Öbag boss Schmid has resigned with immediate effect after new chat protocols. In the judiciary, two top officials fear for their posts.
The Ibiza Committee of Inquiry The National Council has had too many over the past few months Resignations, Suspendierungen or Removals led by prominent personalities in business and politics. Often it was not about the immediate subject of the committee’s investigation, but about in Chat protocols Other causes or statements that found their way to the public via the U-Committee. This is followed by an overview of previous job losses.
Something out of competition is going on with ex-Casinos-Austria-CFO Peter Sidlo the first prominent loss of post related to the committee. The ex-FPÖ district council was dismissed from its function after only a few months before the start of the committee. His case, however, was one of the reasons for the convening of the committee, which is supposed to investigate “the alleged viability of the turquoise-blue federal government”. Sidlo was appointed to the board with the support of Novomatic. Later there was an anonymous complaint, according to which the FPÖ is said to have promised Novomatic concession with the gaming licenses in return for Sidlo’s order. The order was then discussed in various chats with politicians involved. Sidlo is currently suing for the payment of his contract.
The Causa Sidlo then led to the house search of the Öbag boss Thomas Schmid, the most recent resignation in connection with the underground committee and the hardest-working chatter. The Economic and Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (WKStA) found vast amounts of digital conversations on his cell phone, some of which led to further seizures. Schmid initially had to forego an extension of his contract, followed by the early withdrawal from his position on Tuesday. Allegations against him: He is said to have helped design and tailor the advertisement for the Öbag board position and to have had a hand in further orders during his time as head of cabinet in the finance ministry. In addition, there was pejorative chat content via third parties. His appointment to the Öbag board then indirectly led to the ongoing investigations against Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) – he is said to have said wrongly in the U Committee on this issue, which he denies.
Between Sidlo and Schmid, other personalities were also affected by chat minutes that were made public via the committee. Most recently, ex-Justice Minister stepped Wolfgang Brandstetter back as constitutional judge. The immediate trigger were chats with the currently temporarily suspended section head in the Ministry of Justice, Christian Pilnacek, in which the latter dodged about the Constitutional Court (VfGH) and the WKStA and Brandstetter divulged internals from the court. As before, the allegation is still being investigated that Brandstetter, via Pilnacek, gave the investor Michael Tojner Should have revealed details of a house search – which all three deny.
At least for the time being away from the window, these chats brought Pilnacek himself. He is currently resisting his temporary suspension at the Federal Administrative Court. His cell phone was also taken from him – among other things, photos of a WKStA information report to the public prosecutor’s office about an imminent search of the finance minister’s house were taken Gernot Blümel (ÖVP) found. According to the WKStA, this is classified information that should not have been passed on to Pilnacek. In addition, there are tips to the Ministry of Finance on how to react to the judicial procedure.
The head of the Vienna Public Prosecutor’s Office is also being investigated on suspicion of breach of official secrecy, Johann Fuchs – and the Ministry has also taken disciplinary action against him (a disciplinary report to the Supreme Court). Fuchs is said to have forwarded the parts of the file to Pilnacek and talked to him about locked files. Here, too, the investigations are still ongoing, and the disciplinary matter has not yet been decided. Both Pilnacek and Fuchs denied all allegations.
The height of fall is comparatively lower at Kathrin Glock: The wife of the weapons manufacturer Gaston Glock was dismissed as a member of the supervisory board of Austro Control, which is responsible for air traffic control, due to her appearance before the committee.
Not entirely without connection with the U-Committee, the withdrawal of the casino’s general manager is also likely Bettina Glatz-Kremsner be. At the end of March, she announced that she did not want to extend her contract, which would expire in April 2022, for which she cited “personal reasons”. However, she also appears in Schmid’s chat logs, who wrote to her, for example: “You will be CEO there!” Ex-Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache (FPÖ) in turn thanked her for Sidlo’s support. As part of the casino investigation into Sidlo, the WKStA also accuses her of making a false statement, which she denies.