It often does not happen that a prime minister loses his parliamentary immunity. It is now the case with the Prime Minister of Thuringia, Ramelow. But his political opponent of the AfD also lost protection against investigations.
Erfurt (dpa) – The prosecutor’s investigation may begin against Thuringia’s prime minister Bodo Ramelow (left) and AfD party leader Björn Höcke.
At the request of the public prosecutors in Erfurt and Mühlhausen, the Justice Committee of the Landtag in Erfurt lifted the immunity of the two MPs on Friday. The decision was taken unanimously in both cases, parliamentarians from various political groups said. The committee met behind closed doors. Ramelow is about the charge of insulting an AfD MP, while Höcke is about the charge of sedition and defamation.
Ramelow had asked the committee members to grant the Erfurt Public Prosecutor’s request so that the allegations against him could be investigated. In a letter to the state parliament, the head of government stated that he “does not want to be seen as illegal.” It also shows that he was legally represented by the former left-wing faction leader, lawyer Gregor Gysi.
The investigation was prompted by an incident in the state parliament in July, when Ramelow showed AfD member Stefan Möller of the government bank the middle finger. He also called Möller a “disgusting bastard” in a debate about the future handling of NSU files. Möller then filed a complaint against the prime minister. In his letter to the state parliament, Ramelow calls the incident unacceptable and speaks of an “inappropriate gesture including interjection”.
At AfD right wing Höcke, the prosecutor’s office of Mühlhausen has received two reports on suspicion of sedition and slander. According to the public prosecutor, it should include a statement by Höcke on social media that would be aimed at the rescue worker Carola Rackete.
According to the public prosecutor, Höcke would have posted a picture of Rackete with the line: “I have imported torture, sexual violence, human trafficking and murder”. He could have stigmatized a certain group of people – refugees – as criminals, so the suspicion. The second ad is about the AfD politician allegedly describing a woman in a Facebook post as an ex-terrorist helping strangers plunder the welfare state.
The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution classified Höcke as a far-right leader in March.