Extremism: Another trial over coup plan by “Reichsbürger”

Extremism: Another trial over coup plan by “Reichsbürger”

A group of “Reich Citizens” is said to have planned a coup in Germany. In a trial in Hamburg, a 66-year-old man admitted to supporting the plan – but at the same time distanced himself from it.

Another trial about plans for a coup by so-called Reich Citizens has begun in Hamburg with a comprehensive confession by the accused. The charges are correct, according to a statement read out by his defense attorney before the State Security Senate at the Hanseatic Higher Regional Court.

However, the 66-year-old did not agree with the assessment of the “Reich Citizens” group by the Hamburg Public Prosecutor’s Office. In Koblenz, members of the “United Patriots” association have also been on trial for over a year.

The prosecution accuses the Schleswig-Holstein native from the Bad Bramstedt area of ​​supporting a terrorist organization and preparing a treasonous enterprise. The organization, also known as the so-called “Kaiserreichsgruppe,” had the goal of establishing an authoritarian government system in Germany based on the model of the German Empire’s constitution of 1871.

Sailing trip to Kaliningrad

The accused is said to have agreed to enter Russian territorial waters near Kaliningrad by ship with others. After their sailing boat was intercepted by the Russian Navy, the sailors wanted to contact the Russian president as a delegation. The group hoped for support from Vladimir Putin.

Lauterbach kidnapping and blackout planned

According to the Hamburg Public Prosecutor’s Office, the group wanted to cause a long-lasting and widespread power outage in Germany before the coup. Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) was to be kidnapped by armed men during a live talk show. The coups wanted to declare Chancellor Olaf Scholz and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier deposed. A constituent assembly was to appoint a new leadership. A member of the Koblenz group and the defendant agreed that the form of government should be a parliamentary monarchy, the indictment said.

Pistol and ammunition found

The accused was tasked with procuring weapons. He kept a pistol and over 100 rounds of ammunition in a locker in his mobile home. When he was arrested on November 29, 2023, rifle ammunition was found in a tool cabinet in the basement of his apartment.

Defendant wanted to warn the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution

He explained that the plan for a major power outage had gone too far for him. He had wanted to get hold of weapons, but not for the coup. He had called the Office for the Protection of the Constitution to warn the agency. According to a court spokesman, the defendant contacted the Office for the Protection of the Constitution twice, but was not put through to an employee. The agency found his information “too vague.”

Is the “Kaiserreichsgruppe” a terrorist organization?

During the trial, it will be very important that the court classifies the “Kaiserreich Group” as a terrorist organization, explained the court spokesman. Only then could the defendant be convicted in Hamburg of supporting such an organization. In its assessment, the State Security Senate will take into account a possible ruling by the Higher Regional Court in Koblenz, but the Hamburg court must come to its own assessment.

Further trials against Reich citizens

Further proceedings against “Reichsbürger” are currently underway. The trial of the group around Heinrich XIII Prince Reuss has been underway before the Higher Regional Court in Frankfurt since last Tuesday. The trial of the military arm of the “Reuss” group began in Stuttgart at the end of April. The other alleged members of the Reuss group are due to appear in court in Munich from June 18th.

Source: Stern

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