Austrian broadcaster sues nationalist for ‘fake news’ claim

BERLIN (AP) — Austria’s public broadcaster is suing the country’s vice chancellor for claiming it spreads fake news.

ORF said it was moved to take legal action after nationalist politician Heinz-Christian Strache shared a post on Facebook earlier this month that defamed and discredited the work of 800 journalists, the broadcaster said in a statement sent to The Associated Press on Tuesday.

The Freedom Party politician had shared a post accusing ORF of spreading “fake news, lies and propaganda” on all of its channels. It also directly targeted one of the country’s most prominent journalists, Armin Wolf, who has regularly probed the party’s ties to far-right groups.

The post has since disappeared from Strache’s Facebook page and he has offered to apologize to Wolf.

ORF chief Alexander Wrabetz said the broadcaster wants Strache to desist from his claims and reserves the right to seek damages.

The broadcaster is also suing Facebook for refusing to remove the original post which Strache shared, Wrabetz said.

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