Germany makes three more arrests over far-right coup plot

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Germany makes three more arrests over far-right coup plot
The Bundesgerichtshof (Crown Court) in Karlsruhe. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Uli Deck

German prosecutors on Tuesday announced three more arrests over a far-right coup plot uncovered in December that aimed to overthrow the state and install a new government.


The plan was foiled when 25 alleged plotters, including a self-styled prince, an ex-MP and former soldiers, were arrested in nationwide raids.

The latest three suspects were detained Monday in Baden-Württemberg and Lower Saxony states and are accused of membership in a terrorist organisation, the federal prosecutor's office said.

READ ALSO: Who was involved in the alleged plot to 'overthrow German democracy?'

The first, identified only as Johanna F.J., was active in the group since May last year and had participated in several meetings with the association's leaders.

She also made contact with a Russian consul general and held talks with him in a bid to gain support for the plot, prosecutors said.

Another suspect, Hans-Joachim H., is accused of providing more than 140,000 to support the organisation and of participating in events to recruit new members.

The third, Steffen W., is suspected of having played a leading role in a so-called "homeland security company", and was tasked with recruiting personnel and giving them military training.

The plotters had reportedly been making preparations to form a network of such "companies" across the country as part of their plans to topple the state and had amassed an arsenal of weapons.

Steffen W. allegedly planned the takeover of former barracks where the companies would be based, and prepared lists of weapons, ammunition and other equipment, prosecutors said.

A leading member of the plot -- self-styled prince Heinrich XIII Reuss, the descendant of a noble family -- was supposed to have been installed as Germany's new leader if the plan had succeeded.


Officials say the alleged plotters belong to a movement known as the Reichsbürger, which encompasses far-right extremists, conspiracy theorists and gun enthusiasts.

The Reichsbürger generally believe in the continued existence of the pre-World War I German Reich, or empire, under a monarchy, and several groups have declared their own states.



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