1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

German populist leader Petry accused of perjury

Elizabeth Schumacher (dpa, Reuters)May 25, 2016

The head of the AfD party is being investigated over allegations she lied under oath to the Saxon state parliament. The case revolves around statements she gave concerning loans made to the party.

München Frauke Petry AfD
Image: picture-alliance/AA/L. Barth

Frauke Petry, leader of the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, is being investigated on suspicion of perjury in her home state of Saxony. Prosecutors announced on Wednesday that they had reason to believe the populist politician lied under oath to the state parliament's elections supervisory committee.

A spokesman for the state attorney's office said the parliament had been informed and been asked to lift her immunity from prosecution.

Petry was questioned in November after the post-communist Left party called into question certain loans made to the AfD by the party's parliamentary candidates. If found guilty of perjury, Petry could receive a prison sentence of up to five years.

The 40-year-old lawmaker has consistently made headlines since taking over the AfD last summer following a power struggle that saw the ouster of party founder Bernd Lucke. Since then, the populists have focused less heavily on their euroskeptic foundations and more on increasingly heated anti-migrant rhetoric.

At a party convention earlier in May, the AfD voted to include the statement "Islam does not belong to Germany" in their first official manifesto. They have also promoted a ban on minarets and the Muslim call to prayer. A meeting between Petry and the head of Germany's Central Council of Muslims ended after just one hour.