A police car is parked in front of the German Reichstag. EPA-EFE/HANNIBAL HANSCHKE


AfD MEP Bystron: new police searches


Newly elected MEP Petr Bystron, second on the German party Alternative für Deutschland’s (AfD) candidate list for the European Parliament ballot of June 6-9, has again had his premises searched by police.

This time, officers targeted property in the Czech Republic.

Germany’s Public Prosecutor has accused Bystron of bribery and money laundering after Czech intelligence services claimed politicians had allegedly accepted payments from a Russian influence operation.

According to the allegations, Bystron accepted a five-digit sum from Voice of Europe, a news service that is said to promote pro-Russian sentiment.

The Munich Public Prosecutor’s Office told the German Press Agency the latest searches were taking place “to secure further evidence”.

Previously, Bystron had his premises in Berlin, Bavaria and on the Spanish island of Mallorca searched in May.

The German politician denies all allegations, describing law enforcement actions as “nasty methods” and the accusations against him “far-fetched”.

Speaking to German news outlet ZDF on June 27, Bystron said: “In 12 house searches in Germany, nothing incriminating has been found because the accusations have no basis. This will remain the case after the further searches.”

For every search, the Bundestag has needed to have German parliamentary immunity for Bystron lifted.

After his entry into the European Parliament, the investigations were initially put on hold.

If the Munich public prosecutor wants to investigate further, it will need Bystron’s immunity under the European Parliament lifted, which could take longer than in Germany.

So far, there have not been any formal charges made against Bystron.