Kloibmüller is asked about his chats

And in fact, Kloibmüller is like the case of the former Secretary General in the Ministry of Finance, Thomas Schmid: a cell phone as a fund for investigators from the Public Prosecutor’s Office for Economic Affairs and Corruption (WKStA) and those who deal with the political clarification of corruption allegations against ÖVP government members occupy. The chats highlight events in the Ministry of the Interior – keyword: appointments.

The opposition sees Kloibmüller as the “linchpin of Sobotka”. And the President of the National Council is also being investigated on the basis of the chats, specifically because of abuse of office, it is about a post in the police force from 2017 – the presumption of innocence applies. Andrea Jelinek is said to have been prevented by the ÖVP as Vienna Deputy State Police Director because she was seen as close to the SPÖ.

Wolfgang Sobotka (ÖVP)

ORF.at/Lukas Krummholz

Kloibmüller was in a lively chat exchange with Sobotka

“Show the Sozen where the hammer hangs”

From the causal chats it emerges that the ÖVP is said to have taken care of an opposing candidate and that the then Interior Minister Sobotka was also involved. As can be read in the chats, Kloibmüller wanted to “show the Sozen where the hammer is” when it came to personnel issues – Franz Eigner, who was close to the ÖVP, finally got the job.

There should also have been an intervention – from another side – for Eva Marek. It is originally about the post advertised in 2014 for the management of the Vienna Public Prosecutor’s Office. Marie-Luise Nittel, head of the Vienna public prosecutor’s office, and Ilse-Maria Vrabl-Sanda, head of the WKStA, had applied for the post. Chats show that the then Justice Minister Wolfgang Brandstetter (ÖVP) wanted to “prevent” both of them, which is why he asked Marek to apply.

“Awkward Screening”

She was said to have been promised that she would later be able to take over the management of the general prosecutor’s office. But that didn’t happen, which Marek complained about in messages to Brandstetter and Mikl-Leitner (“disgrace”, “embarrassing demonstration”).

Marek forwarded the message to Kloibmüller. As a result, the Ministry of the Interior is said to have gotten involved, Marek’s husband worked here as a section head. Eventually, she ended up as Vice President of the Supreme Court. Most recently, Marek found the chats to be “cynical” when asked in the ÖVP-U committee and regretted the tonality.

“Note the assholes”

It is also said that Georg Angerer was appointed head of the Salzburg State Office for the Protection of the Constitution and Counter-Terrorism (LVT) in 2016 thanks to the help of the ÖVP. According to reports, Angerer – previously a city councilor and club chairman of the ÖVP in Hallein – had asked Kloibmüller for support long before the tender – and thanked him after his appointment. But he also complained to him that he had to give up his political office – apparently under pressure from trade unionists close to the SPÖ. Kloibmüller: “Remember the assholes and we’ll take them one by one.”

“Rely on you”

But not all chats indicate suspected post corruption – some give insights into political thinking. Governor Mikl-Leitner apologized for a chat immediately after it became public. In February 2016 she wrote to Kloibmüller: “Reds stay Gsindl! Have a nice ski day!” Chats with low-threshold personal desires also found their way to the public. “My nephew is applying for a holiday internship (…) I can count on you,” wrote Mikl-Leitner to Kloibmüller.

“A list (…) called interventions”

The chats also show that when Sobotka was Interior Minister in September 2016, he even wanted to have his own list of interventions drawn up: At the time, a concerned cabinet minister contacted Kloibmüller and asked: “Is it smart if we use the KBM server under ‘HBM Sobotka’ there is a list called interventions and also lists all interventions with status…? I know he wants that – just…”. In fact, not a successful idea for Kloibmüller: “Well, it’s not there, I have to talk,” he wrote.

In view of such conversations – and there are more of them – the opposition sees Kloibmüller, who is said to have played a pivotal role in the Ministry of the Interior in the role of cabinet employee, head of cabinet and most recently as head of the presidential section, ultimately after a total of 17 years in the department and after being taken over by the FPÖ 2018 ended as a key player in a “black network”.

Practically everything expires

But the chats – with the exception of those on the Sobotka case – have no criminal relevance. Or rather, no longer, because they date from 2016 and are therefore largely statute-barred due to the five-year period. The opposition accuses the public prosecutor’s office in Vienna, and specifically the public prosecutor Bernd Schneider, who was last questioned in the U-committee, of deliberately not taking the chats to the file in order to delay the proceedings. Individual chats were even publicized by the media.

cell phone in the water

The path of the chats to the general public was a long one and was based on a remarkable event: during a boat trip in 2016, two boats capsized on Vienna’s Old Danube. Among others, Kloibmüller fell into the water – and with him his mobile phone. In order to save data, Kloibmüller gave his cell phone to an IT expert from the then BVT intelligence service (predecessor of today’s DSN).

The rescue of the mobile phone data then apparently mutated into data theft, for which an investigation is also ongoing: several renegade secret service employees sucked off the data on the mobile phone and thus got their hands on the explosive chats. Big jump in time to 2022: In April, the chats were handed over to the committee and the WKStA by long-time Green Party mandatary Peter Pilz. It is assumed that Pilz received the data via stick from a BVT man.

Start with Lang

In front of Kloibmüller on Tuesday, however, Franz Lang, once director of the Federal Criminal Police Office (BK), was invited as a person to provide information. He is to be questioned about “influencing investigations and educational work”, as was his successor the following day, the former head of “SoKo Tape” Andreas Holzer. Roughly speaking, he is accused of torpedoing the work of the WKStA on the “Ibiza” video. The current SoKo leader Dieter Csefan is then the last person to provide information for this week.

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