In prison for eight months with inhibitory character was convicted former Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurzwho was found guilty at first instance of giving false testimony to a parliamentary committee investigating corruption charges against his government.

The decision it came after a four month process and it was the first time in at least 30 years that an Austrian former chancellor was tried. Today’s decision concerns Sebastian Kurz’s sworn testimony before a parliamentary inquiry committee, which was investigating the possibility of nepotism in the selection of the head of the former state holding company ÖBAG. Normally, the choice was the responsibility of the finance minister, but according to the charges, the former chancellor had made the relevant decisions himself. During the trial, an exchange of messages between Sebastian Kurz and his former close associate Thomas Schmidt, who was appointed head of ÖBAG, was shown. Mr. Kurtz insisted to the end that he had no involvement in the selection of the person.

However, Sebastian Kurz also faces different charges, for using state funds in order to “distort polls in a way that serves his party’s interest”, in the period 2016-2018. The relevant revelations also caused his departure, in 2021, from the government and politics. Since then, he has worked as an entrepreneur and lobbyist, for companies in Europe and the USA.