Beren wrote:How is it so unimaginable to you that the BND could do political hit jobs like any major intelligence service regularly does?
Which intelligence services do mere political hit jobs in countries that are close allies regularly?
Beren wrote:Who else would do that on the behalf of the German government anyway? Silberstein and others may have been involved, but would the Austrian government fall so smoothly right before the EP-election if it had been only them?
Just to be clear, I also think it unlikely that the German government has authorised this.
If the CDU or any other political party wanted to lay a trap for Strache they would have no problem doing it. Most people/organisations with enough money would be able to do it.
I don't think that Kurz's decision was particularly surprising. Not all of the tape has been made public, so it's possible that there's more material to come. From the OEVP's perspective it's also not clear whether Hofer can control the party as well as Strache has. I think it's a valid position for Kurz to say he's cutting his losses. After all, this is not a minor scandal.
From Die Presse (google translate):
Viennese lawyer is said to have interpreted Ibiza trap
Who is behind the Ibiza video? The first traces lead to a Munich detective agency and a Viennese lawyer, who is said to have already offered in 2015 scarce material about the FPÖ.
Who commissioned the Ibiza video? Who made it and distributed it? A first track led on Tuesday to the Vienna city attorney M. He has made the initial contact with those persons who have ex-FPÖ parliament club chairman Johann Gudenus and ex-Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache in Ibiza in the trap - and produces the catchy video to have.
But from the beginning, as Gudenus confirms the story to the "press": John Gudenus, the father of the FPÖ club chairman died in September 2016. After that, the family wanted to sell some of their land and forests in the Waldviertel who, in turn, claimed to know a Latvian who was looking for such a property and who also planned to move to Austria with their children.
According to Gudenus, near the Stephansplatz there was a first meeting in the law office of the lawyer, who also presented a passport to the Latvian. Her alleged name: Aljona Makarova. The attorney presented proof that the Latvian had already deposited a sum of money into a lawyer's trust account as proof that the alleged niece of a Russian oligarch had paid.
At the meeting, a man is said to have been present, who introduced himself under the cover name Julian Thaler as the owner of a detective agency in Munich. The real name is as well known to the "press" as the security company that actually exists, and the company offers the use of covert investigation teams to investigate crimes, and the Detective Agency's home page has been offline since the end of 2018.
Further meetings in Vienna
Gudenus met the supposed Lettin several times in Vienna - and more often said Thaler. The FPÖ politician said that he and Strache would like to spend their summer holidays in Ibiza. The two decoys claimed to be coincidentally on the Balearic Island at the same time. They met each other in a villa near the capital of the island, drank and talked for nearly seven hours. Several cameras filmed, the rest is already Austrian domestic politics. At the revelry, illegal substances were also at stake, as Gudenus admitted in a "press" interview .
The tangible material on the FPÖ-Mandatare was offered according to information of the "press" several people and finally landed with one and a half years delay now at the "Süddeutsche Zeitung" and the "mirror" .This could also have involved the Viennese lawyer.
The Vienna municipal council election
Incidentally, it would not be the first time that the legal representative has tried to circulate incriminating pictures and videos about leading FPÖ politicians. According to information of the "press" happened similar before the Vienna city council election 2015. Accordingly, lawyer M. offered to middlemen of several parties for a six-figure amount of photos to show Strache in a garage in the transfer of cash and he should also prove the alleged drug use of the former FP chief in prospect.
As a source, the lawyer at that time called a frustrated former parliamentary club employee of the FPÖ, who had felt marginalized by Strache. According to M., the money was destined to financially "catch" this party official, and the action silted in. No one agreed - the material was too ambiguous and the asking price too high.
It is unclear who gave the order for the Ibiza video. It seems that it was designed for the 2017 election campaign, but then things went wrong. The producers could have stayed at the expense and looked for a financier. At least from this point on, the events shifted to Germany. The Süddeutsche Zeitung and the Spiegel deny having paid for the video. However, there may have been investors in the background.
The "Presse" asked the lawyer why he had filed a fake passport and tried a second time to spread such material, and his curt reply: "I have a duty of secrecy."
Meanwhile, the lawyer himself has a lawyer: Richard Soyer. He also later contacted the "press": "On behalf of my client, I ask for your understanding that he can not be available for discussion or comment because of confidentiality obligations." Please note that my client does not agree to identifying reporting granted. "