According to a media report citing meeting participants, Petr Bystron admitted to the AfD federal executive committee that he had accepted packages from a pro-Russian businessman. Bystron himself denies this.

In the affair surrounding a pro-Russian disinformation campaign and possible covert payments from Russia, AfD politician Petr Bystron has apparently admitted for the first time that he assumes that he was secretly tapped and filmed. He suspects that the video and audio recordings have “already been made available to several people.” “Spiegel” reports on this.

In addition, during the second survey by the AfD board, according to participants at the meeting last Monday, he confirmed that he had accepted small packages. However, Bystron assured that there was no money in it. However, the AfD man left the contents of the packages open.

Bystron called the reporting “generally false.” At the said meeting he did not claim to have received or accepted any packages. According to a “clarification” from the AfD federal association, a large number of participants also confirmed this.

Bystron had rejected new allegations last week. “This is just an attempt to brew old coffee again in order to keep the campaign against the AfD in the media until the EU elections,” said the AfD politician. It was previously reported that Czech authorities had presented audio recordings for the first time, according to which 20,000 euros in cash were said to have been handed over in a car. However, German security authorities are said to have only received information about the incident from the Czech Republic in written form.

According to information from Belgian secret services, Russian-controlled networks are trying to help pro-Russian candidates achieve success in the upcoming European elections. At the end of March, following secret service investigations, the Czech Republic placed the pro-Russian internet platform “Voice of Europe” (VoE) on the national sanctions list. The website is part of a Russian influence operation whose aim is to question Ukraine’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and freedom.

Among other things, interviews with Bystron and his party colleague Maximilian Krah appeared on the portal. The Czech newspaper Denik N had reported that Bystron may also have accepted money. The AfD member of the Bundestag has rejected this several times.

Editor’s note: We have subsequently added Petr Bystron’s denial and the AfD’s statement and adjusted the headline accordingly.