Friday 25 April 2014
Advertise  |  Subscribe  |  Register  | 


About cookies: we use cookies to support features like login and sharing articles. Keep cookies enabled to enjoy the full site experience. By browsing our site with cookies enabled, you are agreeing to their use. Review our cookies information for more details.

Strasser sentenced to four years in prison

By Toby Vogel  -  17.01.2013 / 05:45 CET
Former Austrian MEP found guilty of corruption.
Ernst Strasser, a former Austrian interior minister and leader of Austria's centre-right MEPs in 2009-11, has been found guilty of corruption and sentenced to four years in prison by a court in Vienna. 

The court found Strasser guilty of having offered to influence European Union legislation in exchange for money in conversations with British journalists posing as lobbyists. No money changed hands, but Strasser, a senior member of the centre-right Austrian People's Party (ÖVP), was forced to resign in 2011 when the affair came to light. The court said that in view of the seriousness of Strasser's crime, a suspended sentence was out of the question. “There is no doubt that Strasser demanded monetary compensation in exchange for influencing the legislative procedure,” Georg Olschak, the presiding judge, said on Monday (14 January).

Olschak said that few people in Austria's second republic had done as much damage to the credibility of politics as Strasser. “For that reason, it was necessary to impose a sentence that will have a deterrent effect on possible copycats – and there must be quite a few of those,” Olschak said.

Strasser rejects the charges, and his attorney announced that he would appeal against the ruling. Strasser told the court that he suspected the supposed lobbyists were in fact intelligence operatives and that he went along with their proposals in order to collect evidence against them. The court found no evidence to support Strasser's version of events.

Strasser's defence was “among the most adventurous I've seen in my 20-year career”, Olschak said.

Both the ÖVP, junior partner in Austria's ruling ‘grand coalition', and the centre-left Social Democrats (SPÖ) of Chancellor Werner Faymann have been embroiled in corruption scandals, but this is the first high-profile conviction in years. 
© 2014 European Voice. All rights reserved.

Most viewed in EU governance

Election forecast puts EPP in first place

Centre-right clearly ahead of socialists, according to PollWatch 2014 prediction.


MEPs urged to deny Schulz access to Parliament resources

Parliament president under fire over bid for Commission presidency.


MEPs censure Schulz over appointments and campaigning

Plenary session approves amendments criticising appointment of Schulz aides to posts in the Parliament's administration.


Related articles

PVV MEP says he cannot be in a political group with people who hold extreme views.

President under fire for abuse of position.

Last week's plenary session in Strasbourg marked the end of the parliamentary term. We look back at the successes and failures of the 2009-14 Parliament.

A look back at what the 2009-14 Parliament achieved in nine separate policy areas.

Voters will have their first chance to hear the lead candidates of the main political parties in a policy debate next week.




Your comment
Please note: The fields followed by an asterisk (*) are obligatory fields



Please, copy the code on the left into the box on the right

 I accept the Terms & conditions
 I would like to share my e-mail & website


Cookies info | Privacy policy | Terms & conditions