It’s been a year since the video scandal that overthrew the Austrian right-wing government, and now police have released pictures of a woman wanted to be involved in a gossip.
The series of events began when two German newspapers published a secretly filmed video of Heinz-Christian Strache, then leader of the right-wing populist party FPÖ.
In a video shot in Ibiza, Strache seemed willing to take bribes from a woman who appeared as a relative of the Russian oligarch, to whom she also offered help in taking over an Austrian newspaper.
The video had already been filmed in 2017. The filmmakers are suspected of trying to extort around € 400,000 from Strache to prevent the video from ending up in public. For nearly two years, those who designed the trap tried to make money with the video before it came out. In November, police arrested three people on suspicion of extortion.
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Investigators believe the trio is involved in a private detective, which is considered the main factor in the case. The two suspects are said to have recruited a “bait” and then equipped the rental villa with cameras.
The woman in the video has not been reached. The woman appears in a video called Aliona Makarov, claiming to be the niece of oligarch Igor Makarov. Makarov has denied that he even had a niece. The woman who appeared in the video has also been searched in international databases, but to no avail.
The woman in the video has not been reached.
Photo: Standbild BK
Police investigators have gone through 12.5 hours of video footage filmed at an Ibizan villa, as well as several audio recordings. In connection with the investigation, 55 home searches have been carried out and five arrest warrants have been issued, the BBC reports.
In Austria, a parliamentary committee will start consultations on the case next week. Among others, Strache and his party colleague Johann Gudenus will be heard.
Following the outbreak of the scandal, FPÖ leaders suspected the foreign intelligence service behind the act and pointed an accusing finger at Russia.
However, Dieter Csefan, director of the Commission of Inquiry, has stated that so far nothing has emerged in the investigation that would suggest a foreign financier or intelligence service behind the blackmail attempt.