German far-right militant jailed for life for police murder

2017-10-23 13:15
Far-right extremists gather to commemorate the death of Adolf Hitler's deputy, Rudolf Hess, in Berlin's western district of Spandau. (Maurizio Gambarini, dpa via AP, file)

Far-right extremists gather to commemorate the death of Adolf Hitler's deputy, Rudolf Hess, in Berlin's western district of Spandau. (Maurizio Gambarini, dpa via AP, file)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Nuremberg - A German far-right militant belonging to the shadowy "Citizens of the Reich" movement was sentenced to life in prison on Monday for killing a policeman during a dawn raid on his house.

Wolfgang Plan, 50, was convicted by the regional court in the southern city of Nuremberg of murder in a case that sparked a nationwide crackdown on radical right-wing groups.

He had denied intending to kill the 32-year-old officer during the trial, which started in August, as well as membership of the so-called Reichsbuerger (Citizens of the Reich).

The group includes neo-Nazis, conspiracy theorists and gun enthusiasts who reject the legitimacy of the modern German republic.

Plan told the court through his lawyer that he thought he was under attack when his house was stormed in the "amateurish" raid in October 2016, and had no idea he was firing at police.

One policeman was critically injured and later died of his wounds, while two others were injured in the confrontation in the town of Georgensgmuend.

Prosecutors argued Plan, a hunter who once ran a martial arts school, fired 11 shots "with the intention of causing as many deadly injuries as possible".

The raid was aimed at seizing Plan's arsenal of about 30 weapons after his permits were rescinded following an assessment that he was psychologically "unsound".

A growing threat

Reichsbuerger followers generally believe in the continued existence of the pre-war German Reich or empire as it stood under the Nazis, and several groups have declared their own states.

They typically deny the legitimacy of police and other state institutions and refuse to pay taxes.

Long dismissed as malcontents and oddballs, the Reichsbuerger are seen as a growing threat after a string of violent incidents.

Two months before the deadly shooting in Bavaria, a 41-year-old Reichsbuerger and one-time "Mister Germany" pageant winner opened fire on police carrying out an eviction order at his house in the eastern state of Saxony-Anhalt.

The gunman was seriously wounded and three officers suffered light injuries.

Police have since carried out a series of raids against suspected Reichsbuerger militants, seizing arms and making several arrests.

Security services believe some 15 000 people in Germany identify as Reichsbuerger, some 900 of whom are known far-right extremists.


Read more on:    germany

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.