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Austria: Sebastian Kurz’s immunity lifted for corruption probe

The immunity of conservative politician and former chancellor Sebastian Kurze was lifted by Austria’s parliament on Thursday. The lift of immunity will allow Kurz to potentially face a corruption probe. The allegations that caused him to step down as chancellor earlier this year will now be investigated. His center-right Austrian People’s Party supported the lift of his immunity to allow for the probe. Previously, Kurz had also called for his immunity to be lifted so he could fight the claims the cost him his job. 

Kurz is accused of using state money to pay for polls that were skewed to boost his image. Prosecutors suspect that an Austrian tabloid received money in the form of public adverts after publishing the flattering polls and positive coverage of Kurz. Kurz is also accused of facing false statements before a parliamentary investigation of another scandal involving a former coalition partner. Although Kurz stepped down, he remains the head of the ÖVP and its legislative group and remains a lawmaker. Kurz denies all accusations against him.

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