The Vienna Public Prosecutor’s Office has closed the investigation into possible leaks from the Economic and Corruption Public Prosecutor’s Office. Official spokeswoman Nina Bussek confirmed this to the news magazine “profil”. The procedure had been initiated ex officio in the previous year after ÖVP Chancellor Sebastian Kurz had asserted in a background discussion with journalists that the WKStA would play file contents to the media.
Kurz was questioned as a witness in this connection by the StA Vienna. In addition, according to “profil”, a journalist was questioned who said he had spoken to the Chancellor in autumn 2019 about leaks. However, the journalist was unable to deliver reliable results.
After the discontinuation of the proceedings became known, the NEOS targeted Kurz: “The Chancellor of the Republic of Austria not only ‘attacked’ the corruption investigators, he accused them of nothing less than abuse of office by accusing them of leaks without any evidence,” criticized NEOS -Justice spokesman Johannes Margreiter: “And completely unfounded just at the moment when the corruption investigators started investigating his friends in the Casino / Novomatic case.”
For Margreiter, who missed a “loud outcry” or a public discussion, this could not remain without consequences. “The least that Kurz has to do now is that he apologize immediately and publicly to the WKStA,” demanded the NEOS mandate. In addition, the Chancellor must immediately stop “his frontal attack” on the independent judiciary.
In a background discussion that was not actually intended for publication, the Chancellor said that there were leaks in the WKStA and referred to the authority as a network of red prosecutors. Investigations were then launched to review the allegations. The Chancellor stressed that he had received the relevant information from journalists.