Haider widow believes death 'not an accident'
The widow of Joerg Haider believes the far-right Austrian politician's death in a car crash may not have been an accident and has saved his body from cremation for a second post mortem, a Vienna newspaper has reported.
By David Wroe in Berlin
24 Oct 2008
Today cited senior members of Mr Haider's party as claiming that his widow Claudia had doubts about the official explanation of her husband's death and wanted a further examination by a coroner, possibly in Italy.
The paper suggested that Mr Haider's body was abruptly withdrawn from a planned cremation on Saturday. It said Mrs Haider feared her husband may have been drugged.
Theories that the charismatic politician, 58, was assassinated have simmered in Austria since the crash on Oct 11.
Party sources pointed to the fact that there were no tyre skid marks as evidence Mr Haider was unconscious when he crashed, Today said.
Last week, a Volkswagen spokesman said the speed at which Haider was driving – 88mph – although nearly double the speed limit, should ''not have been a problem for the car's physics'' on the curved road.
Mr Haider's car, a VW Phaeton, struck a pillar and flipped near the city of Klagenfurt. The governor of the state of Carinthia, was nearly four times over the legal blood alcohol limit.
Stefan Petzner, his protégé, has been linked to Haider romantically by Austrian media after Mr Petzner said: "We had a relationship that went far beyond friendship. Me and Jorg were connected by something truly special. He was the man of my life."
Mr Petzner briefly succeeded Mr Haider as leader of the Alliance for the Future of Austria but was sacked after his tearful revelation.
Mrs Haider declined to comment to the Austrian paper about the plan for a further post mortem. A spokesman for the party yesterday also refused to comment on the story to the Telegraph.
Mr Haider, who rose to notoriety in the late 1990s as leader of the far-right Freedom Party, died just days after his new party more than doubled its vote in Austria's national election.