Far-right German Maximilian Krah is subject to a probe over potential contract fraud 

Maximilian Krah is facing allegations, which he denies, of conspiring to rig the bidding for a public contract.

Maximilian Krah is a 46-y.o. far-right politician and MEP.  In 2016 he joined the far-right AfD party which is deeply connected to the Kremlin.  In Germany, Krah accused of pro-Putin ‘propaganda trip’. He is an adamant supporter of pro-Russia movements in Germany. 

According to three lawmakers from Krah’s Identity & Democracy (ID) group in the European Parliament, the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) is reviewing Krah’s role in a public contract bid following an investigation from the EU’s anti-fraud office, known as OLAF. EPPO, unlike OLAF, has the authority to bring criminal charges. — the Politico publication reports.

The case centers on the process Krah used to award a communications contract for his ID group. According to a letter sent to OLAF and seen by POLITICO, Krah allegedly conspired with several German firms to rig the bidding for Polifakt, a company linked to him. The contract was ultimately halted but could have been worth tens of thousands of euros in EU funds.

According to sources familiar with the matter, OLAF sent a letter to EPPO dated March 14, in which the office indicated that it had closed its investigation into the case, but recommended that the prosecutor further scrutinize it.

The letter, seen by POLITICO does not mention Krah explicitly by name, it made reference to the case number of the OLAF investigation into Krah, as confirmed by a parliamentary official. The letter, which POLITICO has obtained, raises questions about the allegations leveled against Krah and their potential political motivations.

Maximilian Krah

Krah maintains that the allegations against him are part of a politically-motivated campaign to discredit him, which he claims is being orchestrated by members of Germany’s Alternative for Germany (AfD) party in Brussels. The party’s internal power struggles over divergent views on China and Russia’s war in Ukraine have created a hostile environment, Krah alleges. The letter, which POLITICO has obtained, raises questions about the allegations leveled against Krah and their potential political motivations.

“There are obviously people who don’t like to see me [ranked] one or two, and that creates attacks,” Krah said.

“Those attacks don’t come from the political opposition,” he added. “They come from the inside. Someone has constructed these accusations. These are constructed accusations.” 

Krah argued he’s being treated as “guilty until proven innocent.”

When asked by POLITICO about specific cases, both OLAF and EPPO declined to provide any comment.

€100,000 contract 

The letter links Krah and his chief of staff, Jörg Sobolewski, to Polifakt, as well as the two other companies involved in the contract tender — Hinato and Brandmarker. The letter also said the contract “involves several hundred thousand euros,” but Krah said the ceiling was €100,000.

Sobolewski also denied any wrongdoing, and claims that he and Krah simply proposed company names to officials within the ID group’s secretariat, who subsequently oversaw the tender process. In response to allegations in the OLAF tip-off that suggested a close association with Polifakt, Sobolewski and Krah maintained that the PR firm is only one of a handful of companies that collaborate with the AfD, and dismissed any special links between themselves and the firm.

While the pair acknowledged that the language in the three offers is similar, they argued that the companies were likely to have used the same template for applying for the contract as they used the same translator. “I have nothing to do with it,” Krah said.

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