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That’s why Frankfurt needs an extra hall for the Reichsbürger process

Nine defendants, 25 lawyers, up to 260 witnesses: The Reichsbürger trial in Frankfurt is a challenge for the Higher Regional Court in terms of its spatial dimensions alone. A lightweight hall was built specifically for this purpose.

Around six months after the indictment The ringleaders of the so-called “Reichsbürger” group have to take care of themselves Henry XIII Prince Reuss stand trial before the Higher Regional Court on suspicion of terrorism. But the sheer scale of the trial presented problems for the court.

So far there have been no proceedings of this magnitude at the Frankfurt Higher Regional Court (OLG), said OLG spokeswoman Gundula Fehns-Böer on Wednesday. “It’s a challenge for all of us.”

There has not yet been a sufficiently large hall in the Higher Regional Court – in addition, Hall 165 C and the public prosecutor’s office building will be demolished from June, so there will be too much noise there.

So that the process can begin as planned on May 21st, a lightweight metal hall was built especially for the process. The 1,300 square meter temporary structure was built in the Frankfurt district of Sossenheim in just five weeks. The 3,000 square meter parking lot with space for 120 cars still needs to be completed.

Up to 260 witnesses and 45 sergeants planned

According to the court, the indictment contains 617 pages. The nine defendants are defended by 25 lawyers. In addition to the five judges, there will be two additional judges who will step in in the event of a long-term absence.

Around 260 witnesses will be called. 40 to 45 security guards are supposed to ensure security on every day of the meeting. There are also 120 seats in the hall for spectators and media representatives.

A construction fence, an excavator and a construction worker, in the background the gray lightweight construction hall in which the process is to take place

The documents relating to the process are stored in 801 binders. The mass of documents will be evaluated both analogously and with digital help, it said. The nine defendants are accused, among other things, of membership in a terrorist organization. The aim of the unification was to forcibly eliminate the existing state order in Germany and to replace it with its own form of government that had already been largely developed. The trial is initially scheduled to last 48 days until mid-January 2025.

Overthrow of the federal government planned

The trial in Frankfurt is not the only one: the court hearing about the military arm of the “Reuss Group” began in Stuttgart at the end of April. The remaining alleged members will be on trial in Munich from June 18th.

The total of 27 suspects are said to have planned a violent overthrow of the federal government. Reuss should have acted as the head of a new form of government. Ex-soldiers and a former member of the Bundestag are also among the accused.

The so-called Reichsbürger in Germany claim that the German Reich (1871-1945) continues to exist, hence their name. The Federal Republic and its laws do not recognize them.

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Editor: Anikke Fischer

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