German parliament fines far-right party for PR firm donation

BERLIN (AP) — The German parliament has fined the far-right Alternative for Germany party more than 400,000 euros ($452,200) for accepting illegal campaign donations.

The Bundestag said in a statement on Tuesday that two senior party members received free advertising from a public relations firm based in Switzerland ahead of regional elections in 2016 and 2017.

Officials said Joerg Meuthen and Guido Reil, who are both members of Alternative for Germany's national board and running for the European Union's legislature, shouldn't have accepted the advertising because PR firm Goal AG wasn't known as the donor at the time.

Alternative for Germany known by its German acronym AfD, says it plans to challenge the fine in court. The party alleged the Bundestag's decision was "politically motivated."

AfD could receive further fines over donations co-leader Alice Weidel got from Switzerland in 2017.