Five go on trial in Germany over far-right plot to kidnap health minister, topple government

BERLIN (AP) — Five people are going on trial in Germany accused of planning a coup and plotting to kidnap the country’s health minister. The four men, aged 44 to 56, and a 75-year-old woman are accused of founding or being members of a terrorist organization and treason. Federal prosecutors say the group is linked to the far-right Reich Citizens scene that rejects the legitimacy of Germany’s postwar constitution and has similarities to the Sovereign Citizens and QAnon movements in the United States. Prosecutors say the group, which called itself United Patriots, intended to create “conditions similar to civil war” by using explosives to cause nationwide blackouts, then kidnapping Health Minister Karl Lauterbach — a prominent advocate of strict coronavirus measures. The trial begins Wednesday.