Austria’s vice chancellor and longtime far-right leader, Heinz-Christian Strache, said on Saturday he was stepping down over video footage that threatened to bring down the right-wing coalition government, ONA reports citing Reuters.
Strache was shown in the footage of as-yet unknown origin meeting a woman posing as the niece of a Russian oligarch in 2017, shortly before the election that brought him to power.
In the footage published by German media on Friday evening, he appears to offer to funnel contracts toward a company in exchange for political and financial support.
“It was dumb, it was irresponsible and it was a mistake,” Strache told a news conference, fighting back tears as he asked his wife and others to forgive him. He maintained, however, that he had done nothing illegal.