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German prosecutors lay charges against leading right-wing figure

Europe
04.10.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Berlin (dpa) - German prosecutors have charged a former leading member of the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party with suspected perjury, accusing her of making false statements to a state parliamentary committee.

Prosecutors in Dresden, in the eastern German state of Saxony, said the charges against Frauke Petry, a one-time leader of the right-wing populist AfD, stem from statements she made under oath in November 2015 to a committee reviewing the 2014 state elections.

The charges against the 42-year-old Petry followed a more-than-year-long investigation by prosecutors. Petry is a member of the Saxon parliament.

In particular, they relate to Petry‘s statements concerning loans to parliamentary candidates for financing the AfD‘s 2014 election campaign in the state.

A committee of the state legislature voted in August to recommend that her legislative immunity be removed, less than six weeks before last month‘s national elections, which resulted in Petry securing a seat in the parliament in Berlin.

Less than 24 hours after the national election, in which the AfD scored an historic 12.6 per cent of the vote, Petry announced plans to ditch the party, amid speculation that she planned to form a new political grouping.

Her move paved the way for a fresh wave of turmoil in the AfD, which was formed in 2013.

Petry, who insists that she did nothing wrong, supported the committee‘s decision to clear the way for a criminal investigation.

 

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