Petr Bystron: Police probably searched AfD politician’s apartment

Petr Bystron: Police probably searched AfD politician’s apartment
Petr Bystron: Police probably searched AfD politician’s apartment

AfD politician Petr Bystron is suspected of bribery and money laundering. His apartment in Berlin has now apparently been searched.

According to information from the German Press Agency, investigators searched the AfD Bundestag member’s home address in Berlin on Thursday as part of the investigation into suspected money laundering and bribery against Petr Bystron. When asked, the Munich Public Prosecutor’s Office only confirmed further searches in the course of proceedings for money laundering and bribery “in order to secure further evidence”. According to information from dpa, investigators also searched other properties in Berlin. “Spiegel” was the first to report on the operation.

In May, Bavarian investigators searched Bystron’s office in the Bundestag, among other things. The parliamentarian from the Munich-North constituency is suspected of having received money in connection with the pro-Russian portal “Voice of Europe” in order to act in Russia’s interests in the Bundestag in return. The Bundestag had lifted Bystron’s immunity before the searches in May.

Petr Bystron rejects allegations

At the time, Bystron himself rejected the accusations and described the proceedings as politically motivated. He expects that the proceedings will be discontinued “when the election is over”. The presumption of innocence applies until the final decision is made.

The search operation came a few weeks before the investigators in the Bystron case had to take a forced break because of his move to the European Parliament. With the new mandate as an MEP, Bystron, who ran in second place on the AfD list in the election, enjoys immunity again.

Investigators have to take a break

The investigations must therefore be stopped as soon as the Federal Returning Officer has publicly announced the official result of the European elections in Germany. However, the Federal Election Committee is not due to meet until July 3 to determine the final official election result. After the announcement, further investigations may only be carried out if Bystron’s immunity is lifted by the European Parliament. However, it may take some time before a decision is made on this.

Bystron has been under fire for weeks because of the allegations. The AfD party leadership asked him not to appear in the European election campaign. He then declared that he did not want to appear in the election campaign for family reasons. A few days before the election, however, he took part in an AfD event in Nuremberg again – and is now moving into the European Parliament.

Part of the AfD delegation

In contrast to top candidate Maximilian Krah, Bystron will be part of the future AfD delegation. AfD co-leader Tino Chrupalla said on Monday that Bystron had made an affidavit at a meeting of the new EU MPs that he had not accepted any money and that “the statements are all false”. Some people, including MPs, had demanded this of him and it was important.

Bystron criticized the search: “The measure was only intended to intimidate. The police stormed the door at dawn with a battering ram, although they knew from the first search that it could be opened very easily. These are Gestapo methods that have been used on thousands of citizens over the last three years.”

Note: This article has been updated with Petr Bystron’s comments.

Source: Stern

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