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Court decision: Office for the Protection of the Constitution is not allowed to observe AfD as a suspected case


COLOGNE. Germany's domestic intelligence agency must not declare Alternative for Germany (AfD) a case for surveillance until proceedings brought by the party to challenge such a move have concluded, a court order stated on Friday.

The BfV was apparently unable to announce the decision officially due to the ongoing legal dispute.

The Cologne administrative court said in a statement that it had ruled to suspend moves by domestic intelligence against the party for now. This was to prevent "unjustifiable interference" with the equal opportunities of political parties.

It said the BfV had failed to stick to an agreement to ensure its surveillance remained classified.

On Wednesday it became known through several media that the head of the protection of the constitution Thomas Haldenwang had informed the state offices that the AfD had been classified by the federal office as a suspected right-wing extremism case since February 25th. The authority did not want to comment on this.

"The basis of trust has now been destroyed"
According to the administrative court, however, it is established "that the fact that the applicant was classified as a suspected case" was "punctured" in a disregarding manner ". Media reports are also cited as evidence in the judgment.

The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution had given pledges to suspend, but "this basis of trust, on which the previous decisions were based, has now been destroyed". There is "in view of the course of events" with regard to the piercing of information "also a concrete risk of repetition".

The administrative court justified its decision with reference to Article 21, Paragraph 1 Section 1 of the Basic Law, which gives the parties a special position in the political system, also with the upcoming state elections in Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate as well as the federal election in autumn.

“By the fact that the applicant was classified as a 'suspected case' through nationwide media coverage, the equal opportunities of political parties protected by Art With a completely insignificant probability of being monitored by the intelligence service solely because of their party affiliation or at least indirectly affected by such measures - especially with regard to the upcoming state elections in Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate on March 14, 2021 - is unacceptable . "

AfD co-party leader Jörg Meuthen described the decision to Junge Freiheit as “another complete embarrassment” for Thomas Haldenwang, head of the protection of the constitution. "A domestic secret service that cannot keep anything secret, with classifications that are ruled out by court order less than 48 hours later." Meuthen also asked Haldenwangs to resign immediately. “It really couldn't be more embarrassing.” The co-chairman Tino Chrupalla spoke on Twitter of a “gossip for the protection of the constitution”.

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