Austria’s Central Bank suspends its Deputy Governor over Banknote Scandal

The deputy governor of Austria's central bank has been suspended. He is alleged for connections with a bribery scandal over banknote contracts.

Wolfgang Duchatczek, 63, was due to leave the position from the national bank in three weeks time. He along with eight other people is facing various charges. According to Vienna prosecutors, they are charged for abetting breach of trust and bribery.

The Austrian National Bank said in brief statement that Mr. Duchatczek was suspended from the position of the deputy governor with an immediate effect. Ewald Nowotny, who is the bank's governor, will take over the position for the interim period.

On the other hand, Mr Duchatczek's lawyer, Gabriel Lansky, has said that his client's suspension was not right on legal basis. Mr. Duchatcze could wait for a further decision from the ONB next week on his future.

The charges describe the efforts by the ONB's banknote printing unit to win contacts from Azerbaijan and Syria between June 2005 and June 2011. Mr. Duchatczek became its chairman in 2004.

Mr. Lansky said, "There is nothing in the whole 80-page indictment which in any way proves that Mr. Duchatczek in his capacity as a member of the supervisory board had any knowledge about this matter at the time".