An administrative court in Munich has ruled that the Bavarian State Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), Germany’s internal intelligence agency, can no longer carry out spying activities against the Bavarian state chapter of the national-conservative, anti-globalist Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) party.
In its decision, published Tuesday, the Munich Administrative Court ruled that the domestic spy agency is temporarily prohibited from using intelligence tools to read emails and text messages and monitor the telephone calls of AfD members without a warrant, as its able to do across four federal states, the Berlin-based newspaper Junge Freiheit reports.
According to the judge presiding over the case, “the use of intelligence services, with the risk of secret investigation, seriously interferes with the activities of the party.” Furthermore, as per the court’s ruling, the BfV is prohibited from making public statements claiming the counter-establishment, conservative party is poses a threat to democracy or the German constitution.
Following the decision, the court, in a statement wrote that the Bavarian BfV is temporarily prohibited from “conducting public relations work regarding possible anti-constitutional efforts by the party,” adding that it is, however, still possible to observe the party on the basis of information that’s available to the public.
It must be noted, however, that the decision issued by the court is only an “interim ruling,” as proceedings are ongoing. The ruling, the court emphasized, “does not contain any substantive decision as to whether there are actual indications of efforts by the AfD party to eliminate the free democratic basic order,” adding that it “will still need some time in view of the complex situation.”
The court’s ruling is a symbolic victory for the AfD, and it comes one week after the party won a similar case in the state of Hessen, where the administrative court in Wiesbaden ordered the domestic spy agency to cease all of its covert investigations into the anti-establishment party.
Commenting on the decision, the Bavarian branch of the AfD said: “Neither in the pre-trial proceedings nor in court could the Office for the Protection of the Constitution substantiate its reasons for the surveillance.”
Additionaly, Stephan Protschka, the AfD’s state organization chairman and Bundestag representative, took a swipe at the BfV, accusing the domestic intelligence agency of being “incapable of any orderly record keeping.”
“In court, they presented 4,000 chaotically pieced together documents, some of them illegible and unsorted, which they dumped as justification,” Protschka said.
In in the past several months, the AfD—as the only parliamentary force that has taken a different position on Russo-Ukraine War, arguing both against sanctions and sending weapons to the conflict zone—has witnessed its popular support surge. The party is now the strongest political force the eastern part of Germany, while its support nationwide has grown to 15% and continues to rise, as The European Conservative has previously reported.
And while the AfD continues to gain momentum due to its policy positions which clearly resonate with broad segments of the German population, anti-democratic, left-globalist lawmakers have begun calling for the party to banned outright.