Alleged coup plotters planned to kill German chancellor – NYT
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s life would have been in grave danger had the police not foiled alleged coup preparations by so-called ‘Citizens of the Reich’, the New York Times has reported. Following massive raids in numerous regions across the country last week, it turned out the group had stocked up on firearms and planned to storm the parliament, according to the outlet.
In its Tuesday article, the NYT, citing three officials “familiar with the investigation,” claimed documents found on the premises belonging to the conspirators indicated the group had intended to kill Scholz. Among the papers seized were reportedly over 100 non-disclosure agreements which swore signatories to secrecy over these plans under pain of death.
According to NYT sources, the raids netted 40 firearms and authorities suspect that more weapons might be hidden in caches.
Moreover, the alleged ringleader, Heinrich XIII, Prince of Reuss, who would have taken over the reins in Germany if the coup had succeeded, purportedly tried to establish ties with the Russian consulate in the city of Leipzig.
The man is said to have met with Russian diplomats at least twice. However, as the newspaper pointed out, the investigators have not found any clues suggesting that Moscow responded to these overtures.
A Russian national named Vitalia B. is also among the suspects.
In comments on the case previously, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied any involvement with the plotters, describing the alleged conspiracy as a domestic German affair.
Among the suspects are two current and one former member of the country’s right-wing Alternative for Germany party, the article claimed.
The core of the network was allegedly composed of so-called Reichsbuerger (‘Citizens of the Reich’), who believe that the German state after World War II is not a sovereign country.
Twenty-three alleged ring members are currently in custody, with 31 more under investigation, the NYT reported.