Trial of alleged leaders of German coup plot scheduled for May

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A criminal trial of the alleged ringleaders of a plot to overthrow the German government by far-right extremists in the so-called “Reich Citizens” scene will begin on May 21 in Frankfurt, the court announced on Tuesday.

Among the nine defendants – who face charges of membership in or support for a terrorist group – is the German aristocrat and businessman Henry XIII Prince Reuss, who allegedly planned to become head of state after Germany’s democratically elected government had been overthrown.

According to the indictment, the group began planning and preparing for a coup in August 2021. According to prosecutors, the group hoped to storm the Reichstag, the seat of Germany’s parliament, by force and arrest leading lawmakers.

German police staged major raids in December 2022 against the alleged plotters and their supporters, which attracted worldwide media attention.

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A total of 27 suspects have been criminally charged in the alleged scheme, and several separate trials are planned at courts in Munich and Stuttgart as well.

“Reich Citizens” generally refuse to acknowledge the legitimacy of Germany’s postwar democratic government and the country’s smaller current borders.(dpa)

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