Austrian rightist leader to be stripped of immunity after perjury

Austria's public prosecutor's office will ask parliament to strip Peter Westenthaler, head of the right-wing Alliance for Austria's Future (BZ), of his parliamentary immunity, a prosecution spokesman said on Wednesday.

Austrian rightist leader to be stripped of immunity after perjury
Austria's public prosecutor's office will ask parliament to strip Peter Westenthaler, head of the right-wing Alliance for Austria's Future (BZ), of his parliamentary immunity, a prosecution spokesman said on Wednesday.

Westenthaler, who heads the small populist opposition party founded by right-wing firebrand Joerg Haider, is under investigation for giving a false statement in an assault trial against his bodyguard, the Austrian press agency reported.

The events now overshadowing Westenthaler's already shaky political position occurred on the day of Austria's last general elections in October, which proved disastrous for the BZ, as it tumbled from being junior partner in a centre-right coalition to barely making the cut for parliament.

Westenthaler's bodyguard was found guilty of beating up the spokesman of the then-justice minister Karin Gastinger, who had quit the party only days before the election.

Westenthaler had told court he had not seen the attack that occurred in a restaurant he visited together with other party members.

The Justice Ministry had given a green light to the proceedings, making a trial against Westenthaler likely, should the charges be proven.

The charges carry a sentence of up to three years.

DPA
Last Mod: 22 Ağustos 2007, 17:22
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