Reichsbürger: German Far-Right Extremists Charged with Planning Violent Coup

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German prosecutors have filed charges against 27 suspected far-right extremists, accusing them of planning a violent coup.

A group of 27 individuals is facing charges for their alleged involvement in a plot to overthrow Germany's democratic political system. The suspects are linked to the fringe Reichsbürger movement, known for vehemently rejecting state institutions and the democratic constitutional order.

The prosecution claims that the accused, largely associated with Heinrich XIII Prince Reuss, a prominent figure in the Reichsbürger movement with aristocratic ties, actively planned to carry out a coup starting in the summer of 2021.

The intended strategy involved seizing power by storming the Bundestag, Germany's parliament, with a small armed group. The assault was slated to occur following a specified signal, such as the demise of Queen Elizabeth II.

Authorities argue that concrete preparations for the coup were underway, and the alleged plotters had detailed plans for the functioning of their envisioned state post-overthrow. The individuals are now facing serious charges related to their purported plot against the democratic political system.

Prince Reuss was allegedly slated to become the head of state in the planned coup, with intentions to negotiate a peace treaty with the Allied powers who emerged victorious in World War II. Prosecutors claim that he sought support for the coup by attempting to meet with representatives of the Russian government.

Birgit Malsack-Winkemann, a former member of the Bundestag for the far-right Alternative for Germany party, was allegedly designated to be the justice minister in the envisioned government. Prosecutors assert that she provided access to parliamentary buildings for other co-conspirators.

The accused group is said to have made efforts to recruit soldiers and police officers for their cause. They compiled lists of perceived enemies, acknowledging that their plans could lead to casualties, as outlined in the indictment.

To maintain secrecy, members were reportedly required to sign a declaration of confidentiality, with violators facing the threat of execution for high treason.

During federal police raids in December, some of the suspected plotters were apprehended. The group allegedly had access to approximately 380 firearms and 148,000 rounds of ammunition.

Germany's domestic intelligence agency, the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, estimates that there are around 23,000 followers of the Reichsbürger movement in the country.