Final report on NSU murders finds 'embarrassing failure'

The report says in addition to the police, judiciary and Germany's federal intelligence agency, the Organization for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), had suffered an “embarrassing defeat” in how they handled the NSU.

Final report on NSU murders finds 'embarrassing failure'

World Bulletin/News Desk

A parliamentary commission of enquiry in the German Bundestag was expected to release its final report on a series of murders by the neo-Nazi ring the National Socialist Underground (NSU) on Thursday, and sources say the failure of authorities to capture the extremists in time is decried in the report as an “embarrassing failure.”

The Bundestag committee has been investigating the murders of eight Turkish businessmen and one Greek businessman and a policewoman between 2000 and 2007. The group is also accused of a bomb attack at Keup Street in Berlin and 15 robberies. The NSU Research Commission took 19 months to complete the 1000-page report after hearing testimony from 107 individuals, including suspects and experts, examining 12,000 court files. The report was adopted unanimously with the votes of representatives of the Christian Democrat Parties referred to as the union parties CDU/CSU, the Social Democratic Party (SPD), the Free Democratic Party (FDP), the Left Party and Alliance '90/The Greens. The SPD, The Left Party and the Greens also introduced additional proposals to address the danger of the extreme right in addition to the report.

"We have come to the clear conclusion that what we are dealing with here is a massive failure of the authorities," Sebastian Edathy said, according to Deutsche Welle in remarks made a few hours before the report was introduced to the public. He also added that the failure of the security officials was caused by "a drastic underestimation of the danger posed by the extreme right in Germany, who are prepared to resort to violence."

The report says in addition to the police, judiciary and Germany's federal intelligence agency, the Organization for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), had suffered an “embarrassing defeat” in how they handled the NSU. These institutions were criticized for a lack of cooperation and coordination. The report also included a list of 47 suggestions to reform the security agencies.

Clemens Binninger, a CDU member of the commission, said that the NSU murders should be included as textbook materials for police officers in police academies and training. Binninger said the union parties have confidence in the report, and did not put forth additional proposals like the other parties. “The government has already started making reform efforts in parallel to our work [in the commission].” He said the establishment of a center to fight extremism and the creation of a databank of known right-wing extremists as an example. He said it was not possible to single out a single mistake in the case of the NSU, saying a series of errors were present. He also said the commission's work still didn't answer all the questions, noting that a new commission might be established, but said this is for the new parliament to decide after the elections on Sept. 22.

Lawyers who have been given co-plaintiff status in the court trial regarding the NSU murders have expressed displeasure with the repot. Seventeen co-plaintiff lawyers signed a joint statement, criticizing the Bundestag inquiry report for leaving out the issue of what they called “corporate racism.” Lawyers Carsten Ilius, Sebastian Scharmer, Angelika Lex and Mehmet Daimagüler made the announcement.

Daimagüler said the commission members worked seriously, going over thousands of pages of documents and praised the commission members for working with one another in a non-partisan manner. “However, it is also said that the real issue wasn't addressed at the end of this hard work. There is talk of mistakes, but what we really have is a deliberate attitude [that led to the NSU murder].”

He said judicial organs ignored the individual motives of officers in racism-related cases, and this was also true for NSU-related investigations. He said there are 270,000 officers in the German police force, saying a majority of those are very good. “However, you cannot act as if there is no problem of the extreme right. This mentality is still present inside the force just like it exists in some segments of society.”

The lawyers say “a half truth is not the truth,” saying the final report is not the end of this. They also demand that the BfV abandon the system of using informants known as the V-Mann. They also demanded more and stronger institutions against the extreme right and the creation of independent bodies where individuals who suffer from unjust treatment by the police can apply.

The NSU discovery sent shockwaves through Germany after its initial discovery in 2010. As the investigation into the terrorist ring unfolded, it became evident that the BfV had been watching every move of the gang and had agents among the gang members. An investigation is under way into the murders, but the findings hint that the BfV possibly knew about some of the murders. It is now known that a BfV agent was present at the scene of one of the murders when it happened, and some German authors have suggested that the same agent might be the one who pulled the trigger. It is also known that the neo-Nazi gang was active since 2000 and authorities in Germany are now re-investigating all murder cases where the victims were immigrants that occurred after this date.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 23 Ağustos 2013, 09:39