Europe

Germany: Turks demand new probe on neo-Nazi murders

New report accuses domestic intelligence for covering up murders, demands special investigator with strong powers

Ayhan Şimşek   | 18.07.2018
Germany: Turks demand new probe on neo-Nazi murders Prof. Dr. Hajo Funke (4th R) attends the press conference of Turkish Federation in Berlin (TBB) on report of NSU murders case in Berlin, Germany on July 18, 2018. ( Abdülhamid Hoşbaş - Anadolu Agency )

Berlin

BERLIN 

The Turkish community in Germany has called for a new probe into the killing spree by neo-Nazi group National Socialist Underground (NSU), after the end of a five-year-long trial that disappointed families of the victims.

In a 93-page report released on Wednesday, Turkish immigrant organization TBB criticized domestic intelligence agency BfV for blocking efforts to uncover the murders.

Professor Hajo Funke, a prominent far-right expert and author of the report, has underlined that 13 commissions set up at federal and state parliaments so far could not uncover the facts due to restrictions and reluctance of security agencies.

“German domestic intelligence agency has systematically covered up facts and shredded documents. This is a scandal,” he told a news conference in Berlin.

Funke proposed a new probe, based on a U.S. model, where a special counsel and committee would be given strong powers of investigation and independent inquiries, while having access to all secret files and sensitive information.

The shadowy NSU killed 10 people, including eight Turkish and one Greek immigrant as well as a police officer, between 2000 and 2007, but the murders had long remained unresolved.

A Munich court last week handed life sentence to the only surviving member of the group Beate Zschaepe and gave lighter sentences to four other suspects, who provided support to the terrorist group.

During the five-year trial, Zschaepe declined to give any insight about the NSU and tried to lay the blame on her two deceased colleagues.

Until 2011, Germany’s police and intelligence services ruled out any racial motive for the murders and instead treated immigrant families as suspects, questioning them over alleged connections with mafia groups and drug traffickers.

While recent revelations have shown that Germany’s domestic intelligence agency had dozens of informants who had contacts with the NSU suspects, officials insisted that they had no prior information about the NSU terror cell and its suspected role in the killings.

However, authorities in the central German state of Hesse have recently decided to keep several documents secret for 120 years, prompting further speculations about the NSU’s possible ties.

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