3rd trial in huge ‘Reich Citizens’ case begins in Germany

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3rd trial in huge 'Reich Citizens' case begins in Germany

The third mammoth trial linked to the "Reich Citizens" extremist movement in Germany starts in the southern city of Munich on Tuesday.

The trial concerns a group of suspects linked to Prince Heinrich XIII of Reuss, whom prosecutors say was a key figure in an alleged conspiracy to overthrow the German government.

The Reich Citizens, or Reichsbürger in German, claim the historical German Reich of 1871 to 1945, with an emperor as head of state, is the country's legitimate form of government. As such, they do not recognize the current German government or its institutions.

The group was exposed following multiple raids in several German states and abroad in 2022.

In total some 26 suspects are alleged to have planned a violent overthrow of the German government, and according to the federal prosecutor's office, they accepted the risk of others dying in the attempt.

Reuss was to have acted as the head of a new form of government. He has denied being the ringleader of the coup plot.

The eight defendants in Munich are accused of membership in – and in some cases the founding of – a terrorist organization and the preparation of an act of high treason.

Four men also face charges of preparing a serious act of violence endangering the state, and one faces charges of violating the Weapons Act.

If convicted, they could all face long prison sentences.

Several of the defendants in Munich are said to have belonged to the so-called "council" of the organization – similar to a cabinet – or the leadership of the group's alleged armed wing.

Two trials related to the case already began a few weeks ago. Reuss and the alleged ringleaders are on trial in Frankfurt. In Stuttgart, the federal prosecutor's office has charged alleged members of the group's military wing.

The Munich Higher Regional Court has so far set 55 trial days for the trial in the Bavarian capital, running until the end of January next year.

Source: www.dailyfinland.fi

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