German lawmakers demand answers on far-right coup plot
The Reichstag building with the German Parliament Bundestag is illuminated in Berlin, Germany, Monday, December 12, 2022 | AP

German MPs said on Monday that they want more answers about the far-right coup plot apparently uncovered last week.

Police have detained dozens of people allegedly linked to the extremist Reich Citizens movement.

Prosecutors said that 24 Germans and one Russian taken into custody last Wednesday were suspected of supporting a “terrorist organization” that planned to topple the government.

The suspects intended to set up 280 armed units across Germany tasked with “arresting and executing” people after a coup, according to a briefing given to members of parliament.

Green Party legislator Konstantin von Notz said: “There were obviously plans that, based on the scale of their intentions against our liberal democracy, are shocking.

“What is known today, what has already been presented today in the legal affairs committee by the attorney general, these are significant events that are extremely disturbing.”

Prosecutors briefed legislators about the seizure of a large number of “non-disclosure agreements” signed by people the alleged plotters had tried to recruit.

Left party legislator Clara Buenger said that investigators had also reported finding more than €400,000 (£325,000) in cash, gold and silver coins, satellite telephones and even evidence of a safe filled with gold bars.

Speaking after a closed-door meeting of parliament’s intelligence oversight committee, Mr von Notz said: “Many questions were answered, many remain open.”

He and other MPs drew parallels with the storming of the US Capitol building on January 6 2021 by far-right supporters of outgoing president Donald Trump.

Prosecutors say that some of those detained last week had plans to enter the German federal parliament, known as the Bundestag, with weapons.

“We have seen time and again in recent years that parliament buildings are a welcome target for far-right extremists, conspiracy theories and their friends,” said Free Democratic Party legislator Konstantin Kuhle.

He warned that far-right extremists were increasingly forging networks that reach deep into what he described as “the middle of society,” including soldiers and police officers.

One of those detained was Birgit Malsack-Winkemann, a judge and former legislator of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.

Interior Minister Nancy Faeser has suggested tightening the rules for civil servants suspected of supporting anti-government movements such as the Reich Citizens.

Uli Groetsch, a legislator from Ms. Faeser’s Social Democratic Party, said that the alleged coup plot also showed the need for closer scrutiny of the AfD.

“We cannot accept that there is a party in this country that, as it appears now, is directly the source of a putsch attempt,” he said.


Morning Star
Morning Star

Morning Star is the socialist daily newspaper published in Great Britain. Morning Star es el diario socialista publicado en Gran Bretaña.