Trial Date Set for 'Reichsbürger' Plot in Germany

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Legal proceedings against a network of individuals known as "Reichsbürger" are set to commence in Frankfurt on May 21. The group, characterized as extreme-right conspiracists, stands accused of plotting a coup d'état with the aim of overthrowing the Federal German government.

The trial of a group identified as "Reichsbürger," accused of planning a far-right coup in Germany, is scheduled to commence on May 21 in Frankfurt, Germany. Allegedly led by Heinrich XIII Prince Reuss, an antisemitic German businessman and descendant of an aristocratic family, the network faces charges of conspiring to violently overthrow the Federal German government. The plot was uncovered by police in December 2022.

In the aftermath of the coup, Reuss was purportedly designated as the provisional leader of a German state laying claim to the 1937 borders of the former German Empire (1871-1945). The "Reichsbürger" movement rejects the post-World War II Federal Republic of Germany, along with its laws and institutions.

Among the nine individuals initially charged by German state prosecutors with membership of a terrorist organization are Reuss' co-conspirators Rüdiger von P., a former German army officer, and judge Birgit Malsack-Winkemann, a former member of parliament for the far-right AfD party. The trial of the suspected ringleaders in Frankfurt is scheduled to continue until mid-January 2025 at the earliest.

Two additional trials are set to take place in the southern cities of Stuttgart, focusing on members of the movement's alleged military arm, and Munich, for the remaining suspected members. According to the state prosecutor, the network had "access to a huge arsenal of weapons" including around 380 firearms, 350 slashing devices, 500 further weapons, and 148,000 pieces of ammunition.