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Former Germany AfD leader charged with perjury

[JURIST] The German public prosecutor accusesd [press release] nationalist Alternative for Germany party (AfD) [BBC backgrounder] leader, Frauke Petry [twitter] Wednesday, of giving false statements about campaign finance under oath.

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. In 2015, she told the committee that after a successful election, candidates could decide for themselves whether loans they had been given to help finance the party's campaign should be paid back, or whether this money would be converted into a donation. Prosecutors say her testimony contradicts the actual terms of the loan agreements, which state that successful candidates would forego a refund of their loans.

The Saxon Landtag [materials] abolished the her immunity to bring the public action.

Petry is formally the co-chair of AfD. She ran as a candidate for the state of Saxony in this year's federal elections. However, less than 24 hours after the results [BBC report] were announced, she shocked the AfD by announcing she would not sit with the party and would instead to take up her seat as an independent politician. AfD had won 12.6% of the votes, making it the third party in the parliament and first right-wing nationalist party to win seats in parliament since the 1950s.

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