Disgraced Austrian populist tries to sue over Ibiza video
Disgraced former Austrian vice chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache says he will sue three people he blames for the Ibiza video.
He also denied that there would be any more compromising videos and said the Ibiza setup was “a deliberate political attack”. It was “a honey trap, directed by intelligence agencies”, the populist claimed.
“Contrary to what the media claims [no other video] shows me consuming drugs and committing sexual acts,” the former leader of the far-right Freedom party announced on Facebook.
Strache apologised again for his actions, saying he had been “stupid and, particularly in the realm of politics, totally unacceptable” in the 2017 video.
Yesterday (Friday) it was reported that Strache’s lawsuit targeted a Viennese lawyer, detective and the female imposter who pretended to be the niece of a Russian oligarch.
The elegant host in a black dress and heels said she was Alyona Makarova, niece of Igor Makarov.
Strache can be heard describing her as “hot”.
Germany’s Bild said the Ibiza sting was set up by the three, who deny wrongdoing as they were attempting to expose irregularities by a senior political figure.
Strache alluded to an Israeli spin doctor, Tal Silberstein, who has links to Austria’s centre-left Social Democrats and to German satirist Jan Boemermann (pictured), who last year famously fell foul of the Turkish authorities.
Silberstein said Strache had made “false and baseless accusations” as he tried to distract the public from the scandal.
Boemermann referred to Ibiza video at an awards ceremony last month but his manager denies that he was offered it.
Nearly seven hours of video shows Strache in an Ibiza villa ahead of the October 2017 general election.
Sea bass carpaccio and tuna tartare was served with champagne, vodka and Red Bull, one of Strache’s favourite drinks, which was consumed in large quantities.
The populist firebrand offers huge government road-building contracts in exchange for “Hungarian-style” media help to win the election.
Süddeutsche Zeitung said cameras and microphones were fitted in light switches and in a mobile phone-charging point at the villa.
They “recorded almost every word spoken” over seven hours, the German paper said.
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, 32, is suffering from forming a coalition government with the populist far-right and announced an early general election in September.
Kurz faces a confidence vote in parliament next week, with Freedom votes key in the debate.
The youthful chancellor withdrew from a campaign event in Munich for the European elections in support of the European People’s Party (EPP), whose leader Manfred Weber, is hoping to become European Commission president.
Jan Boemermann. Picture credit: Wikimedia