Opposition sees many unanswered questions after two Chancellor’s bodyguards drove under the influence of alcohol. An anonymous letter now also incriminates Karl Nehammer himself – and even his wife Katharina. The Ministry of the Interior has already countered and announced advertisements. Nehammer himself was shocked and spoke – visibly angrily – about a new political low in Austria.
The incident itself had already caused a stir: two members of the Cobra special unit, who were being used as bodyguards for the family of ÖVP boss Nehammer, caused an accident after work on March 13, but with their company car.
However, now the case is expanding – in an anonymous letter serious accusations are made against Karl Nehammer and his wife Katharina:
- For example, it says that the bodyguards also act as escorts for the chancellor’s children, taking packages to the laundromat or collecting packages from the post office.
- About the accident on March 13, it is said that the two Cobra agents were invited to the apartment by Katharina Nehammer, who then left them “obviously drunk” in the company of the Chancellor’s wife.
- After the accident, in which two vehicles were touched, the Cobra and the Chancellor tried to cover up the incident.
The letter is signed “a frustrated Cobra official” – anonymous allegations, which, however, have already been gratefully picked up by the opposition.
SPÖ/FPÖ: “Many unanswered questions”
SPÖ and FPÖ found many open questions and put parliamentary questions to the Minister of the Interior and the Chancellor – the SPÖ stuffed the entire incognito letter into the question. The opposition parties want to know, among other things, whether government circles have contacted Cobra boss Bernhard Treibenreif after the incident.
Like the anonymous writer, FPÖ mandates Hannes Amesbauer and Christian Hafenecker also found indications “that the whole incident should be swept under the rug”. The whole matter was “deeply worthy of clarification,” SPÖ MP Reinhold Einwallner said.
Speaking late Monday afternoon, the Interior Ministry announced that the Special Forces Directorate would file criminal charges over “the false allegations and the resulting security risks”.
Ministry of the Interior: “Danger to the safety of those involved”
False claims combined with the publication of security concepts pose a threat to the personal safety of those affected and to the general security of our country, the Interior Ministry said. And: “No one can choose personal protection.” It is also a measure that “greatly harms” family life.
Nehammer: “Sad, dramatic, dishonorable”
The chancellor himself stated in a hastily arranged press conference Monday evening that a “red line” had been crossed for him. It was “unacceptable” that political opponents were already publishing security concepts – “at the expense of the family”. It was the nadir of the political debate in Austria. “It gets more than personal, it’s more than close.”
To the SPÖ, which had published the entire letter, the chancellor said: “Sad, dramatic, dishonorable.”
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