Austrian media: Ruling center-right party’s offices searched

BERLIN (AP) — Austrian media reported Wednesday that investigators have searched the offices of the country’s governing People’s Party in connection with a bribery investigation.

The Austria Press Agency reported that the chancellery building was also searched, though it wasn’t immediately clear whether this included the offices of Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.

Two dailies, Presse and Kurier, reported that the probe was linked to suspicious payments for opinion polls published in another newspaper.

Public broadcaster ORF reported that the polls, which benefited the center-right People’s Party, were paid for by the finance ministry.

Senior People’s Party officials claimed that media leaks in recent days about planned searches had been intended to hurt the party and Kurz.

The 35-year-old chancellor was put under investigation in May by anti-corruption authorities on suspicion of making false statements to a parliamentary commission, an allegation he has rejected.

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