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German far-right leader faces investigation

– AfD co-leader Alice Weidel accused of taking illegal donations from company in Switzerland

By Ayhan Simsek

BERLIN (AA) – Alice Weidel, co-leader of Germany’s far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), has been placed under formal investigation over claims of taking illegal donations.

The public prosecutor's office in the southern Germany city of Konstanz announced on Tuesday that it has opened an investigation against Weidel and three other AfD members due to the initial suspicion for breaching Political Parties Act. The AfD confirmed last week that Weidel’s constituency received last year around €132,000 ($150,049) donation from a pharmaceutical company in Switzerland, but claimed that this has been returned earlier this year due to doubts about its legality. Germany’s strict legislation on party funding prohibits donations from non-EU countries in excess of €1000. The Islamophobic, far-right AfD scored record gains in federal elections last year and entered the parliament for the first time.

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