Prison for FPÖ politician

Austria News Briefs

On Aug. 2, the provincial court of Klagenfurt convicted Uwe Scheuch, the Deputy Governor of Carinthia and chairman of the Carinthian branch of the FPÖ, to 18 months in prison, six without probation, for accepting gifts in public office.

Scheuch was caught on tape in early 2009 telling a business partner that a Russian investor could expect Austrian citizenship in exchange for a party donation as “obviously part of the game,” sparking the so-called “part of the game affair” when the tape was leaked to News magazine in Jan. 2010.

Scheuch has appealed against the verdict and refuses to step down as Deputy Governor until the ruling of the next and final court of appeal, the provincial high court in Graz, which is expected by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, FPÖ figures vociferously attacked the verdict, with party leader Heinz- Christian Strache claiming Scheuch had been the victim of a “political trial”.

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