The Austrian Parliament wants to persuade ex-billionaire René Benko to testify with the help of a penalty after his appearance before an investigative committee was canceled. This was announced, among others, by SPÖ MP Jan Krainer. The conservative ÖVP will also expressly support all sanctions measures, said its MP Andreas Hanger. The last-minute cancellation was a disrespect for Parliament.

The Federal Administrative Court must decide on an application. Then a new appointment with Benko would probably be possible in April or mid-May, said Krainer.

The founder of the now insolvent Signa Group canceled his appointment with the committee on Wednesday evening, citing the many complaints against him and against Signa companies. Benko’s lawyer argued in a letter that the entrepreneur could not answer questions in parliament because he would risk getting into a conflict between the obligation to tell the truth and the right to refuse to testify.