Former Germany AfD leader charged with perjury

Former Germany AfD leader charged with perjury”

Frauke Petry, the former co-head of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), was charged with perjury by prosecutors in Dresden on Wednesday.

Petry is accused of lying to a committee of the regional parliament in Saxony [official website] in 2015 regarding the AfD's finances during Saxony's 2014 election. The former AfD co-chair has repeatedly said that she welcomed the opportunity to publicly defend herself in court.

But prosecutors said in a statement that this testimony contradicted the actual terms of the loan agreements, which stated that successful candidates would forego a refund of their loans.

Perjury carries a sentence of at least a year in jail, or six months in minor cases.

In an unexpected political move, Petry surprisingly defected from the AfD faction after the party entered the German Federal Parliament (Bundestag) for the first time in the September 24 elections.

The immunity of Frauke Petry, a member of Parliament of Saxony, was abolished in August.

Petry surprised her AfD colleagues by quitting the party the morning after it won an unprecedented 12.6% of the national vote in Germany's October 1 general election - the first time a far-right party won seats in the German parliament since the end of World War II.

She cited months of in-fighting among its leadership, saying AfD wasn't in a position to push for the political change that she thought Germany needed.

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