Administrative court Cologne: AfD is not a suspected case for the time being

Status: 05.03.2021 01:09 p.m.

The Office for the Protection of the Constitution may not classify the AfD as a suspected case for the time being. That was decided by the Cologne Administrative Court. The decision is valid until the court decides on a corresponding urgent motion by the party.

The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) is not allowed to classify and observe the AfD as a suspected right-wing extremist case until the conclusion of urgent proceedings before the Cologne administrative court. This was decided by the Cologne Administrative Court in a so-called hanging decision and thus granted an application by the AfD.

The decision is an interim decision and applies until the court decides on a corresponding urgent motion by the party. The Federal Office had informed the constitutional protection officers of the federal states internally this week about an upgrade of the party to a suspected case, but did not publicly announce anything about it.

Intervened in equal opportunities for the parties

The Cologne administrative court justified its decision with the fact that “in an unacceptable manner” interfered with the equal opportunities of political parties. “Everything” speaks for the fact that the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution has not kept its “standstill promises” or has not “taken sufficient care” that no information about the procedure is leaked to the outside world.

The fact that the classification of the AfD as a suspected case by the BfV was made public on Wednesday by the media, the court interpreted as evidence that the information was “pierced”. The judges see the basis of trust “destroyed”.

The Office for the Protection of the Constitution had previously promised not to comment publicly on a classification until the end of the urgent proceedings before the administrative court and to refrain from observing MPs and candidates of the AfD until a decision was reached.

First AfD application rejected by the court in January

At the end of January, the AfD had already submitted an application for a temporary injunction to prohibit the BfV from classifying and treating the AfD as a “suspected case” or a “certain extremist endeavor”. Otherwise it threatens irreparable damage in political competition, argued the party.

The court had rejected this application with reference to the standstill promises of the protection of the constitution. The Higher Administrative Court of North Rhine-Westphalia later confirmed this.

On Wednesday it became known that the Office for the Protection of the Constitution had declared the AfD to be a suspected right-wing extremism case and thus enabled it to be monitored using intelligence services. AfD MPs and candidates for parliaments are excluded from this. The AfD leadership was outraged and accused the Office for the Protection of the Constitution for political motives.

AfD speaks of “gossip” for the secret service

The AfD was pleased with the court decision. This was not only a “great victory for us, but also for the rule of law,” said party leader Jörg Meuthen. The administrative court had shown that the “illegal procedure” could be stopped by legal means. Co-party leader Tino Chrupalla spoke on the Internet service Twitter of a “gossip for the protection of the constitution”. This is “a good thing”.

The AfD parliamentary group leader in the Bundestag, Alice Weidel, spoke in connection with the reports on the classification of the right-wing populist party as a suspected case of a “mud battle against the AfD” which had taken place “arbitrarily in the interests of the governing parties”. She called for “the correction” to be published with a similar prominence.

The parties involved can lodge a complaint against the decision that has now been issued, on which the Higher Administrative Court in Münster would decide.

(Az .: 13 L 105/21)

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