Germany accused of hindering neo-Nazi murder probe

Chief police officer criticizes domestic intelligence agency for declining to interrogate suspected spy and informants as part of an investigation into a neo-Nazi murder in 2006.

Germany accused of hindering neo-Nazi murder probe

World Bulletin / News Desk

A German police officer has criticized domestic intelligence agency for hindering an investigation into a neo-Nazi murder in 2006, sparking further doubts about the terrorist neo-Nazi cell NSU and its suspected connections to the intelligence.

Chief Inspector Police officer Helmut Wetzel told Munich court on Wednesday that in 2006, the domestic intelligence agency did not allow police to interrogate suspected spy and informants which could shed light to the murder of Turkish immigrant Halit Yozgat.

The 21 year-old Yozgat was among the victims of the National Socialist Underground (NSU), a neo-Nazi cell which murdered seven other small-business owners of Turkish origin, a German policewoman and a Greek immigrant between 2000 and 2007.

Yozgat was killed in his internet cafe in Kassel on April 6, 2006. The intelligence at that time had ruled out at any “far-right motive" behind the murder, as it did so in the 8 previous murders, rather suspected the immigrant mafia groups, drug gangs and illegal political groups.

Chief Inspector Police officer Helmut Wetzel from the state of Hesse told the court on Wednesday that it was proved that an employee of domestic intelligence, Andreas T., was in the cafe at the time.

In his testimonies Andreas T., an employee of the Hesse branch of the Germany’s domestic intelligence, claimed that he did not see the murder, and did not hear anything.

“We had doubts about the version of Andreas T. on what happened on that day. For us it did not seem to be plausible,” Wetzel said. “Either he had something to do with the murder or he saw something,” he claimed.

Chief Inspector Police officer Wetzel told the court that they had also found out that Andreas T. had talked to an informant around the time of the murder, but the domestic intelligence had turned down their request to hear this informant.

The government of Hesse and the domestic intelligence repeatedly argued that informants were valuable sources and sharing information on their identity could severely undermine security.

The domestic intelligence agency of Hesse also denied any connection with their employee Andreas T. and the NSU murders.

Investigations had revealed that Andreas T. was a Nazi sympathizer during his youth. However, after months-long inquiries, investigators ruled out the possibility of a connection between him and the NSU murders.

Attorney Thomas Bliwier, who is representing the relatives of the NSU victims at the high-profile trial, expressed doubt on Wednesday about Andreas T.’s previous statement.

Bliwier harshly criticized the domestic intelligence, Office for the Protection of the Constitution in Hesse.

“The domestic intelligence of Hesse has hindered the work of investigators in a severe way,” Bliwier said.

The neo-Nazi cell NSU is alleged to have murdered ten people between 2000 and 2007.

The German public learned about the group and its role in 10 murder incidents as late as November 2011, when two members of the organization reportedly died in a murder-suicide following an unsuccessful bank robbery.

The third alleged member of the group Beate Zchaepe is currently the main suspect under arrest. But she has refused to bear testimony so far and her lawyers say she will remain silent during the trial.

Many questions related to the NSU’s murders are yet to be resolved, as dozens of secret files of the domestic intelligence had been destroyed in late 2011.

The high-profile NSU trial which started in May 2013 took a summer break on Wednesday after the end of the 135th hearing. The trial will resume on September 4 and expected to continue for at least another year.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 07 Ağustos 2014, 10:35