AfD lawmaker allegedly part of conspiracy theorist chat group

German vegan chef Attila Hildmann, speaks to his followers during an anti-restrictions protest at the Lustgarten park in Berlin, Germany, 11 July 2020. [EPA-EFE/OMER MESSINGER]

Alternative for Germany (AfD) MP Johannes Huber was active in the Telegram chat group, created by famous vegan chef turned conspiracy theorist, Attila Hildmann. In the group, Huber encouraged other members to contact political opponents and exert “pressure,” according to in-depth reporting on the site netzpolitik.org.

Security authorities have flagged the group as being in violation of Germany’s constitution.

Hildmann would use the platform to spread false conspiracies about coronavirus and other theories of the German government working with Jewish institutions to plot mass murder.

Last week, police in Brandenburg searched Hildmann’s house and confiscated laptops and cellphones.

In its investigation, netzpolitik.org found a Word document which had a so-called “urgent letter” addressed to the governing coalition, encouraging them to lift national coronavirus restrictions. Metadata on the document shows edits from “Johannes Huber MdB-Intern” and that it was created by an advisor in Huber’s office.

Huber has denied being a member of the Telegram chat group.

This comes a week after two other AfD MPs smuggled coronavirus sceptics into the Bundestag, during a large protest for changes to Germany’s infection protection law. These protestors harassed other MPs in an attempt to get them to change their vote.

On Tuesday, the party announced that the two MPs responsible will have their privilege to speak on the floor revoked for three months.

(Sarah Lawton | EURACTIV.de)

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