Germany’s shameful NSU trial: Federal prosecutor demands life sentence for Beate Zschäpe

Germany’s Federal Prosecutor Herbert Diemer told a Munich court on Tuesday that Beate Zschäpe was complicit in every one of the National Socialist Underground’s (NSU) 10 murders, two bombing and 15 robberies, carried out between 2000 and 2007. Diemer told the court that a sentence was due for each individual murder.
The NSU, a right-wing extremist group, murdered eight Turks, a Greek and a German policewoman over the seven-year period. The group also carried out two bomb attacks in Cologne, as well as a handful of robberies.
Diemer said that Zschäpe, along with her late accomplices Uwe Mundlos and Uwe Böhnhardt, had an obvious affiliation with neo-Nazi ideology and sought to stoke fear among migrants living in Germany with random murders. Zschäpe had shown a willingness to being “a key member” of the NSU and made up “one-third of a conspiring triumvirate,” he said. Diemer had yet to comment on what further sentences Zschäpe should face for the NSU’s subsequent robberies and arson attacks.
Zschäpe has denied any involvement in the murders, laying all the blame on Mundlos and Böhnhardt, with whom she lived for years in hiding. The marathon trial, which began four years ago, has become one of the mostly closely watched court cases in German history. Four further defendants face charges of aiding and abetting the NSU’s murders, including a former official at the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD).
Zschäpe’s suspected co-conspirators, Mundlos and Böhnhardt, died in an apparent suicide-murder in 2011. Following their deaths, the German public and media were shocked to discover that the far-right cell was behind the killings, and not migrant crime gangs as previously suspected.

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