AfD scandal: Party sent wrong donor names to German parliament | News | DW | 21.02.2019
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AfD scandal: Party sent wrong donor names to German parliament

AfD parliamentary group leader Alice Weidel is being investigated for potentially breaching German campaign financing laws. Now, prosecutors have voiced doubts about a list of donors the party sent to parliament.

A campaign financing scandal involving the parliamentary group leader of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) deepened on Thursday after reports emerged that the party had given the German parliament false information about its donors.

A list of 14 people the party said had donated a total of €130,000 ($147,000) to Alice Weidel during the 2017 federal elections was partially false, weekly magazine Der Spiegel and public broadcaster ARD reported.

Public prosecutors told the outlets that their probe into whether Weidel had breached campaign finance laws had "so far confirmed doubts that the people named are actually the donors."

Several of the people on the list told Der Spiegel that they had only given the AfD their names, even alleging that the party had tried to offer them money.

Read more: What kind of party is the AfD growing up to be?

Swiss connection

Reports about the €130,000 donation first emerged in November. Weidel's constituency office returned the money several months after receiving it amid doubts about its legality.

Swiss pharmaceutical company PWS reportedly admitted that it had transferred the money on behalf of an unnamed donor. German campaign finance laws forbid donations from non-European Union countries and require parties to identify their donors.

The AfD later said PWS had transferred the money on behalf of 14 people with EU citizenship. It asked PWS to transfer their names and then sent the list to parliament.

Weidel, who was the AfD's lead candidate during the 2017 election, reportedly spent the donation on social media advertising and legal fees before her office returned it to PWS.

Read more: AfD: Meet the far-right bosses

amp/msh (AFP, dpa)

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