The far-right Alternative for Germany party (AfD) could pay a fine totalling almost €270,000 for accepting illegal campaign donations, a Berlin administrative court ruled on Thursday evening (9 January).
It found that party chair Jörg Meuthen paid Swiss PR agency Goal AG €90,000 for his election campaign in the 2016 state parliament elections in Baden-Württemberg. Although it didn’t convince the court, Meuthen pointed to his inexperience, as well as his belief that the managing director of the agency, who was one of his acquaintances, had simply made some posters.
But was this the first time the far-right party faced the courts for accepting illegal campaign donations? Elsewhere Merkel is heading to Moscow to meet Vladimir Putin.
This case is not the AfD’s first experience with the German court system. There is a case pending for similar services provided by a different Swiss PR agency for AfD MEP Guido Reil.
And the leader of the AfD in the Bundestag, Alice Weidel, is also facing potential fines for accepting €132,000 worth of donations to her local party chapter in Lake Constance from a Swiss pharmaceutical company. (Sarah Lawton | EURACTIV.de)