In austria, according to media reports, there has been a house search of the former fpo chief heinz-christian strache. The house of ex-faction leader johann gudenus (fpo) had also been searched.
The public prosecutor’s office for economic affairs and corruption (wksta) in vienna confirmed – without naming any of those involved – investigations into suspicions of bribery and corruptibility. Strache reacted with disgust to the investigations and spoke of a "political attack" on his person.
"It is a matter of suspicion that the partisan awarding of gambling licenses was agreed between the responsible persons of a gambling company and officials of the republic of austria in return for the appointment of a certain candidate as a member of the board of a stock corporation," a spokesman for the wksta explained. According to the newspaper "der standard", the accusation is that the fpo had a district councilor from vienna elevated to the board of directors of a gambling company on the basis of a political deal.
The public prosecutor’s office confirmed neither persons nor locations. In total, there have been searches at six suspects and one association, which could also be a company, investigators said.
"The accusations are groundless, but we are cooperating with the authorities as a matter of course," a spokesman for the gambling company said on tuesday. Further information is not possible, because one is not allowed to give information about official inspections, which are classified information.
"The accusation made against me lacks any basis and is therefore merely another political attack on my person," strache announced via facebook on tuesday evening. "I am not accused of any conduct – either in this or in any other context – that would constitute a bribe."The search of his house took place already on monday.
Strache and gudenus starred in the 2017 ibiza video released in may. In it, strache seems to have promised a supposed russian oligarch niece government contracts in return for his party’s demand, among other things. The video led to the breakup of the ovp-fpo coalition and to new elections in september. According to the public prosecutor’s office, the secretly recorded strip was not the immediate cause of the current house searches, but a complaint received later.