Germany's Neo Nazi Party Under Investigation For Campaign Money Fraud

AHN News/December 27, 2007

Berlin, Germany -- A few weeks back, U.K.'s Labour Party faced public scrutiny over illegal campaign donation funds. This week it's the turn of an extreme right-wing German political party to face fraud investigation over campaign fund donations.

On Thursday, the National Democratic Party received a letter from the state capital Kiel informing the party of their former chairman's misappropriation of contributions and donations for a long period of time. Original and duplicate copies of the party's receipts indicated different amounts.

The letter containing details about campaign contribution irregularities may open the door wider to larger fraud charges of having systematically violated Germany's Political Parties Act.

Frank Golkowski, the former head of NPD's state organization in Thuringia, had admitted the party deliberately falsified receipts to reflect higher amounts to secure high federal matching funds. NPD leaders denied the charge and said Golkowski is on extremely shaky ground.

A copy of an internal memorandum obtained by Spiegel Online said that NPD national treasurer Erwin Kemna observed poor accounting for party funds, particularly travel expenses. Kemna, in the memorandum, ordered all party state treasurers to provide additional accounting training to party members on documenting donations to the party.

Around 40 percent of the party's funds come from government matching funds for campaign donations. But it appears that the donations were bloated to secure higher amounts of state funding.

Prosecutors from Lubeck have initiated investigation on a former deputy head of NPD in Schleswig-Holstein for embezzlement.

The NPD gained national prominence when it won on September 2006 in state elections at Meckenburg-West Pomerania 7 percent of the seats, sufficient to meet the mandated 5 percent required to gain a seat in the state legislature. The NPD currently has seats in three of Germany's six eastern states.

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