A former politician who called for the overthrow of the French government has been charged with terrorism over a far-right plot to attack vaccination centres.
Other targets included a masonic lodge, according to the authorities.
Rémy Daillet-Wiedemann was already accused of masterminding the kidnapping of an eight-year-old girl taken from her grandmother’s home in April.
Carried out on behalf of the child’s mother who had lost custody, it was found to involve a network of extreme-right supporters who authorities had placed under surveillance.
The girl was eventually recovered safely in Switzerland and French police put out an international arrest warrant for Daillet-Wiedemann, who was living with his family in Malaysia.
He was forced back to France and arrested when Malaysian authorities deported him for over-staying his visa in June.
He was jailed in eastern France in that case.
The new allegations have since emerged and involve many in the same extremist circle.
Daillet-Wiedemann’s lawyer, Jean-Christophe Basson-Larbi, described his client as a political prisoner.
He said Daillet- Wiedemann called only for the peaceful end to the political system and retained his faith in French justice despite the charges against him.
In the 2000s, Daillet-Wiedemann was a local politician in southwestern France who stood with the centrist Democratic Movement.
He was reportedly later banned from the party, before becoming more far-right.
He gained followers with videos calling for a “popular coup d’état”, saying face masks are “scientifically useless” and calling for the destruction of 5G networks.
He has vowed to run for president in France’s upcoming elections.
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