<!--[if IE]><![endif]-->
Europe
Europe

Austria scandal: Lawyer says he was part of Ibiza sting

  • 25 May 2019
Related Topics
Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionThe video, from, 2017, was recorded in a villa in Ibiza

A Vienna lawyer says he was involved in the video sting that brought down far-right leader Heinz-Christian Strache.

The lawyer - named by Germany's Bild newspaper as Ramin Mirfakhrai - said it was a "civil society-driven project in which investigative-journalistic approaches were taken".

However the statement does not reveal who was ultimately behind the sting operation, or who paid for it.

The scandal has led to the collapse of Austria's coalition government.

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz is facing a no-confidence vote in parliament on Monday.

If he survives he will try to stay on until elections, probably in September.

What does the lawyer say?

The statement said that "the reactions of the politicians involved" had developed "a momentum of their own".

It said the considerations behind the publication were "democratic-political and legal".

Austrian media reports say that the lawyer is one of three people facing legal proceedings brought by Mr Strache.

Johann Gudenus, a Freedom Party politician who also appears in the video, has told the media that the Vienna lawyer was the person who established the contacts between him and the woman who posed as a Russian oligarch's niece.

What has the political fallout been?

Mr Strache stood down as vice-chancellor hours after the video emerged.

His Freedom Party (FPÖ) then quit the coalition after President Alexander Van der Bellen fired FPÖ Interior Minister Herbert Kickl.

Mr Kurz, from the centre-right People's Party (ÖVP), has replaced far-right ministers with technocrats.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionMr Strache said he resigned because he did not want to provide a pretext for the government's collapse

What is in the video?

The scandal is widely being labelled "Ibiza-gate", after the Spanish island where the video was recorded. It was made just weeks before the election which saw both the FPÖ and Chancellor Kurz's People's Party perform well.

In the footage, released earlier this month by German media, Mr Strache can be seen relaxing and drinking for hours at a villa with Mr Gudenus, while they meet the supposed Russian oligarch's niece.

During the conversation, Mr Strache appears to propose offering her public contracts if she buys a large stake in the Austrian newspaper Kronen Zeitung - and compels it to support the FPÖ.

He is heard suggesting that a number of journalists would have to be "pushed" from the newspaper, and that he wants to "build a media landscape like [Viktor] Orban" - referring to Hungary's nationalist leader.

Top Stories

PM: BBC must 'cough up' for over-75s TV licences

The BBC's funding settlement was dependent on covering the cost, Boris Johnson insists.

26 August 2019
G7 'close to agreeing' help for Amazon fires
26 August 2019
'My wife found me in my boxers, eating pasta'
25 August 2019

Features

Why two neighbours could scupper a £3m museum

'My parcel was propping the window open'

Video

Pulling strings at the Hollywood Bowl

Revellers swelter in record carnival heat

Who was Sir Oswald Mosley?

The joy of the backyard festival

'The bank sent my safe house address to my abusive ex'

The Mini at 60: Enthusiasts share their pictures

Is it OK for doctors to cry?

Elsewhere on the BBC