Treasurer of far-right NPD detained in Germany
The treasurer of Germany's far-right National Democratic Party (NPD) was detained on suspicion of embezzling party funds, prosecutors said.
Berlin -- The treasurer of Germany's far-right National Democratic Party (NPD) was detained Thursday on suspicion of embezzling party funds, prosecutors said.
Erwin Kemna was picked up in a boutique owned by him the town of Ladbergen, 400 kilometres west of Berlin, following police raids on his business premises and party headquarters in the capital.
Prosecutor Hans-Jochen Wagner said Kemna was detained on suspicion of embezzling a total of 627,000 euros ($915,000) between 2004- 2007 and ploughing it into his own company.
Wagner, speaking in the town of Muenster, said police had been investigating the case for one year after being alerted by a bank to possible money laundering activities.
A total of 85 police officers took part in the raids, which included Kemna's home and an NPD-linked publishing company he runs. Kemna manages the company that publishes the party mouthpiece Deutsche Stimme (German Voice).
The NPD, which campaigns against foreigners in Germany, does not have any seats in the federal parliament but is represented in two state assemblies in the former communist east of the country.
The NPD leader in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, Udo Pastoers, was ejected from the state assembly last week after he railed against Jews immigrating to Germany.
The NDP denies it is Nazi, but its nationalist, anti-foreigner message and its outreach to overtly neo-Nazi groups have made it a pariah for Germany's mainstream parties.
DPA with Expatica