Politician faces court over links with the Stasi

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GERMAN prosecutors have opened preliminary proceedings against Gregor Gysi, one of the Left party’s key election campaign figures, over allegations he lied about links with the former East German secret police, the politician said yesterday.

Gysi, who leads the Left party’s parliamentary group, has repeatedly faced allegations in the past two decades that as a lawyer in former East Germany he passed information on clients – some of them known dissidents – to the Stasi secret police.

According to Welt am Sonntag newspaper, the case brought by a former judge concerns an affidavit Gysi gave in 2011 to block the airing of a TV documentary. In the statement he said he had never knowingly or intentionally reported to the Stasi on his clients or anyone else.

Left co-party leader Bernd Riexinger said the claims lacked substance and dismissed them as electioneering.

“Gregor Gysi is our best man. It doesn’t surprise us that the others attack him. That’s dirty election campaigning,” Mr Riexinger said.