence,” the prosecutor said at the start of the trial.
Strache’s attorney has denied all allegations against his client. He explained that the politician and the real estate developer did not have a relationship of purpose for the purpose of smuggling jobs, but rather a long-standing friendship. The donation is not punishable because it only took place after the appointment to the supervisory board.
guilty verdict last year
In another corruption case, Strache was sentenced to 15 months probation in 2021 for corruption. He would have helped the owner of a private clinic, a friend, to change the law advantageously. Strache appealed this verdict.
Strache became Vice-Chancellor under Chancellor Sebastian Kurz in 2017. He resigned in 2019 over the so-called Ibiza scandal, which had sparked investigations by the Business and Corruption Prosecutor’s Office not only against Strache, but also against Kurz and his entourage.