http://www.digitaljournal.com/news/world/defector-from-germany-s-far-right-afd-charged-with-perjury/article/504186

Defector from Germany's far-right AfD charged with perjury

Posted Oct 4, 2017 by AFP
The former public face of Germany's AfD who left the far-right party last week was on Wednesday charged with perjury over a campaign finance statement.
Frauke Petry could face between six months and five years jail if found guilty of lying under oath i...
Frauke Petry could face between six months and five years jail if found guilty of lying under oath in 2015
Ina Fassbender, AFP/File

The former public face of Germany's AfD who left the far-right party last week was on Wednesday charged with perjury over a campaign finance statement.

Frauke Petry, 42, could face between six months and five years jail if found guilty of lying under oath in 2015 in the assembly of the eastern state of Saxony.

Petry was long co-leader of the Alternative for Germany, which won 13 percent in September 24 elections, becoming the first far-right party to enter parliament in large numbers in the post-World War II era.

But one day after the election, she walked out of a press conference over the party's growing radicalisation and bitter infighting.

Shortly afterwards, she quit the AfD altogether with plans to form a rival party.

One other lawmaker, Mario Mieruch, also left the AfD's parliamentary faction Wednesday, citing concern about its drift to the extreme right, but it was unclear whether he would join forces with Petry.

In the legal case against Petry, prosecutors in Dresden said they suspected she gave false testimony under oath in November 2015 before a state parliamentary panel.

The topic was the AfD's practice of demanding that its candidates give a loan to the party which, after winning a seat, they would convert into a donation.

Petry had testified that victorious candidates could ask for their money back -- but prosecutors say this contradicted a section in the contracts they signed with the AfD.