Austrian Jewish group bans Lauder in election spat

By REUTERS
December 6, 2012 20:17

 
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VIENNA - Austria's official Jewish organization has banned billionaire Ron Lauder, head of the World Jewish Congress and a former US ambassador, from its property over complaints he meddled with its elections.

A spokesman for Lauder on Thursday dismissed the allegations as "a distortion of the truth."

The move by IKG, Austria's official representative of Jews, is an unusual slap at Lauder, son of cosmetic mogul Estee Lauder and a major supporter of Jewish communities around the world.

In a letter to Jewish leaders in Europe dated December 3 and seen by Reuters, IKG President Oskar Deutsch accused Lauder of offering incentives to IKG board members to support rival candidate Martin Engelberg as president.

The incumbent Deutsch won the election.

Lauder and Engelberg strongly deny wrongdoing.

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