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German far-right demands proof of alleged Russian bribes

German far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) came out in support of Petr Bystron on Monday, one of their top candidates for the European elections, who allegedly received cash from a pro-Russian news site for his election campaign.

In a call with the party’s leaders, Bystron -the second pick for the AfD’s EU list- denied allegations of taking money linked to the Voice of Europe, a media platform with alleged links to the Kremlin.

The party opted to back him on Monday, saying that AfD “must assume Bystron’s innocence,” citing his “vehement” denial of the accusations.

Bystron wrote on his X profile that he would seek to gain access to investigation records of a Bavarian court, considering whether he could be taken to trial.

Both Bystron and AfD leadership demanded access to the reported evidence of collusion, adding that the Czech authorities should make the evidence public.

Last week, the Czech newspaper Denik N reported that the national security service has audio files implicating Bystron taking money in connection with news outlet Voice of Europe, which Prague said was part of a pro-Russian influence operation.

An investigation led by the Czech Security Information Service, in cooperation with several other national security services around Europe, uncovered a pro-Russian network that carried out activities that have “serious implications for the security of the Czech Republic and the EU,” Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said.

Bystron was one of the first lawmakers to be “interviewed” by Voice of Europe.

According to Czech intelligence circles, politicians from Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, and Poland are supposed to have been paid in connection to Voice of Europe.

Bystron says the investigation amounts to outside forces attempting to influence his far-right party. AfD “will not allow their election campaign to be dictated by manipulative accusations from foreign intelligence services,” Bystron told several media outlets.

Whilst AfD’s top-brass has come out in support of Bystron, his fellow lawmaker and leading candidate on the party’s EU election list, Maximilian Krah, suggested previously that he should refrain from public appearances until the matter is resolved.

Source: Euractiv