Updated at 14:52,24-02-2021

Austrian organizer of Lukashenka vacation sentenced to 5 years in prison


The chief of the Austrian Olympic Committee, Heinz Jungwirth, was found guilty of embezzling some €3.3 million.

On July 31, the Criminal Court of Vienna found the former secretary general of the Austrian Olympic Committee Heinz Jungwirth guilty of embezzling about €3,3 million and jailed him for five years.

Jungwirth was first suspected of financial speculations on the post of the Austrian NOC in early 2009. It became a reason for his resignation.

As it was figured out during court proceedings, sums of thousands euros were “disappearing” from NOC accounts and parts of them were transferred to Jungwirth's personal accounts, Kommersant newspaper (Russia) writes.

In particular, the secretary general withdrew €2,23 million from the committee's bank book and transfer 847,000 euros on his deposit. About €578,000 from the Olympic Committee's checking account were spent "unknown" needs. About €515,000 were transfered to four personal accounts of the committee head and 250,000 euros were found on accounts of Jungwirth's creditors. "If you look at Doctor Jungwirth's lifestyle, you can guess where the money went," judge Georg Olschak said. Court documents note Jungwirths bought ten horses and paid for an expensive coach for his son.

Among numerous counts of financial crimes heard by the court was a secret account opened by the Olympic Committee in Raiffeisen bank. The account was used to pay for luxurious vacation of Belarusian dictator Alyaksandr Lukashenka and his retinue in the Alps in 2002 and other purposes. The money was transferred by Heinz Jungwirth, who took active part in organizing the vacation for Lukashenka's delegation.

Charges against Jungwirth were mainly based on investigations of independent experts of BDO International, a worldwide network offering accountancy and audit services.

The judgement against the head of the Olympic Committee of Austria has not come into force yet. The defendant asked the court to give him some time to discuss further steps with his lawyer.