Neo-Nazi murder trial reveals German police racism and spy agency obstruction, lawyers say

A German court last week sentenced Beate Zschäpe to life in prison for her role in a string of neo-Nazi murders of immigrants in Germany between 2000 and 2007 that long went unsolved due to what some have called institutional racism within the police and obstruction by the intelligence services.

The costly five-year trial of Zschäpe heard more than 600 witnesses in 438 hearings, with 95 co-plaintiffs represented by around 60 lawyers.

The Munich court concluded that the 43-year-old Zschäpe, along with the two other members of a trio calling themselves the National Socialist Underground (NSU), Uwe Böhnhardt and Uwe Mundlos, had murdered eight ethnic Turks, a Greek citizen and a policewoman, carried out two bomb attacks and 15 bank robberies during a deadly politically motivated crime spree between 1998 and 2011.

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