Sunday, 20. April 2014 - 10:04
11. 12. 12. - 14:00
Austrian prosecutors have lost the first round in the bribery case against a controversial aristocrat with a castle in Scotland over claims he acted as an intermediary to pay out cash to win favours and contracts for BAE Systems.
BAE lobbyist Count Alfons Mensdorff-Pouilly, 59, is facing a court case in Vienna, Austria, this week over bribery and corruption charges that were dropped in the UK.
After he was released from investigative custody in the UK the Count was given 372,000 GBP of UK taxpayers money because of his temporary stay in a UK jail. He complained he had not been allowed a comb and fresh underpants when he was put under investigation for the charges that were later dropped by the British Serious Fraud Office (SFO).
But now he is to go on trial in Austria this week over the same allegations (Dec 12).
But in advance of the case prosecutors had wanted to get the court to authorise that his palace home could not be sold off or transferred so that it can be seized at the end of the case if the count is ordered to pay damages or a fine.
However the High Court ruled that in advance of a conviction it was not possible to do this and rejected the application.
In the United Kingdom the SFO had started the Austrian investigation by asking officials in Vienna for help over allegations that the Count and a British relative who died in 2007 were key players in a network designed to launder cash that was then used in bribes to secure lucrative defence contracts.
But while the SFO suddenly announced that it was "no longer in the public interest to continue the investigation into the conduct of individuals" in February, the Austrian probe has continued.
In the UK the Count owns Dalnaglar Castle in Perthshire and a home in London's Sloane Square, and was awarded 372,000 GBP and an apology for his arrest. In Austria he now risks losing his woodland estate - and jail for up to 5 years on the same charges.
Although initially bogged down in trying to trace a complicated network of front companies that handled billions in transactions, Austrian prosecutors suddenly made headway with the arrest of a fraudulent Italian broker Gianfranco Lande, who offered a plea bargain deal with details of an arms trade bribery network.
Pink Easter bunny helps Vienna art world pay tribute to Dürer
The Viennese art world has created its own version of the Easter Bunny – by making a giant sized sculpture of the famous Albrecht Dürer painting currently on display until 29 June as part of the exhibition "Dürer, Michelangelo, Rubens"
Property price rise continues
The price of property in Vienna has now spiralled so much that every 4th apartment comes with a price tag of 500,000 or more. And every second flat costs 300,000 or more.
Jetflyers Take The Jet Ski Onto The Road
An Austrian company is making waves after they came up with the idea of taking a jet ski – and fitting it with wheels.
Exploring photography and art through 1960s cult film Blow-Up
Vienna's Albertina is putting on an photography exhibition featuring stills from the cult sixties photography film Blow-Up by Michelangelo Antonioni.
Turtle flies from Vienna to India to try his luck with the ladies
An endangered turtle from Schoenbrunn Zoo is taking a trip across the world to try his luck out with two female turtles in India.
Ricky Martin to perform at Life Ball 2014
In a celebrating of joys of life, sensuousness and a tribute to handsomeness, the Life Ball 2014 has announced that the Latino star Ricky Martin, chosen many times over as Sexiest Man Alive, will perform at the event.
Vienna prosecutors target Ukrainian former government
Austrian officials have announced they are coordinating with Ukraine's public prosecutors over the investigation of former Ukrainian government officials accused of money-laundering and sanctions violations.
Icelandic artist shoots whole film in front of live audience in Vienna
An Icelandic artist is making a film adaptation of the novel World Light in Vienna - but is carrying out the whole project, including filming, in front of a live studio audience.
Free plants and seedlings exchange in Vienna
Green fingered garden growers will have the chance to exchange their plants and seedlings for some new varieties in a plant swap fair taking place in Vienna at the end of April.
Airbus superjet coming to Vienna for one-off visit
The world's largest passenger airliner, the Airbus A380, is coming to Vienna International Airport for a one off visit on 26 May.
The most popular stories –
last 7 days
|Icelandic artist shoots whole film in front of live audience in Vienna|
|Property price rise continues|
|Vienna prosecutors target Ukrainian former government|
|Ricky Martin to perform at Life Ball 2014|
|Turtle flies from Vienna to India to try his luck with the ladies|