The Economic and Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (WKStA) has closed its investigations against ex-FPÖ boss Heinz-Christian Strache and the poker casino operator Peter Zanoni. The WKStA had suspected that Strache had promised a vacation in return for changes to the gaming law – but this suspicion was not confirmed.
Zanoni’s lawyer Andreas Rest spoke of a “positive and expected decision” by the WKStA and its higher authorities. Strache’s lawyer Johann Pauer demands that the legislature implement a right to reimbursement of reasonable defense costs: “It is already the fifth criminal case that has been discontinued against my client without the latter being reimbursed for the defense costs incurred. On the contrary: even his savings were confiscated, making further defense much more difficult. “
According to Pauer, it no longer matters whether Strache is legally convicted or acquitted, since the proceedings in themselves are threatening to exist.
A total of five proceedings against Strache have now been closed:
Of all the shrill and loud allegations about the seven and a half hour long Ibiza video that were spread in May 2019, nothing remained. The investigation into Strache’s statements in front of the many hidden cameras in the finca has been discontinued. Bitter for Strache: Due to the video sequences, he resigned …
The so-called “association procedure”, which involved possible donation flows through associations close to the FPÖ, has been discontinued. The reports full of suspicions about “black coffers” of the FPÖ leadership filled many pages of the media.
The surveys against Strache because of an alleged offense under the Registration Act have also been discontinued. A tabloid print newspaper played the accusation of incorrect registration of HC Strache in Vienna for weeks shortly before the Vienna election campaign. The negative headlines were of course of little help to Strache’s electoral movement. In addition, details about his expenses for medication were published by an ex-party friend during this time.
And the investigations into the “money backpacks” allegedly photographed in Strache’s company car have also been discontinued by the judiciary. Only the bundle of money photos that were repeatedly placed in various reports about the ex-vice chancellor had served their purpose: The aim was to spread the “Mafia touch” and create the impression that Strache was filthy rich and of course extremely corrupt.