Austrian police have carried out searches at the workplaces of close associates of Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, at the Christian Democratic head of government headquarters.
The house of Kurz’s party, the People’s Party (ÖVP), was also searched.
The officers went to the office of Kurz’s spokesperson (Johannes Frischmann), his media coordinator (Gerald Fleischmann) and his chief political strategist (Stefan Steiner), among others.
Justice has not yet released any statements about the action. Still, local media were in the context of an investigation into a conspiracy in corrupt practices in which media had been influenced in favour of the ÖVP through an Austrian newspaper, including with “embellished opinion polls”.
ÖVP Vice-President Gaby Schwarz reacted indignantly to the searches. She said they are based on a series of false accusations and distortions of the reality of events from five years ago. The investigation, she says, is part of a political campaign to cause enormous damage to the ÖVP.