Germany places unsuccessful retaliation chiefs on trial

(MENAFN) In Frankfurt, the trial of key figures accused of orchestrating a failed coup against the German government began, featuring a hereditary aristocrat, a former lawmaker, and a retired general. These individuals are identified as the primary leaders of the so-called "Reich Citizens" plot, which aimed to dismantle the current constitutional order and reinstate the monarchy from 1871. In December 2022, German Police apprehended around two dozen suspects, accusing them of stockpiling money and weapons in preparation for their intended overthrow.

Central to the prosecution's case is Prince Heinrich XIII Reuss of Thuringia, now aged 72, who was purportedly set to be crowned as the new emperor. Additionally, he faces accusations of attempting to establish contact with Russia through a partner identified only as Vitalia B., though the Russian embassy in Berlin has refuted any involvement with the conspirators.

Among the accused is Birgit Malsack-Winkemann, a judge and former member of the Bundestag representing the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party. She is charged with aiding in the planning of an armed assault on the Bundestag. The military component of the plot was allegedly under the command of Ruediger von Pescatore, a 70-year-old disgraced former general of the Bundeswehr.

The extensive 617-page indictment details the beliefs of the "Reich Citizens," who assert that the Federal Republic of Germany is a mere "occupation" government and claim that the German Empire was never officially dissolved following Kaiser Wilhelm II's abdication in November 1918.

Prosecutors reveal that the conspirators convened in November 2021, shortly after the parliamentary elections won by the 'Traffic Light coalition' led by Chancellor Olaf Scholz. The suspects are accused of attempting to enlist support from within the police and military to forcibly seize power and declare martial law.

German authorities became aware of the alleged plot in August 2022, prompting a series of extensive raids across the country in December, involving over 3,000 police officers.



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