Treason, Attempted Murder, and Coup: Trial of Extremist Group Begins in Germany

Written by Camilla Jessen

Apr.29 - 2024 9:18 AM CET

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Photo: Juergen Nowak / Shutterstock.com
Photo: Juergen Nowak / Shutterstock.com
In Germany, a significant trial involving members of the far-right "Reichsbürger" group is set to commence.

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In Germany, a large-scale legal proceeding is underway against nine men, members of the "Reichsbürger" group, who are charged with treason, attempted murder, and preparing a violent coup d'état. This news was reported by Reuters.

The trial, set to begin on Monday in a maximum-security courtroom in Stuttgart, marks the first of three trials involving 27 individuals implicated in a plot thwarted by authorities in late 2022. These combined trials represent one of the largest judicial undertakings in German history.

Background of the Case

The "Reichsbürger" group, which translates to "Citizens of the Reich," is known for its rejection of the modern German state. Instead, members of the Reichsbürger movement consider themselves citizens of the former German Reich of the pre-World War I era.

They hold the belief that a foreign "alliance," including countries like the United States and Russia, will assist them in overthrowing what they perceive as the "Deep State" that has illegitimately held power in Germany since World War II.

Since 2016, Germany's domestic intelligence service has been monitoring the Reichsbürger movement. According to their data, the movement comprises about 21,000 people who reject the legitimacy of modern Germany as a state.

Details of the Alleged Plot

The focus of Monday’s trial is on nine suspects from the Reichsbürger movement who allegedly planned to establish strict martial law in Germany post-coup.

Prosecutors have outlined that the suspects engaged in meticulous planning and had amassed substantial stockpiles of firearms and cash.

"They planned to storm the parliament building in Berlin with an armed group, detain legislators, and dismantle the governmental system. They were aware that their efforts to seize power would involve the killing of people," stated the prosecutors.

One incident highlighted by the prosecution involves a defendant, referred to as Marcus L. in court documents, who allegedly shot and seriously injured a police officer while resisting arrest.

The group reportedly possessed 500,000 euros in cash, along with 380 pistols, 350 melee weapons, and approximately 148,000 rounds of ammunition.

Long-Term Implications

The upcoming trial in Stuttgart is just the beginning, with the group's purported political leaders, including a figure named Henry XIII Prince Royce, scheduled to appear in court next month in Frankfurt.

Another trial involving additional members, including an astrologer among them, is set for June in Munich.

The trial is scheduled to continue until January 2025, but due to the complex nature of the case, the number of suspects, and the volume of evidence, legal experts anticipate that proceedings could extend for several years.

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