German federal prosecutors say former AfD member of Bundestag, Birgit Malsack-Winkemann, is among those suspected of plotting a coup and was set to be the justice minister of the new regime.
Germany’s chancellor has slammed an alleged connection between people accused of plotting a coup in the country and the far-right Alternative Party for Germany (AfD).
Birgit Malsack-Winkemann, a former AfD member of the Bundestag, Germany’s parliament, is among the suspects of a far-right group who were plotting a coup in Germany.
Malsack-Winkemann being among the accused "is of course a very remarkable and very bad incident," Olaf Scholz told reporters in Berlin on Thursday.
The 58-year-old was a member of parliament from 2017-2021, after which she returned to her previous post as a judge at the Berlin district court.
On Wednesday, Thomas Haldenwang, who heads Germany’s domestic intelligence agency BfV, said a group of far-right figures and ex-military officers had procured weapons and had concrete plans for a coup.
“This group had a large network across the country. They had precise plans. They had been prepared to use violence, even if that meant killing people,” Haldenwang told public broadcaster ZDF.
Over 50 suspects
German police arrested more than two dozen people on Wednesday in one of the biggest "anti-terror operations" in its history and conducted searches of at 150 properties in 11 federal states.
Holger Munch, president of the Federal Criminal Police Office, said the authorities have so far identified 54 suspects who were members or supporters of the group.
According to prosecutors, the far-right group had plans to create nationwide chaos and storm the parliament by violence and military means with the goal of overthrowing the constitutional system in Germany.
Most of the suspects were followers of the far-right Reichsburger (Reich Citizens) movement, who reject the legitimacy of the Federal Republic of Germany and believe that the country is governed by members of a so-called “deep state.”