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Cologne court rules against Germany’s spy agency in AfD probe

Germany’s domestic spy agency is not allowed to classify the Alternative for Germany (AfD) as a “case to investigate,” a court in Cologne ruled on Tuesday, handing a victory to the far-right party which had brought the case. The move represents a blow to the BfV intelligence agency whose chief had in January announced it would investigate the AfD to see whether the anti-immigrant party’s politics breached constitutional safeguards against extremism. The administrative court said on Tuesday there were no legal grounds to say that a party was a “case to investigate.” The court added that an evaluation of the AfD’s policies and views were not relevant to the case, Reuters said. Germany’s constitution contains strict protections against extremism but also sets out safeguards on political parties.