AfD politician Petr Bystron has rejected new allegations in the affair surrounding a pro-Russian disinformation campaign and possible covert payments from Russia. “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,” Bystron told the German Press Agency.

The “Zeit” had 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 the AfD politician 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.

Czech secret service provides evidence

Now, “Zeit”, citing joint research with “Denik N” and the ARD magazine “Kontraste”, reported that the Czech domestic secret service had presented evidence for the first time in the affair surrounding the alleged sponsorship of various Western politicians by a pro-Russian network. The new evidence incriminated Bystron. Accordingly, recordings of intercepted conversations were played to several Czech MPs last week. Bystron is at the center of everything. This includes, among other things, surveillance material from the Prague offices of “VoE”.

When asked what he said about intelligence information mentioned in the report, according to which he was said to have handed over 20,000 euros during a wiretapped encounter with a pro-Russian activist, Bystron went on to say that he had commented on both the “Voice of Europe” case ” as well as the alleged money handovers have already been stated in detail several times. There is no reason to play your opponent’s game by repeating these statements.