German court to issue ruling in far-right NSU murders

Presiding Judge Goetzl says court will announce its ruling on July 11 on murder of 8 Turkish immigrants by neo-Nazi group

German court to issue ruling in far-right NSU murders

A German court will rule next week on the murder of eight Turkish immigrants by the neo-Nazi group NSU, in a high-profile case that revealed an “institutional racism” problem in Germany.

Presiding Judge Manfred Goetzl said during Tuesday’s hearing -- the 437th since the trial began in 2013 -- that the Higher Regional Court in Munich will announce its ruling on July 11, next week.

Defense lawyers were set to conclude their final arguments this week.

The NSU killed eight Turkish immigrants, a Greek citizen, and a German policewoman between 2000 and 2007 -- but the murders remained long unsolved.

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

Its third member, Beate Zschaepe, has so far denied any role in the killings and tried to lay the blame on her two friends in the far-right terror cell. Currently four other suspects are accused of providing support to the far-right group.

The scandal surrounding the NSU has led to widespread criticism of German security agencies, accused by opposition parties of tolerating right-wing extremists and failing to prevent violent acts targeting immigrants.

Until 2011, Germany’s police and intelligence services ruled out any racial motive for the murders and instead treated immigrant families as suspects in the case, questioning them over alleged ties with organized crime and drugs.

Recent revelations have shown that German domestic intelligence agency BfV had dozens of informants who had contacts with the NSU suspects since the late 1990s.

But officials insisted that they had no prior knowledge of the NSU terror cell and its suspected role in the killings.

Many questions over the murders remain unresolved, as dozens of secret files belonging to the domestic intelligence service were destroyed soon after the 2011 death of Mundlos and Bohnhardt.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 03 Temmuz 2018, 14:19