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Former Austrian Chancellor Kurz loses immunity

Former Austrian Chancellor Kurz loses immunity

The Austrian parliament voted on Thursday for the immunity of the former Austrian chancellor. Sebastian Kurz is under fire for allegations of election fraud in 2016.

The Austrian judiciary wants to try former chancellor Sebastian Kurz, but that has not yet been possible because he has immunity as a member of parliament. The Attorney General of Austria wanted to waive Sebastian Kurz’s immunity and submitted a request to the Austrian Parliament. On Thursday, it was decided to lift his immunity.

The court is investigating whether Sebastian Kurz should be politically prosecuted for corruption after it became known that Kurz – with public money – falsified opinion polls published in friendly newspapers. This would have made him the leader of the Österreichische Volkspartei (ÖVP) and Chancellor of Austria. The investigation should reveal 300,000 chat messages of the former advisor and his staff.

The 35-year-old Kurtz was forced to resign after the scandal, but quit under pressure from his coalition partner De Groenen, in his words “for the good of the country”. Sebastian Kurz remained the leader of the ÖVP and took his seat in Parliament. As a result, he remained legally disenfranchised, although he said he was willing to give up his immunity.

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