BERLIN ( Associated Press) – Germany’s defense ministry announced plans Tuesday to make it easier to expel suspected extremists from the military without lengthy disciplinary procedures.
The change has been in the making for months, but the announcement comes after revelations of an alleged coup attempt last week that saw more than 20 people linked to the far-right Reich Citizens movement arrested.
Among those detained was a soldier who was on the support staff of Germany’s KSK special forces, which had previously been investigated for what officials had said about the soldier’s far-right beliefs.
Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said, “The recent raids and arrests in the Reich Citizens Movement show how important it is to remain vigilant and act fully with all means of the rule of law against extremists and enemies of the constitution.” “Combating insurgency in the Bundeswehr is also a top priority,” the German military said.
Lambrecht said the ministry’s draft bill makes “lack of loyalty to the constitution” a valid reason for being expelled from the military. He said the bill would allow authorities to speed up a lengthy process of expelling extremists from the military, “while of course preserving all principles of due process.”
The draft goes beyond a more limited plan drawn up last year under Lambrecht’s predecessor, which was criticized because it only applied to certain types of people in the military.