Last week, I posted about allegations of a needle attack on Alternative für Deutschland co-chair Tino Chrupalla. On October 4th, at a rally in Ingolstadt ahead of the Bavarian state elections this past Sunday, Chrupalla was posing for selfies with supporters when two fans hugged him. His right arm suddenly felt heavy and within minutes he was near collapse. An ambulance rushed him to hospital and he spent several days under medical observation in intensive care.
There have now been important developments in this case.
In the days after the attack, Ingolstadt prosecutors acknowledged that police were investigating, but insisted they had “no evidence… that Mr. Chrupalla was approached or attacked”. As intended, this gave the right-thinking press space to jeer that that the AfD was “exaggerating shamelessly” for political gain ahead of the elections, and for the Bavarian interior minister Joachim Herrmann (CSU) to deplore “how perfidiously and deceitfully the AfD is trying to capitalise on these incidents… in the state elections.”
Amid Herrmann’s bizarre fulminations, AfD-adjacent newsweekly Junge Freiheit (JF) reported that Chrupalla’s own doctor had diagnosed an “intramuscular injection” with an unknown substance in Chrupalla’s deltoid. Police immediately summoned the doctor for interrogation, after which he mysteriously distanced himself from the diagnosis, pleading that in his assessment he had merely provided “a description of the injury based on Chrupalla’s statements and not an actual determination of an injection”. Public prosecutors again said that allegations of an attack had “no basis in witnesses’ statements… including the testimony of Mr. Chrupalla and his bodyguards”.
Only this Wednesday did Chrupalla feel well enough to give his first public statements on the attack. Because the police would do nothing, he said he was forced to enlist a Dresden pathologist to investigate his needle injury. The doctor took a skin sample from the injection site on his arm, confirming that an injection had occurred. Chrupalla also said that he still felt unwell and that he’d lost 3.5kg in the days since the Ingolstadt rally, and he added an additional detail that the press had not yet reported: immediately after the attack, federal police had noticed a blood-stain on his right shirt sleeve, corresponding to the injection site. All those official claims that police had no evidence of a needle attack were lies, in other words; they had clear indications from the first moment.
Hours after Chrupalla’s statements, Ingolstadt prosecutors suddenly reversed themselves, finally acknowledging the obvious:
Expert opinion has confirmed that the blood stain on MdB Chrupall’s clothes is his own blood. According to our current assessments, this blood stain probably corresponds to the diagnosed puncture wound. The investigations of the Ingolstadt public prosecutor’s office continue to focus on the open question of when and how Chrupalla’s diagnosed puncture wound… occurred during the campaign rally… in Ingolstadt, and who caused it. In order to clarify these matters, we are identifying and questioning further witnesses, evaluating video recordings and seeking out expert assessments.
What happened here could not be clearer:
Chrupalla suffered a needle attack less than two weeks after a serious ‘security incident’ against his co-chair Alice Weidel on September 23rd. Worried that these possibly coordinated efforts against AfD leadership might have consequences for the elections in Hesse and Bavaria, the German press played down the Weidel incident, suggesting that she was just seeking any excuse for a holiday on Mallorca. In the case of Chrupalla, police and prosecutors collaborated towards the same ends, denying the attack until the elections were over and mounting evidence, procured by Chrupalla himself, stripped their stupid efforts of all credibility.
Aside from the Federal Republic of Germany, is there any other developed Western nation where the police, the press and the political establishment react with such obviously calculated indifference to serious assaults on leading opposition party officials?