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German man arrested after allegedly forming armed group opposing COVID measures

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  • A 39-year-old German man accused of forming an armed group against COVID-19 measures in 2021 has been arrested in Portugal.
  • The suspect, whose name has not been disclosed, lived in Bavaria and was charged in June by prosecutors.
  • Along with two others, he is accused of forming a criminal organization and an armed group named “Paladin” in early 2021 with the goal of opposing coronavirus measures.

A German man accused of forming an armed group to oppose government measures against the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021 has been arrested in Portugal, German prosecutors said Tuesday.

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The 39-year-old man, whose name wasn’t released, most recently lived in Bavaria and was charged in June, prosecutors in Koblenz said. He is accused, along with two others, of forming a criminal organization and an armed group named “Paladin” in early 2021, which prosecutors said aimed to act against coronavirus measures.

Prosecutors state that there is no evidence of plans for an actual attack by the group.

The suspect is accused of producing weapon parts with a 3D printer and holding training sessions with the group’s other members, but no evidence has emerged of plans for any attack, prosecutors said in a statement.

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The suspect’s whereabouts had been unknown since at least June, and he was arrested in Portugal last month, prosecutors said. He is now in pre-extradition custody in Portugal, but it’s not yet clear whether and when he will be transferred to Germany.

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