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Murder attempt on Haider death comedy organiser

The Austrian event manager behind a planned performance by two comedians who mocked Jörg Haider’s death has survived a murder attempt.

Carinthian Ingo Krassnitzer was responsible for organising Christoph Grissemann and Dirk Stermann’s show at the university in Carinthian capital Klagenfurt in December.

Unknown parties recently loosened the wheel nuts on Krassnitzer’s car. Krassnitzer noticed the act of sabotage on 29 October when his car began to skid while he was driving from Klagenfurt to Wolfsberg.

Krassnitzer said: "There is no definite evidence that what happened had something to do with the performance (by Stermann & Grissemann,) but I do not have another explanation. I have no personal enemies."

The Austrian-German comedy duo "Stermann & Grissemann" has received several death threats after mocking the death of right-wing leader Jörg Haider and the Austrian public’s emotional reaction to it only days after Haider was killed in a car crash. They made comments such "we also have 1.8 per mile, but we will be aware of what we are doing during the next 50 minutes."

One angry viewer warned they would go home in a wooden coffin if they ever performed in Carinthia. Another outraged person posted a comment on the show’s website saying: "I hope both gentleman get nasty diseases – may they never pollute Carinthia with their presence."

Thousands more have called national broadcaster ORF to complain about late-night show "Willkommen Österreich" (Welcome Austria).

A spokesman for the BZÖ, Haider’s former party, said Carinthia felt insulted by ORF’s "anti-Carinthia programme".

The board of directors of market-leading ORF is still refusing to comment about why the show was broadcast only a few days after Haider’s death.

The BZÖ’s Gerhard Dörfler, who succeeded Haider as Carinthian governor, said: "If someone dares to call that art, then I am speechless. What they are doing is miserable and has no character."

As "Stermann & Grissemann", Dirk Stermann and Christoph Grissemann have been active on radio, TV and the stage in Austria and Germany since 1991. They were suspended for a few months in 2001 after saying in an interview that "someone needs to shoot Haider if he is to be stopped."

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