© APA/HANS PUNZ
Vienna – So far, the business and corruption prosecutor has remained silent. But because the continuing attacks by the ÖVP on the WKStA did not want to stop, the Ministry of Justice made it clear on Saturday that the media-themed calendar entry “Short” was not a “decisive reason” for ordering the house search at Finance Minister Gernot Blümel (ÖVP). Some media and also the ÖVP rejoiced over confusion, mishap and scandal at the prosecutor’s office. But the WKStA never considered the calendar entry “legally relevant” for the measure.
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The Ministry of Justice stated in a broadcast that “this date in the order, which comprises a total of twelve pages, is only mentioned in passing in just one sentence”. According to the Ministry of Justice, the main reason for the house search was the text messaging between Blümel and ex-Novomatic boss Harald Neumann. Neumann had written to Blümel in July 2017 and asked for an appointment with the then Foreign Minister and Neo-ÖVP boss Sebastian Kurz to talk about a donation and “a problem we have in Italy”. The problem in Italy is a multi-million dollar back tax payment.
Finanzminister Gernot Blümel.
The ÖVP described the representation of the Ministry of Justice currently led by Vice Chancellor Kogler as “misleading”. Finally, the WKStA justified its suspicions with the fact that Neumann tried to get an appointment with Kurz through Blümel. In the opinion of the ÖVP, this assumption is “very well” based on the appointment of Novomatic founder Johann Graf with “short” and, according to the WKStA files, also on the calendar entry.
The NEOS called on the ÖVP to take back the “sweeping blows of the last few days against the judiciary”. For SPÖ judiciary Selma Yildirim, the ÖVP is apparently “water up to the neck”. For FPÖ club boss Herbert Kickl, an affidavit from Kurz will soon be overdue. (TT)