Sunday, 09. March 2014
06. 04. 12. - 19:30
Viennese state prosecutors got the green light to investigate against Werner Amon.
A juridical committee rejected the People’s Party (ÖVP) parliament member’s appeal to withdraw the case from the Viennese prosecution. Amon is suspected of money laundering. An agency once headed by lobbyist Peter Hochegger transferred 10,000 Euros to the Federal Workers’ and Employees’ Association (ÖAAB) in 2007. At that time, Amon acted as general secretary of the organisation which is currently headed by ÖVP Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner. Prosecutors asked the parliament for permission to examine the occurrences. MPs lifted the ÖVP member’s immunity as a consequence.
Amon said the money – which came from Telekom Austria (TA) – was registered as compensation for the expenses of a magazine published by the ÖAAB. He admitted that no precise action could be linked to the sum – a statement which created rumours that TA tried to disguise its subsidisation of the ÖVP. The telecommunication technology company’s former chiefs might have had hopes to benefit from the transactions. Opposition politicians think that the ÖVP changed laws to the benefit of the market leader because of the financial support.
Amon denied any wrongdoing but wanted another prosecuter's office but the Viennese one to examine the ÖAAB expenditure controversy. He claimed that prosecutors of Vienna might act in a biased way following his criticism regarding the case of Natascha Kampusch. Amon heads the ÖVP’s team in a parliamentary commission investigating the police’s work in clarifying the kidnapping case. Kampusch was abducted at the age of 10 on her way to school in Vienna in 1998. She managed to escape Wolfgang Priklopil – who locked her up in a basement chamber of his house in Strasshof an der Nordbahn near Vienna – eight years later.
The parliamentary committee was set up after former judges and other experts accused the police of having acted sloppily in trying to find Kampusch. They also alleged that high-ranking representatives of the Austrian police force tried to cover up mistakes in investigations while some people commenting on the case claimed that police officials kept quiet about possible accomplices of Priklopil. The parliament’s Kampusch case commission is still investigating but Amon caused a stir by describing the theory as highly likely. The ÖVP MP said it was obvious that the money laundering investigations had to do with his criticism of the work of those in charge of the Kampusch examinations.
ÖVP head Michael Spindelegger said he had full trust in Amon but also made clear that the MP might have to answer the one or other open question regarding the ÖAAB case. ÖVP whip Karlheinz Kopf attacked Amon’s critics and accused them of waging a campaign against him. Kopf emphasised that Amon – who attempted to start abuse of office investigations against the Viennese state prosecution – would not be removed from power by the ÖVP board.
Amon not only heads the conservative party’s Kampusch committee delegation. He is also the leader of the team representing the government party in the recently established anti-corruption panel. The commission was set up to find out whether ex-TA managers engaged in the illicit subsidisation of political parties via promotion agencies and lobbying groups. The panel headed by Greens MP Gabriela Moser interviewed ex-Freedom Party (FPÖ) MP Walter Meischberger, former Alliance for the Future of Austria (BZÖ) Vice Chancellor Hubert Gorbach, ex-ÖVP Interior Minister Ernst Strasser among others in the past weeks.
» General News 2012-05-31
A renowned economist has warned from reintroducing the drachma in Greece.
» General News 2012-05-31
Austria has been criticised for its high public debts.
» General News 2012-05-31
Peopleís Party (÷VP) Graz Mayor Siegfried Nagl has ended his factionís partnership with the Greens.
» Business 2012-05-30
The number of pilots and stewardesses leaving Austrian Airlines (AUA) because of the upcoming pay cuts is on the rise.
» Business 2012-05-29
Dozens of pilots have left Austrian Airlines (AUA) in the past weeks, according to the loss-making carrierís works committee.
» General News 2012-05-24
The government is intensifying its attempts to pass a transparency package in parliament.
What is on at Burg Kino this week (7 March - 13 March)
See what films are on this week at the Burg Kino on the Opernring.
Police catch graffiti-villain of Vienna
A graffiti sprayer, named "Puber" has been one of the main "villains" of Vienna for almost a year. He has filled almost the half of the city with his drawings. Now, a suspect, alleged to be the notorious sprayer himself is in the police custody of Vienna and may face up to five years in prison.
Apartment sales drop in Austria
According to the brokerage firm Re/Max, the number of the real estate sales in Austria has declined around 8.3% in the last year. The exact number of properties which were sold and bought accounts to over 80,000 units, which translates into 16 billion euros. Apartments were the most popular type of property sold last year, accounting for 28,000 of the units sold, but there has still been a 9.3% decrease from the last year.
McDonalds boom in Austria
McDonald's in Austria generated 560 million Euros in sales in 2013 after introducing more branches and expanding it's product range.
Exhibition takes you on a journey with Sigmund Freud
To mark the 75th anniversary of Sigmund Freud's death, the museum dedicated to him in Vienna is holding an exhibition looking at Freud's journeys around the world, including his final one that saw him flee National Socialism in 1938.
Plastic replacing fish in the Danube
The Danube is so polluted that there are now more plastic particles than fish larvae in the water according to new research.
Ladies skiing offer at Stuhleck this weekend
In celebration of International Women's Day on Saturday 8 March, the Stuhleck ski resort in eastern Austrian is giving female skiers discount prices on ski passes.
Rediscovered 'degenerate' painting on show at Belvedere
A painting that was rediscovered in 2012, decades after it was seized by the Nazi's for being 'degenerate', is on display at the Belvedere Palace in Vienna.
Austrian Airlines spellcheck mishap
The online copyeditor for Austrian Airlines will be getting a slap on the wrist after it was embarrassingly revealed that the English version of their website is riddled with spelling and grammatical errors.
Carnival firemen answer 999 call as giant bees with handbags
Ten Austrian fireman ended up answering an emergency call for a serious road accident dressed as giant bumblebees after they got kitted out for a fancy dress parade on a carnival float shortly before they got the emergency call.
The most popular stories –
last 7 days
|Veggies suffer more health problems say Graz researchers|
|Austria releases list of Ukrainians to have assets frozen|
|Vienna first city to be granted personal domain name|
|Terrifying high speed dash for British school ski group|
|Animal rights group protest against Burberry fur in Vienna|
Why suffer in silence. Let off steam by letting our readers share your troubles. File your complaints about anything and everything here.
Our ombudsman David Rogers will try and help solve some of the problems from lazy civil servants through to incompetent companies – and at the very least the worst transgressors will end up in our weekly special report.