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Public prosecutor's office examines investigations against Krah

Maximilian Krah after a meeting with the AfD parliamentary group leaders in Berlin / Photo: Michael Kappeler/dpa
Maximilian Krah after a meeting with the AfD parliamentary group leaders in Berlin / Photo: Michael Kappeler/dpa

Following reports of possible payments from pro-Russian patrons to the AfD's leading candidate for the European elections, Krah, the public prosecutor's office in Dresden is now also getting involved.

The Dresden Public Prosecutor General's Office is investigating possible payments from Russia and China against the AfD's leading candidate for the European elections, Maximilian Krah. Due to recent public reports, so-called preliminary investigation proceedings have been initiated in connection with alleged Russian payments for his activities as a Member of the European Parliament. This was announced by the Public Prosecutor General's Office on Wednesday, confirming a report by MDR Aktuell. A second preliminary investigation against Krah concerns alleged Chinese payments.

According to the information provided, the sole purpose of these preliminary investigations is currently to examine whether there is any initial suspicion of criminal conduct involving bribery of MEPs. If an initial suspicion is substantiated, formal investigation proceedings could then be initiated. However, this would require the EU Parliament, of which Krah is a member, to waive his immunity beforehand. When asked by MDR Aktuell, Krah himself stated that he had not yet been informed of the move and denied any wrongdoing.

The background to this are media reports that Krah was allegedly questioned by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 2023 about possible payments from pro-Russian patrons. According to media reports, the US investigators are said to have held a chat message against Krah in which a pro-Russian activist assured his acquaintance Krah that the problem with the "compensation" for Krah's "technical expenses" had been resolved. From May onwards, "things will be as they were before February". The wording suggested that Krah may have been paid covertly for some time, the report continued. Der Spiegel quoted Krah as saying that he had never received any money from the activist, "no payments, monetary benefits or other compensation".

On Monday evening, one of Krah's employees was also arrested. The Federal Public Prosecutor General accuses the man of spying for a Chinese secret service. According to the Dresden public prosecutor's office, the current preliminary investigations are not related to the proceedings of the federal prosecutor's office against Krah's employee.

In an interview with journalist Tilo Jung, Krah recently said the following about his connections to China: "Of course I was in China, I'm everywhere, I have many friends." The interview was about a trip to the People's Republic in 2019, and Krah assured that he had paid for the flight himself. The hosts had only covered the costs for three business hotels and a train ticket. He had reported this correctly in the EU Parliament's transparency register. He had not met with the secret service.

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