Right-wing AfD Bundestag parliamentarian convicted of football hooliganism | News | DW | 19.10.2017
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Right-wing AfD Bundestag parliamentarian convicted of football hooliganism

Sebastian Münzenmaier has received a suspended sentence for being an accessory to violence carried out by fans of second-division club Kaiserslautern. But he'll still be able to take up his seat in a parliament.

Incoming Bundestag deputy Sebastian Münzenmaier of the populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) has been fined 10,000 euros ($12,000) and handed a six-month suspended sentence for his involvement in an attack by Kaiserslautern supporters on fans of local rivals Mainz five years ago.

A court in Mainz found that the attack, which took place at Kaiserslautern's stadium on March 18, 2012, was planned with Münzenmaier's "knowledge and approval."

Münzenmaier did not take part in the violence himself, but the court found him complicit in it because he communicated with members of the Kaiserslautern hooligan scene on the day of the attack and brought some of the ultras from a gas station to the stadium.

Münzenmaier was the AfD's lead candidate for the state of Rhineland Palatinate during Germany's national election last month and earned a seat in parliament. Münzenmaier will be allowed to take up his Bundestag mandate because being an accessory to assault is classified as a minor criminal offense (a Vergehen) and not a major crime (a Verbrechen) in Germany.

The court rendered its verdict after evaluating WhatsApp chats, text messages, emails, mobile-phone data and photos from both Münzenmaier and other witnesses. 

Münzenmaier, who insisted during the election campaign that he is "a peaceful football fan," called the court's verdict an "insult," a "joke" and "pure speculation." He declined to testify on his own behalf during the trial.

jc/msh  (dpa)

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