The ringleader of the right-wing terrorist “Group S.” was sentenced to six years in prison by the Stuttgart Higher Regional Court on Thursday. A total of twelve men were accused in the trial. One of them died during the negotiations. They were accused of founding or supporting a terrorist cell.
In their plea, the Federal Prosecutor’s Office had demanded a prison sentence of seven years for Werner S., according to which the “Group S.” is also named. The defense had argued for an acquittal. In addition to S., nine other men were sentenced to prison terms of several years, some on probation. One defendant was acquitted.
The “Group S.” was a right-wing extremist terrorist cell that aimed to overthrow the Federal Republic. It was originally founded on Facebook as a group for “comrades who don’t just want to chat.” It later consisted of a self-described “hard core” who recruited people for armed struggle.
At first the group was only active on the Internet, then they armed themselves
The members wanted to bring about a civil war through coordinated attacks on mosques, politicians and people from the left spectrum. At first the group was only active on the Internet, then armed itself and also held target practice. In February 2020, the eleven defendants were arrested – a member of the group had warned the police and the Office for the Protection of the Constitution.
In its plea for the alleged leader of the group, Werner S. from near Augsburg, the federal prosecutor’s office had called for a prison sentence of seven years, while the defense had pleaded for an acquittal. The federal prosecutor’s office had also demanded prison sentences of varying lengths for the ten other defendants. With one exception, the defense lawyers had pleaded for acquittal.
The representative of the Federal Prosecutor’s Office said in court that members of the group feared that refugees would take over the Federal Republic of Germany and wanted to fight against it. A defense attorney, however, called the group a “collection of slogan-smacking busybodies.”
One defendant died unexpectedly during the trial
The strictly secured procedure lasted 170 days: The corona pandemic had drawn it out and was very extensive: According to the court, more than 130 witnesses were heard during this time, 200 recorded phone calls were listened to and around 1,000 documents were processed, including many chats -Group protocols.
One of the suspects had already died in custody before charges were filed. In addition, one of the defendants died unexpectedly during the trial. According to the Higher Regional Court, the man collapsed dead shortly in front of his apartment on the way home from a trial in the Stammheim high-security wing.