EU parliament waives immunity of corruption-accused Austrian deputy
Sep 13, 2011, 10:26 GMT
Strasbourg, France - European lawmakers agreed Tuesday to waive the parliamentary immunity of an Austrian colleague who has been swept up in corruption allegations.
The lifting of Hans-Peter Martin's immunity will allow Austrian prosecutors to launch an investigation into accusations of embezzling election funds.
The eurosceptic Martin won nearly 18 per cent of the Austrian vote in the 2009 European elections by promising to fight corruption in the European Union.
Just weeks before Austrian prosecutors announced that they would seek to have his immunity lifted, he had unveiled a decision to list on his website every lobbying offer he received, as other lawmakers got embroiled in a cash-for-amendments scandal.
But another EU legislator in Martin's small political movement has accused him of misappropriating around 1 million euros (1.47 million dollars) of election campaign subsidies to renovate his home and settle private legal matters.
Martin denies the accusations. He is the third Austrian member of the EU parliament to be linked with possible corruption this year.