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Kurz expects to be charged but cleared in perjury case

Austria's Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.   | Photo Credit: REUTERS

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz expects to be charged but eventually cleared in an investigation into whether he gave false testimony to a parliamentary commission, he said on Sunday, ruling out the idea of resigning if indicted.

The investigation by anti-corruption prosecutors, made public, last week poses a stiff political challenge for the conservative Mr. Kurz, 34, who governs in coalition with the Greens.

Mr. Kurz has painted himself as the victim of opposition parties trying to trap him into saying something that could be construed as perjury before the commission, which is looking into possible corruption under his previous coalition with the far-right Freedom Party (FPO) which collapsed in 2019.

“After every word of mine on 58 pages (of testimony) is put on the scale, I certainly expect a criminal complaint, that’s right,” he told the Krone newspaper in an interview, adding he had not yet been questioned by prosecutors.

But he said he was confident he would be exonerated in the case, which centres on whether he answered truthfully when asked about appointments to state holding company OBAG.

“I have spoken to numerous lawyers and several university professors. The tenor was always the same: no one can imagine that there will be a conviction here,” he told the paper.

In a separate interview with the Oesterreich newspaper, he rejected the idea of stepping down if indicted.


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Printable version | Jun 22, 2021 7:06:40 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/kurz-expects-to-be-charged-but-cleared-in-perjury-case/article34574152.ece

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