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German far-right's top EU candidate to carry on despite aide's arrest

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German far-right's top EU candidate to carry on despite aide's arrest

Berlin, April 24 (Ajit Weekly News/DPA) The German far-right AfD party’s top candidate for the European elections, Maximilian Krah, announced on Wednesday that he will continue leading the party’s campaign despite the arrest of an aide on allegations of spying for China.

Krah told journalists in Berlin following a 20 minute crisis meeting with AfD party leaders Alice Weidel and Tino Chrupalla that he would not be taking part in the AfD’s election campaign launch event at the weekend.

“But if you now believe that this is the end of my leading candidacy, then I have to disappoint you. I am and will remain the lead candidate,” Krah said.

Krah said he would adjust the campaign strategy ahead of the European Parliament elections in June, but that he plans not to discuss the allegations against his staff member at the European Parliament.

“The aim is for us to talk about Europe and for this matter to go where it belongs, namely to the judicial authorities,” Krah said, describing the spying allegations against his aid as an unpleasant matter.

Krah said he planned to fire the employee, who remains in police custody, on Wednesday. The aide is charged with acting as an agent for a foreign secret service.

“But the fact remains that I cannot be accused of any personal misconduct,” he said, adding that he would remain in close contact with party leadership.

The aide to Krah was detained in Dresden on Monday evening on suspicion of passing on information from the European Parliament to China, according to prosecutors, although the arrest was only publicly announced on Tuesday.

Prosecutors said the suspect had also spied on Chinese opposition members in Germany.

The Chinese government has rejected the allegations, calling them slanderous.

“I am very interested in the investigation and will endeavour to find out what exactly is being accused,” Krah said on Wednesday. “We will also continue to work in my office to reconstruct everything that was handled by him during the period in question.”

Krah described the conversation with Weidel and Chrupalla as very friendly, constructive but appropriately serious.

The two party leaders themselves declined to comment, but said that the party plans to release a statement later.

–Ajit Weekly News/DPA

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