Former Austrian finance minister to face trial for alleged corruption

Karl-Heinz Grasser [Photo: Alchetron]

Former Austrian Finance Minister, Karl-Heinz Grasser, will be tried in a graft case related to the sale of government-owned real estate, Vienna’s Higher Regional Court said on Thursday.

Mr. Grasser, a former member of the far-right Freedom Party and 14 other defendants face up to 10 years imprisonment, if convicted. No date has been fixed for the trial.

According to the indictment, Mr. Grasser allegedly helped a private investor to make the winning bid for 60,000 government-owned flats privatised in 2006.

He was also alleged to have tipped off the investor about the offer price that was necessary to beat rival bidders.

In return, the suspects allegedly pocketed about 9.6 million Euros or one per cent of the 961-million-euro sales price.

Mr. Grasser, who served as finance minister from 2000 to 2007, has denied the allegations.

He left the Freedom Party in 2002 after internal conflicts in the movement.


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