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German far-right MEP to return to campaign trail amid spying probe

In World
May 11, 2024

German legislator Maximilian Krah, the top candidate for the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party in June’s European elections, says he is set to return to the campaign trail despite being embroiled in a foreign influence scandal.

German police arrested his former assistant Jian Guo on suspicion of espionage on April 22, and Krah fired him following the allegations that the parliamentary aide was spying for China.

Krah himself is currently the subject of a preliminary investigation by German prosecutors into potential payments from Russia and China, and whether any payments might have influenced his work in the European Parliament.

The second candidate on the party’s election ticket, Petr Bystron, has also come under intense scrutiny for alleged links to pro-Russian networks.

The AfD’s lead contender Krah, who sits on the European Parliament’s trade committee, again rejected the accusations during an event in the Bavarian market town of Holzkirchen on Saturday.

“We are moving in the realm of speculation and defamation,” he said, referring to the scandals.

His parliamentary immunity had not been waived, Krah, whose European Parliament office was raided in connection with the probe into Jian Guo earlier this week, pointed out.

After having cancelled several public appearances in recent weeks, Krah said he was set to attend campaign events throughout Germany again.

Saturday’s event was originally due to take place at a pub in the nearby town of Miesbach. However the landlord cancelled at short notice, citing threats and hostility over his plans to host an AfD event.

An estimated 30 AfD supporters came to the new venue in a Holzkirchen pub, while around 20 people took part in a counter-rally on the opposite side of the street, which passed off peacefully.

Maximilian Krah, lead candidate of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) for the European elections, speaks in front of a crucifix during an election campaign event in Holzkirchen. Stefan Puchner/dpa

Maximilian Krah, lead candidate of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) for the European elections, speaks in front of a crucifix during an election campaign event in Holzkirchen. Stefan Puchner/dpa

Maximilian Krah, lead candidate of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) for the European elections, gestures next to two women on the sidelines of an election campaign event in Holzkirchen. Stefan Puchner/dpa

Maximilian Krah, lead candidate of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) for the European elections, gestures next to two women on the sidelines of an election campaign event in Holzkirchen. Stefan Puchner/dpa

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