Alternative for Germany party (AfD) board member Maximilian Krah saw his assistant getting arrested as a Chinese spy. EPA-EFE/CLEMENS BILAN


AfD MEP assistant arrested on accusations of spying for China


An assistant working for the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) party MEP Maximilian Krah has been arrested on the orders of the German Federal Prosecutor General.

The assistant, referred to as “Jian G”, is suspected of spying for China.

Krah told Brussels Signal he had no further information than what he had read in a press release referring to the issue by the Federal Prosecutor General.

He admitted the latest event was more serious than other recent accusations made by intelligence services, which he considered part of a political campaign against his party.

Despite the Federal Prosecutor General’s involvement, Krah stressed Jian G. at this point was still just a suspect and that more details were needed to fully understand the current situation

Following the arrest, Krah said he had not been in contact with Jian G.

“Spying for a foreign state is a serious accusation,” a statement later published by Krah’s office read.

“If the allegations prove true, it will result in the immediate termination of Mr [G’s] employment with me.”

In its press release, the German Federal Prosecutor General said it ordered the provisional arrest of Jian G in Dresden and that the residences of the accused were searched.

“He is charged with espionage for a foreign intelligence service in a particularly severe case.”

The Federal Prosecutor’s Office alleged Jian G is an employee of a Chinese intel group.

“Since 2019, he has been working for a German member of the European Parliament. In January 2024, the accused repeatedly provided information about negotiations and decisions in the European Parliament to his intelligence service handler,” the Prosecutor’s Office alleged.

“Additionally, he conducted espionage on Chinese opposition figures in Germany for the intelligence service.”

Regarding the alleged provision of information about the European Parliament, Krah said it concerned “public procedures in the Parliament”, adding he did not believe it involved any information that was not for public disclosure.

Asked by Brussels Signal if he would put his hand in the fire over the innocence of his arrested assistant, Krah stated he would “never put his hand in the fire for anyone”.

“Everything is possible, I had no suspicion [about Jian G.] in the past. Now, of course, we have to deal with a new situation.”

Krah says he is waiting for more information about the precise accusations against Jian G, which is expected to be forthcoming later on April 23.

In the media, suspicions over Jian G have been widely put forward. Zeit reported that he seemed to have had a “double agenda” for more than a decade.

“Jian G had offered himself to the German security authorities as an informant more than 10 years ago. However, suspicions quickly arose that he was doing this in the interests of the Chinese state,” according to Zeit.

Conservative news outlets such as Breitbart and the European Conservative were among the first to cover the controversy, indicating last year that Jian G’s employment was seen as problematic by some within the AfD.

Jian G will face the investigating judge of the Federal Court of Justice on April 23, who will decide if pre-trial detention is necessary.

The case is the result of intelligence reports from the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution. The Federal Criminal Police Office is leading the police investigation.

It is said to be unrelated to the arrest of three other individuals in Germany earlier this week over Chinese espionage concerns.

German interior minister Nancy Faeser said: “If it is confirmed that the European Parliament was used to spy for Chinese intelligence services, then this is an attack on European democracy from within.

“Anyone who employs such an employee bears responsibility for this.”

“This case must be investigated in detail — in a Constitutional State, this is the job of the investigative authorities and the judiciary. All connections and backgrounds must be examined,” she concluded.

Responding to the arrest, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin denounced the accusations of Chinese spying as “slander”.

“The threat theory of alleged Chinese espionage is not a new thing in European public opinion,” Wenbin said.

According to him, the claims are aimed at “destroying the atmosphere of co-operation between China and Europe”.