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Germany far-right lawmaker denies receiving Russian bribes – JURIST

Apr 5, 2024 | Legal News | 0 comments

German parliamentarian Petr Bystron, representing the far-right party Alternative for Germany (AfD), denied on Thursday allegations of receiving bribes from Russia, according to an exclusive report from German journalist Alexander Wallasch, who obtained a copy of a letter from Bystron to the AfD’s leadership.

In a formal letter to Alice Weidel and Tino Chrupalla, the leaders of AfD, Bystron stated that he has never accepted any payments or cryptocurrencies from Russian sources. He attributed these accusations to what he termed a “defamation campaign” against AfD candidates ahead of the European Elections 2024. Bystron characterised the allegations as “nebulously formulated” and criticized their unverified dissemination by media outlets.

The letter specifically cited two prominent media agencies: Der Spiegel, a major German news outlet, and Dennik N, a Czech platform. These outlets were the first to report on Bystron’s alleged collusion with Russia. According to their accounts, the Security Information Service of the Czech government obtained audio recordings which showed that Bystron received funds from pro-Russian media company Voice of Europe. Bystron cast doubts on the credibility of the Czech government, stating that Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala had no interest in stopping the conflict in Ukraine. He called upon the Czech authorities to disclose their wiretapping protocols and release the audio evidence.

Bystron is the second AfD member involved in such allegations. In March 2024, Maximillian Krah, another AfD representative, was called a “part of the Russian propaganda apparatus” by Nancy Faeser, the Federal Minister of the Interior and Community in Germany. Both Bystron and Krah intend to participate in the upcoming European Parliament elections, which are scheduled for June.

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