Peter Sichrovsky said that he had been a Mossad informant for five years until retiring from politics in 2002.
â€œI wanted to help Israel and certainly did not do anything wrong,â€ said Herr Sichrovsky who was secretary-general of Herr Haiderâ€™s Freedom party and a member of the European Parliament. The Austrian state prosecutor said yesterday that he would open an investigation to determine whether Herr Sichrovsky should be prosecuted. Spying for a foreign power carries a jail sentence of up to three years in Austria.
The revelations, in the news weekly Profil, stunned the Austrian political class. Herr Sichrovsky, who is of Jewish origin, was a controversial figure for the conservative Right. The Jewish community regarded him as a traitor for working with Herr Haider, while anti-Semitic Freedom party activists made no secret of their distrust.