The former ÖBAG boss and secretary general of the Ministry of Finance, Thomas Schmid, has heavily accused ex-chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP), as well as himself in several cases during interrogations by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Corruption (WKStA). Kurz was involved in the advertising affair and the ÖVP misused the money and structures of the Ministry of Finance (BMF) to promote the party and Kurz.
Kurz knew that his staff surveys, which were supposed to help him win the party chairmanship of the ÖVP and the office of the chancellor, were funded by the Treasury Department. “Yes, he was aware of that. It is very important for me to emphasize that I only implemented this tool because I received the order from Kurz. I implemented this tool for Kurz.”
He first discussed the idea of the so-called “leg scraper tool” with Kurz when he was foreign minister, at least before March 2016. Kurz was fascinated by the fact that several actors under the then SPÖ Chancellor Werner Faymann worked closely with the pollster Sophie Karmasin, which would have enabled them to influence the research results.
At that time, Kurz was not yet the ÖVP party leader, so he could not fund it through the party. According to Schmid, it soon became clear that it could only be financed by the Ministry of Finance. “I promoted Kurz and the ÖVP of the BMF (Federal Ministry of Finance), and have used the resources of the BMF to support the progress of the ÖVP under Sebastian Kurz.”
Kurz’s lawyer denies allegations
Kurz’s attorney, Werner Suppan, rejected the statements. “Schmid’s allegations are false. Instead, he hopes that by beating and accusing everyone else, he will be able to gain leniency status. His allegations are false and it will be proven.”
Schmid’s statements, which have been interrogated for 15 days since June, have also led to further investigations and searches. According to information from the “Kronen Zeitung”, René Benko’s Signa Holding belonged to them. It’s about bribery, abuse of office and infidelity.
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