Caught in the Trap: Heinz-Christian Strache, the head of Austria’s right-wing populist FPÖ party, met with a purported Russian multimillionaire on Ibiza in July 2017. She offered him campaign support in exchange for public contracts. What he didn’t know was that the exchange was being recorded

Caught in the Trap: Heinz-Christian Strache, the head of Austria's right-wing populist FPÖ party, met with a purported Russian multimillionaire on Ibiza in July 2017. She offered him campaign support in exchange for public contracts. What he didn't know was that the exchange was being recorded

  • Heinz-Christian Strache enjoyed a meal of sea bass carpaccio, tuna tartare and sushi, accompanied by top shelf vodka and can-after-can of Red Bull, which Strache is known to like – after which the purported Russian then made him an extremely dubious offer.
  • Neither Der Spiegel nor the Süddeutsche Zeitung have any reliable information about the motives of the people who set Strache this trap in 2017 or who they may have been working for.
  • There had already been meetings with Gudenus, a confidant with whom Strache has been friends ever since they were in Austria’s Vandalia fraternity together, where Strache had been his pledge father.
  • Because Haselsteiner’s company STRABAG is awarded many public tenders, Strache added: “It’s a huge volume.” He went on to say: “If the quality is there and a quality bidder is there, then I’ll be the first to say …” At which point Strache thrust his arms in the air in a theatrical shrug.
  • Even if one was willing to discount the STRABAG offer as whimsical, the allegedly covert party donations as common procedure and his Orbán-esque power-fantasies as being standard Strache fare – if it were to be revealed just how derogatorily and scornfully Strache and Gudenus spoke about politicians from other parties, coalition talks would have become impossible, as would close cooperation as part of a joint government.
  • Even though Strache had briefly grown suspicious that the whole thing might be a trap after all, he didn’t immediately leave the villa.
  • Strache’s comrade-in-arms, Strache’s protégé, Strache’s confidant.