A German court has found the main defendant in a high-profile neo-Nazi trial guilty of killing 10 people 8 of them Turks who were gunned down between 2000 and 2007 in a case that has shocked Germany and prompted accusations of institutional racism in the country’s security agencies.
The judges sentenced Beate Zschäpe to life in prison for murder, membership of a terrorist organisation, bomb attacks that injured dozens, and several lesser crimes including a string of robberies.
Four men were found guilty of supporting the group in various ways and sentenced to prison terms of between two and a half to 10 years.
The presiding judge, Manfred Götzl, told a packed Munich courtroom that Zschäpe’s guilt weighed particularly heavily, meaning she is likely to serve at least a 15-year sentence.
The 43-year-old showed no emotion as Götzl read out her sentence. A number of far-right activists attending the trial clapped when one of the co-accused, André Eminger, received a lower sentence than expected.
Zschäpe was arrested in 2011, shortly after her two accomplices, Uwe Mundlos and Uwe Böhnhardt, were found dead in an apparent murder-suicide. Together with the two men she had formed the National Socialist Underground (NSU), a group that pursued an ideology of white racial supremacy by targeting migrants, mostly of Turkish origin.
Source: The Guardian