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Austrian parliament lifts immunity of former chancellor amid corruption probe

Austrian legislators in parliament voted unanimously to revoke the parliamentary immunity of former Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. In October, Kurz resigned as chancellor after prosecutors opened an investigation over charges of bribery, corruption and breach of trust.

Kurz and nine party associates are accused of transferring money to a newspaper and a think tank from the Finance Ministry’s budget between 2016 and 2018. Investigators are also investigating possible falsification of opinion polls in favor of Kurz.

Amid the accusations, Kurz voluntarily left the Chancellor’s seat on October 9. At the same time, Kurz called on the deputies of the Austrian National Council to remove his immunity for the completeness of the investigation, insisting he wanted to fight the “false” claims that cost him his job as chancellor.

– What I know is that I haven’t been criminally guilty of anything, – the former chancellor said.

Sebastian Kurz remains leader of his center-right Austrian People’s Party and as well as head of its legislative group in parliament.