25 February 2018

Prosecutors slammed in Germany's neo-Nazi murder case

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Lawyers representing victims of neo-Nazi terror in Germany slammed prosecutors on Tuesday for obstructing a deeper investigation into murders of a policewoman and nine immigrants by a far-right group between 2000 and 2007. reports that in a joint statement after the 379th hearing, 10 prominent lawyers accused federal prosecutors of insisting that the National Socialist Underground (NSU) was only an isolated cell of three neo-Nazis.

“The Federal Prosecutor’s Office and the Federal Criminal Police Office have not done everything to identify other suspects who committed these crimes,” the lawyers said.

They added the second investigation committee at the Federal Parliament in its findings in June reiterated that there were discrepancies in the investigation.

The NSU killed 10 people including eight Turkish and one Greek immigrant between 2000 and 2007. The murders were committed in different cities, without seeming to arouse suspicion of the domestic intelligence.

The group was only revealed in 2011 when two members died after an unsuccessful bank robbery and police found guns and propaganda material in their apartment.

Federal prosecutors, who continued presenting their closing arguments on Tuesday at the Higher Regional Court in Munich, stuck to their earlier analysis the NSU was founded by three right-wing extremists -- Uwe Mundlos, Uwe Bohnhardt and Beate Zschaepe -- who lived underground from 1998 using fake identities.

Prosecutors also accused four other suspects of providing logistical support to the far-right group.

Lawyers representing the NSU victims argued the neo-Nazi terrorist group had enjoyed support from a wider network of far-right extremists in Germany, and had contacts with informants of the domestic intelligence agency.

They accused the prosecutors for blocking a wider investigation to protect informants and intelligence officers, who were suspected of having information on the NSU before 2011.

Since the late 1990s, Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, or BfV, recruited various informants from the right-wing who were believed to have had contacts with the trio.

Officials insisted they had no prior information about the existence of the NSU terror cell and its role behind the killings.

Until 2011, German police and intelligence services dismissed any racial motive for the murders and instead treated immigrant families as suspects with alleged connections to mafia groups and drug traffickers.

Tuesday’s hearing was the last hearing of the high-profile trial before the summer recess.

Prosecutors will continue presenting their closing arguments in September.

A verdict is not expected before the end of this year.

The main suspect, Zschaepe, has so far denied any role in the killings and tried to lay the blame on her boyfriends in the far-right terror cell.

2017.08.01 / 23:29
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