German authorities arrest aide of EU parliament member on charges of espionage News
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German authorities arrest aide of EU parliament member on charges of espionage

Jian Guo, an aide to an EU parliament member for the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), was arrested in Dresden, Germany for espionage, the Federal Prosecutor’s Office announced on Tuesday.

Guo was suspected of espionage in breach of Paragraph 1 and Paragraph 2 of Section 99 of the German Criminal Code. The Federal Prosecution stated Guo is employed at a Chinese secret service and had been sharing information with the intelligence agency relating to negotiations and decisions in the European Parliament. Guo was also accused of spying on Chinese opponents in Germany. The case is currently at the Federal Court of Justice, where the court will decide whether to issue an arrest warrant against Guo or carry out a pre-trial detention.

Wang Wenbin, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, denied allegations of espionage for China and stated the accusations were “malicious smears” and “political manipulation aimed at China”.

Guo works under MEP Maximilian Krah, a member of the European Parliament for the AfD. Krah said in a statement on X (formerly Twitter) that the espionage accusation is serious and stated if the allegations prove to be true, it would result in the immediate termination of the employment.

Guo’s arrest took place weeks before the 2024 European Parliament elections, set for June 9 by Germany’s federal government. Krah is a top candidate of the AfD for the European Parliament elections in June. The AfD ranks highly among German voters, its popularity rose with the increase of concerns over inflation and immigration. The far-right political party has been criticised for its “remigration plan” which proposes deporting immigrants from Germany. There have been debates on whether the party should be banned due to being a threat to democracy.

After the arrest, Germany’s Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said in a statement on X (formerly Twitter) that if the European Parliament is being used to spy for Chinese intelligence services, it would be an attack on European democracy from within the union and stressed that anyone who employs such an employee would be responsible. She added that it is the responsibility of the investigative authorities and the judiciary to investigate the case thoroughly.