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A planned coup d’état judged in Germany

Nine alleged members of an armed network appear Monday in Germany for a foiled coup d'état plan. end of 2022, the first in a series of three trials planned for this extremist group whose dismantling had stunned & oacute; the country.

The appearance before the Stuttgart court of the first nine suspects in this sprawling legal case is arousing great interest.

The small group, nourished by conspiratorial and far-right ideologies, those of the Reichsbürger (citizens of the Reich, editor's note), planned to invade the German chamber of deputies in Berlin, to arrest the elected officials and overthrow the government.

The nine men called to the stand on Monday are mostly suspected of having been in charge of the network's military operations.

< p>But in total, there will be 26 of them who will have to answer for their projects before the German courts in three different trials.

– A “Prince” –< /p>

The alleged mastermind is a septuagenarian aristocrat and businessman, Henry XIII, known as Prince Reuss and descendant of a line from the State of Thuringia.

A planned coup d’état judged in Germany

German police arrest “Prince Henry XIII”, suspected of being at the head of a group preparing a coup d'état, on December 7, 2022 in Frankfurt © dpa – Boris Roessler

He will be tried with eight other alleged leaders of the group, including a former far-right MP and a former high-ranking army officer, in Frankfurt from May 21.

A third trial will take place from June 18 in Munich against the last eight other members arrested on December 7, 2022.

The small group was structured at the end of July 2021, with a political and military organization, with a view to a coup d'état.

The Reichsbürger movement brings together extremists from right-wingers and gun enthusiasts who reject the legitimacy of the modern German Republic: they believe in the sustainability of the German Reich before the First World War, in the form of a monarchy, and several groups of sympathizers have decreed the creation of their own mini-states.

– Shadow of Moscow –

Over the plot also hangs the shadow of Moscow. The alleged companion of Henry XIII, a Russian national named “Vitalia B.”, is in fact suspected of having “put the aristocrat in contact with the Russian consulate general in Leipzig and accompanied him there in June 2022”.

Henry XIII sought to ensure support from Moscow, even if, at the time of the dismantling of the cell, the Kremlin had denied any “interference”.

A planned coup d’état judged in Germany

Operation by German police special forces against a conspiracy and far-right group preparing a coup d'état, December 7, 2022 in Berlin © AFP – Tobias SCHWARZ

The network had given itself the means to achieve its ambitions, with “around 500,000 euros” at its disposal, as well as an “arsenal of around 380 firearms, nearly 350 bladed weapons as well as 500 other weapons and at least 148,000 rounds of ammunition “, according to investigators.

They also purchased other equipment, including ballistic helmets, bulletproof vests, night vision devices and handcuffs .

In Stuttgart, most of the nine accused are suspected of having tried to recruit other people to their cause in the ranks of the army or the police German, or among former members of these two institutions.

Among the nine suspects, Markus H. and Andreas M. were part of the governing bodies, while Matthias H. . and Steffen W. were responsible for military training.

Alexander Q. was commissioned by Marco van H. to spread conspiracy theories on the internet and aimed to create his own television channel for the purposes of propaganda, once the coup d'état succeeded.

Another accused designated by the letter S. was responsible for developing the group's IT infrastructure.

A final suspect, Markus L., is also accused of attempted murder for shooting at point-blank range at police officers who were carrying out a search at his home in Reutlingen in March 2022.

For each of the three trials, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Munich, the justice system has scheduled around fifty hearing days, until at least January 2025.

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116