Germany seeks quicker removal of extremists from military

Dec 12, 2022, 8:03 PM | Updated: Dec 13, 2022, 10:08 am

BERLIN (AP) — The German defense ministry on Tuesday announced plans to make it easier to dismiss suspected extremists from the military without lengthy disciplinary proceedings.

The change has been in the works for months, but the announcement followed the uncovering last week of an alleged coup plot in which more than 20 people linked to the far-right Reich Citizens movement were detained.

Those arrested included a soldier serving on the support staff for Germany’s KSK special forces, which previously have received scrutiny over what officials called some soldiers’ far-right beliefs.

“The latest raids and arrests in the Reich Citizens milieu show how important it is to be vigilant and to act resolutely with all the means of the state of law against extremists and enemies of the constitution,” Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said in a statement. “Fighting extremism also has the highest priority in the Bundeswehr,” the German military, she added.

Draft legislation drawn up by her ministry foresees a “lack of loyalty to the constitution” as grounds for dismissal, Lambrecht said. She added that it would allow authorities to speed up what can be a lengthy process to remove extremists from the military, “of course while preserving all the principles of due process.”

The draft goes beyond a more limited plan drawn up last year under Lambrecht’s predecessor, which was criticized for being applicable only to some classes of people in the military.

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Germany seeks quicker removal of extremists from military