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German spy agency accepts AfD verdict

March 8, 2019

Germany's domestic intelligence agency says it will not contest a court ruling banning it from calling the populist AfD an "examination case." Judges had said calling the party a potential threat was "disproportionate."

AfD brochures
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/M. Scholz

Germany's domestic intelligence service, the Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), said on Friday it accepted a court verdict that forbade it to publicly describe the populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party as an "examination case."

Classifying an organization as such allows the BfV to use publicly available material to assess whether it is a potential threat to the constitutional order.

The Administrative Court of Cologne ruled in late February that the BfV had acted "illegally and disproportionately" by describing the AfD as an "examination case" at a press conference in January.

Read moreGerman intelligence to boost observation of right-wing extremists 

Georg Pazderski on Conflict Zone

'A defamation'

The ruling came in response to an emergency appeal by the party, which said the description constituted defamation.

BfV President Thomas Haldenwang said his agency would concentrate now on what he saw as the most urgent task of observing "the activities of the affiliated AfD organizations "Der Flügel" (The Wing) and the "Junge Alternative" (Young Alternative), which are suspected of extremism."

"We will inform the public about progress in this task in due time," he said.

A number of AfD members have in the past made comments considered by many as extremist or racist in nature, and some lawmakers have called for it to be put under observation.

Read more: Who votes for Germany's far-right party AfD? Not who you'd think

tj/rt (epd, AFP)

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