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Suspected ringleader of Corona opponents caught

2023-12-05T15:26:37.860Z

Highlights: Suspected ringleader of Corona opponents caught. Suspected ring leader of a group, who has been wanted for months, has been arrested. The 39-year-old German is in custody in Portugal pending extradition. In 2021, one group is said to have planned to defend itself against Corona measures with weapons. Their alleged leader has now been caught in Portugal. The case is reminiscent of other groups, such as the "United Patriots" and the "Criminals' Group. The trial against several alleged members of this group is currently underway.



Status: 05.12.2023, 16:14 PM

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In Portugal, the alleged ringleader of a violent group of Corona opponents has been arrested. © Bernd Wüstneck/dpa

In 2021, one group is said to have planned to defend itself against Corona measures with weapons. Their alleged leader has now been caught in Portugal. The case is reminiscent of other groups.

Koblenz - In Portugal, a suspected ringleader of a group, who has been wanted for months, has been arrested, which, according to investigators, also wanted to defend itself against Corona measures with weapons in Germany. The 39-year-old German is in custody in Portugal pending extradition, the Koblenz General Prosecutor's Office announced.

The man, who last lived in Bavaria, against whom charges had been brought to the State Protection Chamber of the Koblenz Regional Court in June 2023, is said to have formed a criminal organization and an armed group called "Paladin" with two other defendants from February to May 2021. There were no indications of attack plans.

According to the Attorney General's Office, the 39-year-old is said to have produced weapon parts with a 3D printer and trained group members. The man's whereabouts had been unknown since June of this year at the latest. The arrest in Portugal took place in November. It is not yet known if and when the man will be transferred to Germany. The Attorney General's Office did not give further details, citing the personal rights of the accused.

Man had comrades-in-arms from Rhineland-Palatinate

Previously, the ARD political magazine "Panorama" (NDR) and the NDR research format "STRG_F" had reported on it. Accordingly, the 39-year-old, who is wanted with a European arrest warrant, as well as a 56-year-old and a 63-year-old suspect are said to come from the district of Bernkastel-Wittlich in Rhineland-Palatinate.

The investigators are said to have come across indications in the course of investigations into the manufacture of weapons that the 39-year-old was not arming himself alone. According to the report, he is said to have tried to find comrades-in-arms and network in messenger services or social media.

According to the Attorney General's Office, forming a criminal organization is punishable by up to five years in prison. In particularly serious cases, such as if a perpetrator is one of the ringleaders, a prison sentence of up to ten years can be imposed. The formation of an armed group, in turn, can be punished with imprisonment for up to two years.

Similar case

The alleged group "Paladin" is reminiscent of the grouping of the "United Patriots". The trial against several alleged members of this group is currently underway at the Koblenz Higher Regional Court (OLG). The four men and one woman sitting in the dock are accused of wanting to found a domestic terrorist organization or having been a member of it.

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The "United Patriots" are said to have planned, among other things, to cause a large-scale power outage and to kidnap Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD). Subsequently, they are said to have provided for the overthrow of Germany and the establishment of a new constitution based on the model of the German Empire in 1871.

One of the defendants, for example, had described in detail during the trial his way into the scene of opponents of Corona measures and reported that he had seen Germany on the way to a dictatorship during the pandemic. Dpa

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2023-12-05

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