BERLIN – Two German newspapers have reported that the leader of Austria’s far-right Freedom Party offered government contracts in return for support from a potential Russian donor shortly before parliamentary elections.
Daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung and weekly Der Spiegel published extracts Friday from a video allegedly showing Heinz-Christian Strache meeting a woman claiming to be interested in investing large amounts of money in Austria.
The two papers said the 2017 meeting on the Spanish island of Ibiza appears clearly to have been a trap laid to compromise the two politicians.
In the video, the authenticity of which couldn’t immediately be verified, Strache is heard telling the unnamed woman she’ll get lucrative construction contracts if she buys an Austrian newspaper and supports his party.
Spiegel reported that Strache, now Austria’s vice chancellor, denies wrongdoing.
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