Friday, January 27, 2023

Germany: Judges confirm arrest of 23 coup plotters

BERLIN ( Associated Press) – Judges have confirmed the arrest of 23 people detained on suspicion of plotting to overthrow the German government, while two detainees have been requested to be extradited abroad, officials said Friday.

Twenty-two German nationals and a Russian woman arrested in a series of raids across the country on Wednesday appeared in federal court for formal charges and will remain in jail until the investigation continues.

Prosecutors said two others, Maximilian E and Frank H, were detained in Italy and Austria respectively and have requested their extradition.

Authorities said the suspects are members of the far-right Citizens Reich movement, which denies the legitimacy of the constitution and government, and maintains that the German Empire, or Reich, of 1871 still exists.

The conspirators reportedly wanted to install Henry XIII Prince Reuss, a 71-year-old businessman, in the government as the head of a new government. Although Germany abolished all official imperial functions more than a century ago, it continues to use the title “prince” as a descendant of the House of Reuss.

Among those detained is Birgit Malsack-Winckmann, a former lawmaker from the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party. Prosecutors said that if the coup was successful he was to assume the position of Minister of Justice as a judge in Berlin.

The AfD has condemned the coup, but other politicians are demanding that their links with citizens of the Reich be investigated.

Bavarian governor Markus Soeder said on Friday that the internal intelligence agency should step up its surveillance on the AFD. Lars Klingbiel, secretary general of Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Social Democratic Party, accused the AfD of being a “parliamentary interface of hatred, incitement and violence”.

Nation World News Desk
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