German officials accused of destroying evidence in NSU trial

Lawyers for victims of a neo-Nazi gang in Germany filed criminal complaints against two federal prosecutors and Berlin police officers for destroying evidence in a case that is already mired with accusations of cover-up and negligence.
Lawyers for the families of German citizens of Turkish origin, İsmail Yaşar and Enver Şimşek, who were killed by the Nationalist Socialist Underground (NSU), filed the complaints against prosecutors in Karlsruhe and officers of Berlin law enforcement agency Landeskriminalamt for destroying potential evidence linking the NSU to other far-right groups.
German media reported that the case stems from a 2014 incident where notebooks belonging to Jan Werner, a suspect with links to the neo-Nazi gang accused of serial murders of Turks, were destroyed. It came to light after a former judge assigned to investigate the case by a parliamentary committee inquiring the NSU trial asked authorities to return the possessions of Werner, who was subject to a 2012 investigation. Werner is accused of supplying arms to the gang in 1998 and was an eyewitness in the 2014 hearings on the gang, whose sole surviving member Beate Zschaepe is standing trial.
The gang was implicated in the murders of 10 people, including eight Turks, in racially motivated murders as well as a bomb attack in a Turkish neighborhood in Germany and a string of bank robberies between 2000 and 2007.
Speaking to the press, Mehmet Daimagüler, one of the lawyers who filed the complaint, said their clients were surprised to hear the notebooks were destroyed. He said the incident undermined the credibility of the prosecutors.
The NSU case is entangled in a string of incidents that has led the families of the victims to doubt whether the gang’s activities were properly investigated, and to suspect that German intelligence had knowledge of the NSU’s crimes, thanks to its informants in Germany’s neo-Nazi underground. Amid developments fueling the suspicion was the alleged destruction of several key documents regarding informants tied to the gang by German intelligence, deaths of key witnesses in the case, and the disappearance of several documents about the informants kept by intelligence services.

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