BERLIN (AP) — German prosecutors said Thursday they have launched an investigation into the alleged assault of a co-leader of the far-right Alternative for Germany party at an election rally.
Tino Chrupalla was given medical treatment and then taken to a hospital shortly before he was due to speak at an election rally in Bavaria on Wednesday.
German prosecutors in the city of Ingolstadt and German police said in a joint statement on Thursday that several people took selfies together with Chrupalla at the event on Wednesday, which led to “slight physical contact.” There were no indications yet that Chrupalla was attacked, the statement said.
As Chrupalla walked toward the stage where he was due to speak, he said he felt “pain in the upper arm.”
“Due to further medical discomfort, Mr. Chrupalla was taken to the clinic in Ingolstadt for medical care. A superficial redness or swelling was detected. Any additional tests that have been conducted so far have been within normal limits,” the statement read.
The information provided by authorities is based on accounts of witnesses, including Chrupalla himself, his bodyguards and a woman who was working as a steward at the event.
The investigation is ongoing with more blood tests, further examination of the clothing that Chrupalla was wearing at the event, the examination of video and photos, and witness questioning expected.
Alternative for Germany, known by its German acronym AfD, said in a statement that Chrupalla had left Ingolstadt and would continue further medical treatment. All scheduled election campaign meetings in Bavaria were canceled.
Chrupalla, 48, has been one of the AfD’s two leaders since 2019. The other co-leader is Alice Weidel.
The party was founded in 2013, initially with a focus against eurozone rescue packages. It gained strength following the arrival of a large number of refugees and migrants in 2015, and first entered Germany’s national parliament in 2017.
Recent national polls have put it in second place with support around the 20% mark, far above the 10.3% it won during the last federal election in 2021. It has been helped by the reemergence of migration as a leading political issue and by frustration with the government’s climate and energy policies, as well as high inflation.