Neo-Nazi Beate Zschaepe Gets Life in Prison in Germany for 10 Murders

Elias Hubbard
July 12, 2018

Defendant Beate Zschaepe waits in a Munich courtroom before judges give their verdict in the trial of suspected NSU neo-Nazi gang member Zschaepe in Munich, Germany July 11, 2018.

A member of a neo-Nazi group in Germany has been sentenced to life in prison for her role in 10 racially motivated murders, though her lawyer claims she "was demonstrably present at no crime scene and never fired a weapon or detonated a bomb".

Zschaepe was also found guilty of membership in a terrorist organization, bomb attacks that injured dozens and several lesser crimes including a string of robberies.

In Germany, those handed a life sentence typically serve 15 years behind bars as prisoners are often released for good conduct. Turkey has criticised the verdict.

The verdict "is a first and very important step", said Gamze Kubasik, the daughter of Mehmet Kubasik, who was shot dead by Zschaepe's two accomplices in the western city of Dortmund on April 4, 2006.

But victims' relatives say many questions remain unanswered. But she said later she regretted not stopping two male members of the gang, Uwe Boehnhardt and Uwe Mundlos, from carrying out the killings.

The 43-year-old was arrested in 2011, shortly after her two accomplices were found dead in an apparent murder-suicide.

Hours earlier Mundlos had killed Boehnhardt and then himself in what investigators believe was an attempt to evade arrest.

Goetzl said the trio agreed in late 1998 to kill people "for anti-Semitic or other racist motivations" in order to intimidate ethnic minorities and portray the state as impotent.

He also accused Chancellor Angela Merkel for not honoring her promise to uncover all the facts about NSU murders. In it the bodies of the murder victims are pictured while a cartoon Pink Panther tots up the number of dead. Eight of the 10 victims associated with the NSU were Turkish.

A Munich court has found the main defendant in a high-profile neo-Nazi trial guilty of murder over the killing of 10 people - majority migrants - gunned down between 2000 and 2007 in a case that shocked Germany.

According to The New York Post, police attributed the crimes to the gangland ties of the murder victims for years before discovering the connection to a far-right group who based their principles on white supremacy.

"Here the question of an institutional racism arises", said Daimaguler.

The myriad mistakes made by German authorities, as well as their use of paid far-right informants and shredding of documents related to the case after the neo-Nazi link came to light, have made the NSU case a byword for the German security agencies' fraught approach to migrants.

The head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Josef Schuster, urged the government to take the danger of rightwing extremism "more seriously", especially after the far-right AfD party entered parliament previous year, warning this threatened the "erosion of our democracy".

Zschaepe has also been called "Hitler Child" by anti-racism protestors.

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas vowed to combat such neo-Nazi hate by upholding Germany's commitment to tolerance and rejecting extremism.

Prosecutors insisted that Zschaepe planned the crimes and arranged alibis and funds for the perpetrators who were all members of the National Socialist Underground, or NSU.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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