Germany overthrows government after indicting five in kidnapping minister conspiracy

The Reichstag (R), which houses the German Bundestag, and the Jakob Kaiser-Haus parliamentary complex (L) reflected on the River Spree in Berlin on January 20, 2023. (John MacDougall/AFP via Getty image)

BERLIN — The attorney general said Monday he had imposed high charges of treason on five people accused of planning the kidnapping of the health minister and preparing to kill him to overthrow the German government.

Formed in mid-January 2022, the group set a goal of “creating a civil war-like situation in Germany through violence” in hopes of overthrowing the government and parliamentary democracy, prosecutors said. said in a statement.

The group acknowledged that this could involve loss of life, according to a statement.

All five have been in custody since last year when authorities first revealed details of the alleged conspiracy.

According to prosecutors, the suspect was making increasingly specific preparations, forming two separate branches of the group, one military and one administrative.

In a three-step plan, they caused a nationwide blackout, kidnapped Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, killed his bodyguards if necessary, and then convened parliament to remove the government and install a new leader. I wanted to appoint you.