Maximilian Krah, member of the European Parliament for the Alternative for Germany (AfD) political party, speaks to journalists outside the Reichstag following a meeting between Krah and AfD leading members on April 24, 2024 in Berlin.(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)


AfD leadership clips wings of list leader Krah over Chinese spy allegations

German media reported increased internal party pressure on Krah as a result of scandals seemingly haunting him


Maximilian Krah MEP, the German Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) party’s list leader for the upcoming June European Parliament election, will take a back seat in the campaign amid a controversial case of alleged espionage, following a crisis meeting with AfD bigwigs.

German media reported increased internal party pressure on Krah as a result of scandals seemingly haunting him.

It was revealed on April 24 that, at the request of two AfD leaders – Alice Weidel and Tino Chrupalla – Krah is to step out of the limelight and has reportedly been asked not to attend the party’s election campaign kick-off in Donaueschingen, in the Southwest of Baden-Württemberg.

Still, Krah stated early on April 24 he would remain the party’s front-runner for the EP elections, while telling reporters in Berlin that he will not participate in the opening of the election campaign over the weekend of April 27.

“But if you think this is the end of my candidacy, then I have to disappoint you. I am and will remain the top candidate,” he insisted.

He added: “I have no personal misconduct to reproach myself [for]. I have to assume that a crime has probably been committed in my office.”

The aim, Krah said, was “to talk about Europe and to get this matter where it belongs, namely to the judicial authorities”.

On April 23, when news broke of the arrest of his assistant named only as “Jian G”, the German MEP admitted the case looked serious but said he had no further information than what was published in a press release from the Federal Prosecutor General.

A day later, the Prosecutor’s Office ordered the pre-trial detention of Jian G, leading to Krah announcing his assistant’s dismissal.

“I will terminate his employment ‘on the very day’,” he said. “I am very interested in clarification and will make every effort to find out specifically what is being alleged.”

Krah admitted the AfD campaign was “now, of course, terribly overshadowed by this matter”.

German weekly newspaper Junge Freiheit reported he is de facto banned from all party events and will be only be invited to make appearances on a case-by-case basis.

The AfD was unable to change its European list, even if it wanted to, as the deadline for such had already expired.

Brussels Signal contacted Krah for a response but, as of writing, had not received one.

In the evening of April 24, Krah shared on X that the public prosecutor’s office is conducting preliminary investigations against him, calling it a “routine” move.

“Preliminary investigations serve to check whether there is any initial suspicion at all. So we are still in the realm of assumptions and insinuations.”

In the meantime, German online news portal Der Spiegel reported on his party colleague Petr Bystron, the number two on the European list who is accused of working for the Russians.

According to the news outlet, Bystron is heard in a wiretapped conversation allegedly complaining to pro-Russian businessman Artem Marchevskyi during a handover of monies.

It is alleged part of the cash that came in were €200 bills, which are difficult to use in German shops.

The Der Speigel report refers to the German intelligence services and declares that, thus far, no proof of any such transactions has been directly shared with it.