Extremism: Second terror trial involving Prince Reuss’ group has begun

Extremism: Second terror trial involving Prince Reuss’ group has begun

According to the federal prosecutor’s office, a group of “Reich citizens” planned the violent overthrow. Now, among others, the alleged ringleaders are on trial in Frankfurt.

They are said to have planned a violent overthrow by storming the Bundestag: Now the second nationwide terror trial against the “Reich Citizens” group around Heinrich XIII has begun in Frankfurt am Main. Prince Reuss started. The 72-year-old is accused as one of the suspected ringleaders – he is on trial along with eight other men and women.

The Federal Prosecutor’s Office accuses them of being members of a terrorist organization or of having supported it. The defendants include ex-Bundeswehr soldiers and a former AfD member of the Bundestag. The defendants are presumed innocent until a verdict is reached.

The trial at the Frankfurt Higher Regional Court got off to a rather bumpy start. The defendants’ defense lawyers wanted to submit numerous motions – but the Senate postponed these until the end of the session. The charges had not been read out by midday. Court spokeswoman Gundula Fehns-Böer could not say with certainty whether this would even happen today. The trial itself began on Tuesday morning with a delay of three quarters of an hour.

Developed own state order

According to the Federal Prosecutor’s Office, as of August 2021, the group accused in Frankfurt was planning and preparing for a coup on “Day X”. Specifically, an armed group should have broken into the Reichstag building in Berlin to arrest members of the Bundestag and thus bring about the overthrow of the system. The plans deliberately took deaths into account. Around 500,000 euros and a massive arsenal of weapons are said to have been available for the plans.

The alleged ringleaders, Reuss and Rüdiger von Pescatore, who is said to have headed the group’s military arm, are on trial in Frankfurt. Structures for our own state order were said to have been drawn up in basic terms, and Reuss should have acted as head of state. The former Berlin judge and former AfD member of the Bundestag, Birgit Malsack-Winkemann, who is also one of the Frankfurt defendants, should have been responsible for the justice department. The so-called Reichsbürger in Germany claim that the German Empire (1871-1945) continues to exist. The Federal Republic and its laws do not recognize them.

The charges also include preparation of a high treasonous enterprise. Concrete preparations such as the recruitment of military personnel were said to have taken place. The defendants shared a deep rejection of state institutions and the free democratic basic order, the Federal Prosecutor’s Office said: “They followed a conglomerate of conspiracy myths.”

Second of three trials

The trial is the second of three mammoth trials against the group of “Reich Citizens”: the trial against suspected representatives of the military wing began in Stuttgart at the end of April. The remaining suspected members of the group will be on trial in Munich from June 18th. The suspected conspirators were exposed during a large-scale anti-terror raid in December 2022.

Reuss’ defense attorney, lawyer Roman von Alvensleben, criticized the way the proceedings were divided into three parts before the trial began in Frankfurt. “I don’t think it’s constitutional to contest and hear three cases in different federal states in different courts with the same accusation. What kind of results is that supposed to bring?”

The strictest security precautions apply to the exceptional process in Frankfurt. A lightweight metal hall with an area of ​​around 1,300 square meters was built on the outskirts of the city. In addition to the nine defendants, five judges, two additional judges and 25 defense lawyers will be present in the trial. Around 260 witnesses are to be called. According to the court, the documents relating to the trial are stored in 801 binders. The first defendants were brought to the courthouse in the Sossenheim district under strict guard on Tuesday morning around 7:30 a.m.

Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) also spoke at the start of the trial. “It is good that from today onwards the alleged ringleaders of the largest terrorist group of “Reichsbürger” will have to answer in court. The criminal trials in three higher regional courts at the same time have a new dimension,” she said. The defendants are not harmless weirdos, but rather dangerous terrorist suspects. “Our security authorities will continue their tough approach until we have completely exposed and dismantled militant “Reichsbürger” structures. Nobody in this extremist scene should feel safe.”

Only nine defendants left in Frankfurt

Instead of the original ten defendants, nine alleged “Reich citizens” appear before the judges in Frankfurt. Norbert G. died in a clinic in March, as a spokeswoman for the Higher Regional Court announced.

According to the court, the others face up to ten years in prison if they are found guilty of one count. In the event of multiple guilty verdicts and a total sentence, the maximum sentence would be 15 years in prison.

Source: Stern

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