The current head of the “SoKo Tape”, Dieter Csefan, is currently being questioned in the ÖVP corruption investigation committee. His predecessor, the current head of the Federal Criminal Police Office, Andreas Holzer, has canceled his interview appointment, which was also scheduled for today, due to a hospital stay.
When questioning Csefan, the deputies are interested in what happened after the publication of the “Ibiza video” in May 2019 and the subsequent formation of the SoKo. “If you look at how the SoKo came about, then you can already see a stringent line of black party soldiers,” said Liberal MP Wolfgang Zanger before the survey began.
Right at the beginning, Csefan emphasized that the SoKo did not consist of party soldiers. None of the investigators involved have ever worked politically. The fact that the investigations were bundled at the SoKo made sense, since otherwise different offices would have been responsible.
“I still see it as a good decision today,” says Csefan, but it would have been just as good if the judiciary had taken over – “it doesn’t matter which public prosecutor’s office”. Then, according to NEOS parliamentary group leader Stephanie Krisper, the “Ibiza video” would probably not have been withheld from the Economic and Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (WKStA) for weeks.
“Wedge driven between WKStA and SoKo”
The stick with the data of the former head of cabinet Michael Kloibmüller is also an issue. The police group “AG FAMA”, also under the direction of Csefan, secured this during a house search.
Attempts were made to drive a wedge between SoKo and WKStA right from the start of the investigation, according to Csefan. An anonymous letter to the authority reported alleged “black networks” – including the names of the investigators. Csefan again stressed that the claims were false. The letter was later found with the ex-BVT man Egisto Ott, so it is assumed that he was at least involved in the letter.
As is well known, the work between WKStA and SoKo was actually difficult, recently the WKStA withdrew all investigations from the “SoKo Tape”. Csefan reacted indignantly with a letter. He was surprised because the investigation was about to end. Here, too, an anonymous input and a newspaper report were decisive, which led to the wrong conclusions – “a humbug, staged”, according to Csefan, in order to evade the investigation by the SoKo.
ÖVP wants to focus on SPÖ and Lifebrain
ÖVP parliamentary group leader Andreas Hanger wants to draw attention to the SPÖ “in future committee work”. There are indications that the tender was tailored to the company Lifebrain – a provider of throat tests. Lifebrain was commissioned with 1.4 billion euros, so it was “funded by the federal level”, according to Hanger. The managing director is close to the SPÖ, and he also donated 50,000 euros to the party.
“Hanger is at the wrong event,” commented SPÖ faction leader Kai Jan Krainer on Hanger’s announcement. The ÖVP investigative committee is about clarifying allegations of corruption against ÖVP government members.