“In the crosshairs of justice”, headlines Kleine Zeitung. On November 26, Ernst Strasser, former MEP and former Austrian interior minister, went on trial for corruption. During his tenure in Brussels, he was secretly filmed in 2011 bytwo journalists from TheSunday Times posing as lobbyists who discussed the fee Strasser would accept in exchange for trying to influence European Union legislation. The European Union deputy demanded €100,000 a year for his services. According to the Austrian prosecutor, the paper notes –
Money was more important to him than his integrity. Most of the 60 delegates approached by the two British journalists – all but Strasser, and two other MEPs, a Romanian and a Slovenian – withstood the temptation.
Strasser, however, protests his innocence. In talking about money with the journalists, his lawyer claims, he intended “to reveal a conspiracy against him, possibly by a secret service,” writes Die Presse, which calls the transcript of the conversations with Strasser published by The Sunday Times “impressive testimony to his arrogance, megalomania, haughtiness and unscrupulousness.” If convicted, Strasser faces up to 10 years in prison.