Monday 19 August 2019
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Austria ex-vice chancellor?s home raided in graft probe

VIENNA: The home of a former far-right vice-chancellor of Austria has been raided in a corruption probe, reports said Tuesday, a further potential headache for ex-chancellor Sebastian Kurz as he seeks re-election. Heinz-Christian Strache s house was raided Monday as part of a bribery investigation into the appointment of a far-right party official to a high-ranking position at Casinos Austria (Casag), according to media reports. Strache stepped down as vice-chancellor and leader of the far-right Freedom Party (FPOe) in May over the so-called Ibiza-gate affair, which also ended up bringing down Kurz and his coalition government. The raid is not related to that scandal, but it could further hurt Kurz s People s Party (OeVP) in the September 29 polls. The OeVP has been widely expected to once again emerge as the single strongest party, but it is still expected to need a coalition partner to reach an absolute majority in parliament. In the latest investigation, prosecutors are probing whether a company appointment was made in return for the promise of granting gambling licenses to the casino developer and manager, a spokesman for the Public Prosecutor s Office against Corruption said. Several raids have been conducted, he said.


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