Following new allegations by the public prosecutor’s office, the controversial Bavarian AfD member of parliament, Daniel Halemba, is refraining from making public appearances in parliament until further notice and is relinquishing his functions within the parliamentary group. Until the proceedings are concluded, he will refrain from all appearances in the plenary session, in committees and other public activities as a parliamentary group member, according to a recent letter from Halemba to his parliamentary group, which he made available to the German Press Agency on Wednesday evening. He is also resigning from his position as spokesman for policy on displaced persons and is making his membership of the committee available for submissions and complaints.

“These steps do not represent an admission of guilt, but rather serve to protect the group community and are intended to direct the public focus back to the factual political work of the group,” emphasizes Halemba in his “Personal Statement”.

When asked, parliamentary group leader Katrin Ebner-Steiner also said: “For him and for us, his prudent measures do not represent any admission of guilt. Rather, Mr. Halemba is also keen to support the calm and constructive work of our group in this way.” Ebner-Steiner also emphasized: “We will adhere to the presumption of innocence as a fundamental principle of our constitutional state until the end of the proceedings.”

Meanwhile, the AfD federal executive board is increasing the pressure: it now wants to have a party exclusion procedure prepared, as the AfD federal office confirmed on Wednesday. Bayerischer Rundfunk had previously reported on the party leadership’s plan. According to the report, the corresponding application should be submitted by next Monday. According to BR, the specific reasons were initially still open, and the AfD federal office did not say anything about it when asked on Wednesday

When asked by the dpa on Wednesday, Halemba said he was calm about the proceedings. “In this context, it will be clarified beyond any doubt that the allegations are false claims made by a failed competitor,” he wrote. The state executive board has already determined this through legal reports. “I have already been sanctioned for the somewhat negligent acceptance of two new members.” After the process has been completed, he said, he looks forward to “continuing trusting cooperation with the Federal Executive Board again,” said the member of the state parliament.

Halemba has been criticized for months. The public prosecutor’s office has been investigating suspicions of sedition for a long time. Recently there were also allegations of money laundering, coercion and damage to property. Halemba said he was firmly convinced that he had not committed any criminal offense.

Meanwhile, the AfD federal executive committee wants to prepare its own party exclusion process. Reasons were not initially given. But there are also allegations within the party, including that Halemba is said to have violated the party’s statutes.