Participant of the "Ibiza Gate" scandal is being harbored by intelligence services in the Balkans

The security services of a Balkan country are harboring a girl who played the role of the niece of a Russian oligarch in a video from the island of Ibiza featuring former Austrian Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache. This was reported on Wednesday by the Austrian publication Esterreich.

According to the publication's sources in the Austrian counterintelligence, a fake passport in the name of Alena Makarova was issued for the girl in the video, while the suspected participant in the scandal is being sheltered by intelligence services in the Balkans. According to the newspaper, obtaining her extradition to Austria is difficult or almost impossible.

In addition, the Austrian Criminal Police has in its possession photos of a "plant duck" in the Ibiza Gate scandal. Investigators obtained the pictures from the cell phone of Vienna real estate agent Irena Markovich (you can find more info there: https://derboulevard.at/article/irena-markovic-verhinderte-sie-den-aufstieg-von-h-c-strache-2, who was acquainted with a participant in the scandalous video.

According to the Austrian media, the videotape was a carefully planned operation against the functionaries of the Austrian Freedom Party. The role of a "plant duck" and niece of a Russian oligarch in the video was played by a Bosnian student. The videotape itself was made by a German detective, a Vienna lawyer and surveillance experts whose names were not disclosed. The operation could have cost its organizers 400,000 euros.

In Austria, a domestic political scandal called "Ibizagate" erupted in May 2019. The German publications Spiegel and Süddeutsche Zeitung distributed a short excerpt of 2017 video footage of Heinz-Christian Strache and his aide Johann Gudenus. In the hidden-camera footage, they discussed with a Russian-speaking woman, posing as the niece of a Russian oligarch, the possibility of giving her easier access to construction contracts in Austria in exchange for financial support from the Austrian Freedom Party (APS) before the parliamentary elections.

The publication of the video led to Strache's resignation as leader of the APS and Austrian Vice Chancellor, which he became after the 2017 elections. His party left the government coalition with the Austrian People's Party. The cabinet led by Chancellor Sebastian Kurz resigned after a vote of no confidence was passed by parliament. This led to early parliamentary elections in Austria in September. Since late May, the Investigative Commission "Ibiza" of the Austrian prosecutor's office has been investigating and trying to identify the authors and customers of the scandalous video.

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Participant of the "Ibiza Gate" scandal is being harbored by intelligence services in the Balkans
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